Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Creuza de mä:
    Creuza de mä - Cobbled Sea Path

Umbre de muri muri de mainé
dunde ne vegnì duve l'è ch'ané
   Ombre di facce facce di marinai
   da dove venite dov'è che andate

da 'n scitu duve a l'ûn-a a se mustra nûa
e a neutte a n'à puntou u cutellu ä gua
   da un posto dove la luna si mostra nuda
   e la notte ci ha puntato il coltello alla gola

e a muntä l'àse gh'é restou Diu
u Diàu l'é in çë e u s'è gh'è faetu u nìu
   e a montare l'asino c'è rimasto Dio
   il Diavolo è in cielo e ci si è fatto il nido

ne sciurtìmmu da u mä pe sciugà e osse da u Dria
e a funtan-a di cumbi 'nta cä de pria
   usciamo dal mare per asciugare le ossa dall'Andrea
   alla fontana dei colombi nella casa di pietra

E 'nt'a cä de pria chi ghe saià
int'à cä du Dria che u nu l'è mainà
   E nella casa di pietra chi ci sarà
   nella casa dell'Andrea che non è marinaio

gente de Lûgan facce da mandillä
qui che du luassu preferiscian l'ä
   gente di Lugano facce da tagliaborse
   quelli che della spigola preferiscono l'ala

figge de famiggia udù de bun
che ti peu ammiàle senza u gundun
   ragazze di famiglia, odore di buono
   che puoi guardarle senza preservative

E a 'ste panse veue cose ghe daià
cose da beive, cose da mangiä
   E a queste pance vuote cosa gli darà
   cose da bere, cose da mangiare

frittûa de pigneu giancu de Purtufin
çervelle de bae 'nt'u meximu vin
   frittura di pesciolini, bianco di Portofino
   cervelli di agnello nello stesso vino

lasagne da fiddià ai quattru tucchi
paciûgu in aegruduse de lévre de cuppi
   lasagne da tagliare ai quattro sughi
   pasticcio in agrodolce di lepre di tegole (gatto)

E 'nt'a barca du vin ghe naveghiemu 'nsc'i scheuggi
emigranti du rìe cu'i cioi 'nt'i euggi
   E nella barca del vino ci navigheremo sugli scogli
   emigranti della risata con i chiodi negli occhi

finché u matin crescià da puéilu rechéugge
frè di ganeuffeni e dè figge
   finché il mattino crescerà da poterlo raccogliere
   fratello dei garofani e delle ragazze

bacan d'a corda marsa d'aegua e de sä
che a ne liga e a ne porta 'nte 'na creuza de mä
   padrone della corda marcia d'acqua e di sale
   che ci lega e ci porta in una mulattiera di mare


Creuza de mä © 1984 Fabrizio De André/Mauro Pagani

The album begins with sailors returning to Genoa, strolling back to their familiar homes on the cobbled paths that lead to and from the sea. ("Sweet and sour 'hare-of-the-tiles' pie" is actually cat pie, cats being referred to as roof bunnies.)























Mauro Pagani and Fabrizio De André


Shadows of faces, faces of sailors,
where do you come from, where is it you’re going?



From a place where the moon shows itself naked
and the night has pointed a knife at our throat,



and God remains to mount the donkey
and the Devil is in heaven and makes his nest there,



we come in from the sea to dry out at Andrea's place,
at the fountain of the doves in the stone house.



And in the stone house, whoever will be there
in Andrea's house who isn’t a sailor -



people of Lugano, faces like pickpockets,
those who prefer the wing of the sea bass,



family girls, smelling good,
whom you can watch without condoms.



And to these empty stomachs, what will he give them?
Things to drink, things to eat,



fried fish, a white Portofino,
lamb brains in the same wine,



four-sauce lasagna to cut,
sweet and sour hare-of-the-tiles pie.



And in a boat of wine we’ll navigate the perils,
emigrants of laughter with nails in our eyes,



until the morning grows to be able to gather him up,
brother of the cloves and of the girls,



master of the rope, rotten from water and salt
that binds and carries us on a cobbled sea path.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser


Creuza de mä received both critical and popular acclaim upon its release. David Byrne told Rolling Stone that Creuza de mä was one of the ten most important works of the Eighties. The album grew out of a deep collaboration between Mauro Pagani, founding member of PFM, and De André. Pagani had been studying Mediterranean musics - Balkan, Greek, Turkish - and De André suggested that they make a Mediterranean album together, partly as an act of identity and a declaration of independence from the strains of Anglo-American music that were then dominant: rock, pop and electronic music. De André once stated that "music should be a cathartic event, but today's music is only amphetamine-like, and enervating." While granting that Americans made great music that he too was influenced by, he felt there were different ways and different roots that were being smothered by the mass commercialization and success of American popular music; Creuza de mä was to be a synthesis of Mediterranean sounds, and it was indeed a stark contrast to the music of the time. De André's lyrics are in Genovese, a dialect that over the centuries absorbed many Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, French and even English words, and Pagani's music combined folk instruments (oud, shehnai, doumbek, bazouki, bağlama) with contemporary instrumentation, including Synclavier, creating what might be called an ethnic/pop masterpiece.


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Monday, October 6, 2014

Creuza de mä:
    Jamin-a

Lengua 'nfeuga Jamin-a
lua de pelle scûa
cu'a bucca spalancà
morsciu de carne dûa
      Lingua infuocata Jamina
      lupa di pelle scura
      con la bocca spalancata
      morso di carne soda


stella neigra ch'a lûxe
me veuggiu demuâ
'nte l'ûmidu duçe
de l'amë dû teu arveà
      stella nera che brilla
      mi voglio divertire
      nell'umido dolce
      del miele del tuo alveare


ma seu Jamin-a
ti me perdunié
se nu riûsciò a ésse porcu
cumme i teu pensë
      sorella mia Jamina
      mi perdonerai
      se non riuscirò a essere porco
      come i tuoi pensieri


destacchete Jamin-a
lerfe de ûga spin-a
fatt'ammiâ Jamin-a
roggiu de mussa pin-a
      staccati Jamina
      labbra di uva spina
      fatti guardare Jamina
      getto di fica piena


e u muru 'ntu sûù
sûgu de sä de cheusce
duve gh'è pei gh'è amù
sultan-a de e bagasce
      e la faccia nel sudore
      sugo di sale di cosce
      dove c'è pelo c'è amore
      sultana delle troie

dagghe cianìn Jamin-a
nu navegâ de spunda
primma ch'à cuæ ch'à munta e a chin-a
nu me se desfe 'nte l'unda
      dacci piano Jamina

      non navigare di sponda
      prima che la voglia che sale e scende
      non mi si disfi nell'onda

e l'ûrtimu respiu Jamin-a
regin-a muaé de e sambe
me u tegnu pe sciurtï vivu
da u gruppu de e teu gambe
      e l'ultimo respiro Jamina

      regina madre delle sambe
      me lo tengo per uscire vivo
      dal nodo delle tue gambe


Creuza de mä © 1984 Fabrizio De André/Mauro Pagani

In De André's words, "Jamína is not a dream, but rather the hope for respite. A respite in the face of possible gale force conditions at sea, or even a shipwreck. I mean that Jamina is the hypothesis of a positive adventure that, in a corner of the fantasy of a sailor, always finds space and respite. Jamina is the companion in an erotic voyage that every sailor hopes for, or better, expects to encounter in every place, after the dangerous broadsides subjected to by an enemy sea or an imprudent commander."









Inflamed tongue Jamina,
dark-haired wolf
with wide-open mouth,
morsel of tough meat.





Black star that shines,
I want to enjoy myself
in the sweet dampness
of the honey of your hive.





My sister Jamina,
you'll pardon me
if I don’t manage to be lewd
like your thoughts.





Hold back, Jamina,
gooseberry lips,
let me look at you, Jamina,
climax of a full pussy





and your face in sweat,
salty leg juice -
where there’s hair there’s love,
lady sultan of the whores.





Give it to us slowly, Jamina,
don’t go sailing off of the banks
before the desire that rises and falls
casts me off into the waves.





And the final breath, Jamina,
queen mother of the sambas,
I'm hanging on to get out alive
from the knot of your legs.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser


Creuza de mä received both critical and popular acclaim upon its release. David Byrne told Rolling Stone that Creuza de mä was one of the ten most important works of the Eighties. The album grew out of a deep collaboration between Mauro Pagani, founding member of PFM, and De André. Pagani had been studying Mediterranean musics - Balkan, Greek, Turkish - and De André suggested that they make a Mediterranean album together, partly as an act of identity and a declaration of independence from the strains of Anglo-American music that were then dominant: rock, pop and electronic music. De André once stated that "music should be a cathartic event, but today's music is only amphetamine-like, and enervating." While granting that Americans made great music that he too was influenced by, he felt there were different ways and different roots that were being smothered by the mass commercialization and success of American popular music; Creuza de mä was to be a synthesis of Mediterranean sounds, and it was indeed a stark contrast to the music of the time. De André's lyrics are in Genovese, a dialect that over the centuries absorbed many Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, French and even English words, and Pagani's music combined folk instruments (oud, shehnai, doumbek, bazouki, bağlama) with contemporary instrumentation, including Synclavier, creating what might be called an ethnic/pop masterpiece.

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Creuza de mä:
    Sidùn - Sidon

U mæ nininu mæ
u mæ
lerfe grasse au su
d'amë d'amë
    Il mio bambino il mio
    il mio
    labbra grasse al sole
    di miele di miele


tûmù duçe benignu
de teu muaè
spremmûu 'nta maccaia
de stæ de stæ
    tumore dolce benigno
    di tua madre
    spremuto nell'afa umida
    dell'estate dell'estate


e oua grûmmu de sangue ouëge
e denti de laete
    e ora grumo di sangue orecchie
    e denti di latte

e i euggi di surdatti chen arraggë
cu'a scciûmma a a bucca cacciuéi de bæ
a scurrï a gente cumme selvaggin-a
finch'u sangue sarvaegu nu gh'à smurtau a qué
    e gli occhi dei soldati cani arrabbiati
    con la schiuma alla bocca cacciatori di agnelli

    a inseguire la gente come selvaggina
    finché il sangue selvatico non gli ha spento la voglia

e doppu u feru in gua i feri d'ä prixún
e 'nte ferie a semensa velenusa d'ä depurtaziún
perché de nostru da a cianûa a u meü
nu peua ciû cresce ni aerbu ni spica ni figgeü
    e dopo il ferro in gola i ferri della prigione
    e nelle ferite il seme velenoso della deportazione

    perché di nostro dalla pianura al molo
    non possa più crescere né albero né spiga né figlio

ciao mæ 'nin l'ereditæ
l'è ascusa
'nte sta çittæ
ch'a brûxa ch'a brûxa
inta seia che chin-a
    ciao bambino mio l'eredità
    è nascosta

    in questa città
    che brucia che brucia
    nella sera che scende

e in stu gran ciaeu de feugu
pe a teu morte piccin-a
    e in questa grande luce di fuoco
    per la tua piccola morte


Sidùn © 1984 Fabrizio De André/Mauro Pagani

Sidon is a coastal city halfway between the southern border of Lebanon and Beirut. At the time this song was written, Lebanon was in the midst of a civil war that began in 1975 and that saw Israel invade and push towards Beirut in 1982. In De André's words, "Sidon is the Lebanese city that gave us, beyond the letters of our alphabet, even the invention of glass. I imagined myself, after the sudden attack of General Sharon in 1982, as a middle-aged Arab man, dirty, desperate, certainly poor, holding in his arms his own son, chewed up by the steel tracks of an armored tank. . . . The 'little death' alluded to at the end of this song should not be confused with the death of a little boy. Rather it is understood metaphorically as the end of a civilization and culture of a small country: Lebanon, Phoenicia, which at its discretion was perhaps the greatest nurse of Mediterranean civilization."






Alternate take of "Sidùn."




My little boy, mine
oh mine,
fat lips in the sun,
of honey, of honey.





Sweet benign tumor
of your mother,
squeezed from the damp mugginess
of summer, of summer,



and now blood clotted ears
and milk white teeth.





And the eyes of the soldiers, rabid dogs
with foaming mouths, lamb hunters
following people like game
for as long as the wild blood has not spent its desire.





And after the iron in the throat, the irons of the prison,
and in the wounds the spiteful seed of deportation
so that from our line, from the plain to the pier,
no more can grow tree nor spike nor son.






Goodbye my child, my heritage
is lost
in this city
that burns, that burns
in the evening that descends,



and in this great light from the fire
for your little death.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser


Creuza de mä received both critical and popular acclaim upon its release. David Byrne told Rolling Stone that Creuza de mä was one of the ten most important works of the Eighties. The album grew out of a deep collaboration between Mauro Pagani, founding member of PFM, and De André. Pagani had been studying Mediterranean musics - Balkan, Greek, Turkish - and De André suggested that they make a Mediterranean album together, partly as an act of identity and a declaration of independence from the strains of Anglo-American music that were then dominant: rock, pop and electronic music. De André once stated that "music should be a cathartic event, but today's music is only amphetamine-like, and enervating." While granting that Americans made great music that he too was influenced by, he felt there were different ways and different roots that were being smothered by the mass commercialization and success of American popular music; Creuza de mä was to be a synthesis of Mediterranean sounds, and it was indeed a stark contrast to the music of the time. De André's lyrics are in Genovese, a dialect that over the centuries absorbed many Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, French and even English words, and Pagani's music combined folk instruments (oud, shehnai, doumbek, bazouki, bağlama) with contemporary instrumentation, including Synclavier, creating what might be called an ethnic/pop masterpiece.


Back to Album List         Back to Song List

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Creuza de mä:
    Sinàn Capudàn Pasciá - Sinan Kapudan Pasha

Teste fascië 'nscià galéa
ë sciabbre se zeugan a lûn-a
a mæ a l'è restà duv'a a l'éa
pe nu remenalu ä furtûn-a
      Teste fasciate sulla galea
      le sciabole si giocano la luna
      la mia è rimasta dov'era
      per non stuzzicare la fortuna


intu mezu du mä gh'è 'n pesciu tundu
che quandu u vedde ë brûtte u va 'nsciù fundu
intu mezu du mä gh'è 'n pesciu palla
che quandu u vedde ë belle u vegne a galla
      in mezzo al mare c'è un pesce tondo
      che quando vede le brutte va sul fondo
      in mezzo al mare c'è un pesce palla
      che quando vede le belle viene a galla


E au postu d'i anni ch'ean dedexenueve
se sun piggiaë ë gambe e a mæ brasse neuve
d'allua a cansún l'à cantà u tambûu
e u lou s'è gangiou in travaggiu dûu
      E al posto degli anni che erano diciannove
      si sono presi le gambe e le mie braccia
      da allora la canzone l'ha cantata il tamburo
      e il lavoro è diventato fatica


vuga t'è da vugâ prexuné
e spuncia spuncia u remu fin au pë
vuga t'è da vugâ turtaiéu
e tia tia u remmu fin a u cheu
      voga devi vogare prigioniero
      e spingi spingi il remo fino al piede
      voga devi vogare imbuto (= mangione)
      e tira tira il remo fino al cuore


e questa a l'è a ma stöia e t'ä veuggiu cuntâ
'n po' primma ch'à vegiàià a me peste 'ntu murtä
e questa a l'è a memöia a memöia du Cigä
ma 'nsci libbri de stöia Sinán Capudán Pasciá
      e questa è la mia storia e te la voglio raccontare
      un po' prima che la vecchiaia mi pesti nel mortaio
      e questa è la memoria la memoria del Cicala
      ma sui libri di storia Sinán Capudán Pasciá


E suttu u timun du gran cäru
c'u muru 'nte 'n broddu de fàru
'na neutte ch'u freidu u te morde
u te giàscia u te spûa e u te remorde
      e sotto il timone del gran carro
      con la faccia in un brodo di farro
      una notte che il freddo ti morde
      ti mastica ti sputa e ti rimorde


e u Bey assettòu u pensa ä Mecca
e u vedde ë Urì 'nsce 'na secca
ghe giu u timùn a lebecciu
sarvàndughe a vitta e u sciabeccu
      e il Bey seduto pensa alla Mecca
      e vede le Uri su una secca
      gli giro il timone a libeccio
      salvandogli la vita e lo sciabecco


amü me bell'amü a sfurtûn-a a l'è 'n grifun
ch'u gia 'ngiu ä testa du belinun
amü me bell'amü a sfurtûn-a a l'è 'n belin
ch'ù xeua 'ngiu au cû ciû vixín
      amore mio bell'amore la sfortuna è un avvoltoio
      che gira intorno alla testa dell'imbecille
      amore mio bell'amore la sfortuna è un cazzo
      che vola intorno al sedere più vicino


e questa a l'è a ma stöia e t'ä veuggiu cuntâ
'n po' primma ch'à vegiàià a me peste 'ntu murtä
e questa a l'è a memöia a memöia du Cigä
ma 'nsci libbri de stöia Sinán Capudán Pasciá
      e questa è la mia storia e te la voglio raccontare
      un po' prima che la vecchiaia mi pesti nel mortaio
      e questa è la memoria la memoria del Cicala
      ma sui libri di storia Sinán Capudán Pasciá


E digghe a chi me ciamma rénegôu
che a tûtte ë ricchesse a l'argentu e l'öu
Sinán gh'a lasciòu de luxî au sü
giastemmandu Mumä au postu du Segnü
      E digli a chi mi chiama rinnegato
      che a tutte le ricchezze all'argento e all'oro
      Sinán ha concesso di luccicare al sole
      bestemmiando Maometto al posto del Signore


intu mezu du mä gh'è 'n pesciu tundu
che quandu u vedde ë brûtte u va 'nsciù fundu
intu mezu du mä gh'è 'n pesciu palla
che quandu u vedde ë belle u vegne a galla
      in mezzo al mare c'e un pesce tondo
      che quando vede le brutte va sul fondo
      in mezzo al mare c'è un pesce palla
      che quando vede le belle viene a galla


Sinàn Capudàn Pasciá © 1984 Fabrizio De André/Mauro Pagani

"Sinàn Capudàn Pasciá" is based on the story of a Genoese mariner, Scipione Cicala, who at a young age was captured in a battle with the Ottoman Navy and taken to Constantinople in 1561. As a Christian, he had to choose between either death or converting to Islam and becoming a member of the Janissaries, which began in the 14th century as an elite corps of slaves recruited from young Christian boys that formed the Ottoman Sultan's household troops and bodyguards. Cicala chose conversion and then rose to the highest ranks, gaining favor from Sultan Mechmed II who bestowed on him the honorary title Pasha and eventually appointed him as Grand Admiral (Kapudan Pasha) of the Ottoman Navy (1591-1595).







Bandaged heads on the galley,
sabers playing for the moon.
Mine stayed put
so as not to tempt fortune.





In the middle of the sea there’s a round fish
that, when it sees the ugly ones, swims to the bottom.
In the middle of the sea there’s a blowfish
that, when it sees the pretty ones, comes to the light.





And instead of my years, which were nineteen,
the legs and my arms were taken.
From then on the tambourine sang the song
and work became an effort.





Row, you have to row, prisoner,
and push, push the oar to your feet.
Row, you have to row, big eater,
and pull, pull the oar to your heart.





And this is my story and I want to tell it to you,
a little before old age grinds me in its mortar.
And this is the memory, the remembrance of Cicala,
but in the history books Sinan Kapudan Pasha.





And under the helm of the Big Dipper,
with face in a spelt broth
one night when the cold kills you,
chews you, spits you out and kills you again,





and the seated Bey thinks of Mecca
and sees the Uris on a shoal,
I turn the rudder to the southwest,
saving his life and his xebec.





My love, sweet love, misfortune is a vulture
that circles 'round the head of the imbecile.
My love, sweet love, misfortune is a dick
that flies too close around the ass.





And this is my story and I want to tell it to you,
a little before old age grinds me in its mortar.
And this is my memory, the remembrance of Cicala,
but in the history books Sinan Kapudan Pasha.





And tell anyone who calls me a renegade
that to all the riches, to silver and to gold,
Sinan agreed to glisten in the sunlight,
blaspheming Muhammad in place of the Lord.





In the middle of the sea there’s a round fish
that, when he sees the ugly ones, dives to the bottom.
In the middle of the sea there’s a blowfish
that, when he sees the pretty ones, comes to the light.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser


Creuza de mä received both critical and popular acclaim upon its release. David Byrne told Rolling Stone that Creuza de mä was one of the ten most important works of the Eighties. The album grew out of a deep collaboration between Mauro Pagani, founding member of PFM, and De André. Pagani had been studying Mediterranean musics - Balkan, Greek, Turkish - and De André suggested that they make a Mediterranean album together, partly as an act of identity and a declaration of independence from the strains of Anglo-American music that were then dominant: rock, pop and electronic music. De André once stated that "music should be a cathartic event, but today's music is only amphetamine-like, and enervating." While granting that Americans made great music that he too was influenced by, he felt there were different ways and different roots that were being smothered by the mass commercialization and success of American popular music; Creuza de mä was to be a synthesis of Mediterranean sounds, and it was indeed a stark contrast to the music of the time. De André's lyrics are in Genovese, a dialect that over the centuries absorbed many Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, French and even English words, and Pagani's music combined folk instruments (oud, shehnai, doumbek, bazouki, bağlama) with contemporary instrumentation, including Synclavier, creating what might be called an ethnic/pop masterpiece.


De Andrè at Boccadasse, Genoa - 1976
Back to Album List         Back to Song List

Friday, October 3, 2014

Creuza de mä:
    'Â pittima - The Debt Collector

Cosa ghe possu ghe possu fâ
se nu gh'ò ë brasse pe fâ u mainä
se infundo a e brasse nu gh'ò ë män
du massacán
    Cosa ci posso fare
    se non ho le braccia per fare il marinaio
    se in fondo alle braccia non ho le mani
    del muratore
e mi gh'ò 'n pûgnu dûu ch'u pâ 'n niu
gh'ò 'na cascetta larga 'n diu
giûstu pe ascúndime c'u vestiu
deré a 'n fiu
    e ho un pugno duro che sembra un nido
    ho un torace largo un dito
    giusto per nascondermi con il vestito
    dietro a un filo
e vaddu in giù a çerca i dinë
a chi se i tegne e ghe l'àn prestë
e ghe i dumandu timidamente
ma in mezu ä gente
    e vado in giro a chiedere i denari
    a chi se li tiene e glieli hanno prestati
    e glieli domando timidamente
    ma in mezzo alla gente
e a chi nu veu däse raxún
che pâ de stránûä cuntru u trun
ghe mandu a dî che vive l'è cäu
ma a bu-n mercöu
    e a chi non vuole darsi ragione
    che sembra di starnutire contro il tuono
    gli mando a dire che vivere è caro
    ma a buon mercato
mi sun 'na pittima rispettä
e nu anâ 'ngíu a cuntâ
che quandu a vittima l'è 'n strassé
ghe dö du mæ
    io sono una pittima rispettata
    e non andare in giro a raccontare
    che quando la vittima è uno straccione
    gli do del mio


'Â pittima © 1984 Fabrizio De André/Mauro Pagani

In ancient Genoa, the pittima was someone hired by creditors to get insolvent debtors to pay up. Dressed in red, their main approach was insistent and loud public embarrassment of the debtors. In modern usage the word has come to mean someone who complains without end about unimportant things. In this song, De André takes a sympathetic look at a socially marginalized person and how he came to his unpopular line of work.





British singer/songwriter Allan Taylor recorded an English version of 'Â pittima, with Maartin Allcock on bass (Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull) and Chris Leslie on fiddle (Fairport Convention).




What can I do
if I don’t have the arms for being a sailor,
if at the end of my arms I don’t have the hands
of a bricklayer?




And I have a hard fist that resembles a nest,
I have a torso the size of a finger,
just right for hiding myself, in my suit,
behind a thread.




And I go around and ask for money
from whoever has it and whomever they lent it to.
And I ask them for it timidly,
but with people around.




And to him who doesn’t want to give a reason,
who seems to sneeze against the thunder,
to him I'll send word that living is expensive,
though a good deal.




I am a respected debt collector -
and not going about spreading stories -
who, when the victim is a bum
I give him some of mine.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser


Creuza de mä received both critical and popular acclaim upon its release. David Byrne told Rolling Stone that Creuza de mä was one of the ten most important works of the Eighties. The album grew out of a deep collaboration between Mauro Pagani, founding member of PFM, and De André. Pagani had been studying Mediterranean musics - Balkan, Greek, Turkish - and De André suggested that they make a Mediterranean album together, partly as an act of identity and a declaration of independence from the strains of Anglo-American music that were then dominant: rock, pop and electronic music. De André once stated that "music should be a cathartic event, but today's music is only amphetamine-like, and enervating." While granting that Americans made great music that he too was influenced by, he felt there were different ways and different roots that were being smothered by the mass commercialization and success of American popular music; Creuza de mä was to be a synthesis of Mediterranean sounds, and it was indeed a stark contrast to the music of the time. De André's lyrics are in Genovese, a dialect that over the centuries absorbed many Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, French and even English words, and Pagani's music combined folk instruments (oud, shehnai, doumbek, bazouki, bağlama) with contemporary instrumentation, including Synclavier, creating what might be called an ethnic/pop masterpiece.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Creuza de mä:
    Â duménega - Sundays

Quandu ä dumenega fan u gíu
cappellin neuvu neuvu u vestiu
cu 'a madama a madama 'n testa
o belin che festa o belin che festa
      Quando alla domenica fanno il giro
      cappellino nuovo nuovo il vestito
      con la madama la madama in testa
      cazzo che festa cazzo che festa


a tûtti apreuvu ä pruccessiún
d'a Teresin-a du Teresún
tûtti a miâ ë figge du diàu
che belin de lou che belin de lou
      e tutti dietro alla processione
      della Teresina del Teresone
      tutti a guardare le figlie del diavolo
      che cazzo di lavoro che cazzo di lavoro


e a stu luciâ de cheusce e de tettín
ghe fan u sciätu anche i ciû piccin
mama mama damme ë palanche
veuggiu anâ a casín veuggiu anâ a casín
      e a questo dondolare di cosce e di tette
      gli fanno il chiasso anche i più piccoli
      mamma mamma dammi i soldi
      voglio andare a casino voglio andare a casino


e ciû s'addentran inta cittæ
ciû euggi e vuxi ghe dan deré
ghe dixan quellu che nu peúan dî
de zeùggia sabbu e de lûnedì
      e più si addentrano nella città
      più occhi e voci gli danno dietro
      gli dicono quello che non possono dire
      di giovedì di sabato e di lunedì


a Ciamberlinú sûssa belin
ä Fuxe cheusce de sciaccanuxe
in Caignàn musse de tersa man
e in Puntexellu ghe mustran l'öxellu
      a Pianderlino succhia cazzi
      alla Foce cosce da schiaccianoci
      in Carignano fighe di terza mano
      e a Ponticello gli mostrano l'uccello
      a Pianderlino succhia cazzi
      alla Foce cosce da schiaccianoci
      in Carignano fighe di terza mano
      e a Ponticello gli mostrano l'uccello


e u direttú du portu c'u ghe vedde l'ou
'nte quelle scciappe a reposu da a lou
pe nu fâ vedde ch'u l'è cuntentu
ch'u meu-neuvu u gh'à u finansiamentu
      e il direttore del porto che ci vede l'oro
      in quelle chiappe a riposo dal lavoro
      per non fare vedere che è contento
      che il molo nuovo ha il finanziamento


u se cunfunde 'nta confûsiún
cun l'euggiu pin de indignasiún
e u ghe cría u ghe cría deré
bagasce sëi e ghe restè
      si confonde nella confusione
      con l'occhio pieno di indignazione
      e gli grida gli grida dietro
      bagasce siete e ci restate


e ti che ti ghe sbraggi apreuvu
mancu ciû u nasu gh'avei de neuvu
bruttu galûsciu de 'n purtò de Cristu
nu t'è l'únicu ch'u se n'è avvistu
      e tu che gli sbraiti appresso
      neanche più il naso avete di nuovo
      brutto stronzo di un portatore di Cristo
      non sei l'unico che se ne è accorto


che in mezzu a quelle creatúe
che se guagnan u pan da nûe
a gh'è a gh'è a gh'è a gh'è
a gh'è anche teu muggè
      che in mezzo a quelle creature
      che si guadagnano il pane da nude
      c'è c'è c'è c'è
      c'è anche tua moglie


a Ciamberlin sûssa belin
ä Fuxe cheusce de sciaccanuxe
in Caignàn musse de tersa man
e in Puntexellu ghe mustran l'öxellu
      a Pianderlino succhia cazzi
      alla Foce cosce da schiaccianoci
      in Carignano fighe di terza mano
      e a Ponticello gli mostrano l'uccello
      a Pianderlino succhia cazzi
      alla Foce cosce da schiaccianoci
      in Carignano fighe di terza mano
      e a Ponticello gli mostrano l'uccello


 duménega © 1984 Fabrizio De André/Mauro Pagani

The canvas of "Â duménega" is the historical period in Genoa from the 16th to the late 19th century when every Sunday the prostitutes would walk openly through the town. Being a port town, there was never a shortage of demand for their services, and tariffs collected from prostitutes were a significant part of the funding for the upkeep and expansion of port facilities.








When on Sunday they go out for a stroll,
new bonnet, new dress,
with the madam, the madam in the lead,
fuck what a holiday, fuck what a holiday!





And everyone behind the procession
of little Teresa and big Teresito,
everyone watching the devil’s daughters -
what a fuck of a job, what a fuck of a job.





And this swaying of thighs and boobs
causes a tumult in even the littlest ones.
"Mama, mama, give me some money,
I want to go to the brothel, I want to go to the brothel!"





And even more go into the city,
more eyes and voices follow behind.
They say what they can’t say on
Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays.





In Pianderlino she sucks cocks,
in Foce, thighs like a nutcracker,
in Carignano, third hand pussies,
and in Ponticello they show him the bird.
In Pianderlino she sucks cocks,
in Foce, thighs like a nutcracker,
in Carignano, third hand pussies,
and in Ponticello they show him the bird.





And the Port Director who sees the gold there
in those cheeks at repose from work,
to not show that he’s happy
that the new pier has financing,





he merges into the confusion
with his eyes full of indignation
and shouts to them, shouts to them from behind,
"You’re all whores and so will remain!"





And you who howls at them, following,
"You all don't even have a nose!" again,
ugly bastard of a bearer of Christ,
you aren’t the only one that noticed it,





that in the middle of those creatures
who earn their bread in the nude
there is, there is, there is, there is,
there is also your wife.





In Pianderlino she sucks cocks.
In Foce, thighs like a nutcracker.
In Carignano, third hand pussies,
and in Ponticello they show him the bird.
In Pianderlino she sucks cocks.
In Foce, thighs like a nutcracker.
In Carignano, third hand pussies,
and in Ponticello they show him the bird.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser


Creuza de mä received both critical and popular acclaim upon its release. David Byrne told Rolling Stone that Creuza de mä was one of the ten most important works of the Eighties. The album grew out of a deep collaboration between Mauro Pagani, founding member of PFM, and De André. Pagani had been studying Mediterranean musics - Balkan, Greek, Turkish - and De André suggested that they make a Mediterranean album together, partly as an act of identity and a declaration of independence from the strains of Anglo-American music that were then dominant: rock, pop and electronic music. De André once stated that "music should be a cathartic event, but today's music is only amphetamine-like, and enervating." While granting that Americans made great music that he too was influenced by, he felt there were different ways and different roots that were being smothered by the mass commercialization and success of American popular music; Creuza de mä was to be a synthesis of Mediterranean sounds, and it was indeed a stark contrast to the music of the time. De André's lyrics are in Genovese, a dialect that over the centuries absorbed many Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, French and even English words, and Pagani's music combined folk instruments (oud, shehnai, doumbek, bazouki, bağlama) with contemporary instrumentation, including Synclavier, creating what might be called an ethnic/pop masterpiece.


Art of Giordano Prudenti based on De Andrè songs
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Creuza de mä:
    D'ä mê riva - From My Shore

D'ä mæ riva
sulu u teu mandillu ciaèu
d'ä mæ riva
       Dalla mia riva
       solo il tuo fazzoletto chiaro
       dalla mia riva

'nta mæ vitta
u teu fatturisu amàu
'nta mæ vitta
       nella mia vita
       il tuo sorriso amaro
       nella mia vita

ti me perdunié u magún
ma te pensu cuntru su
e u so ben t'ammii u mä
'n pò ciû au largu du dulú
       mi perdonerai il magone
       ma ti penso contro sole
       e so bene stai guardando il mare
       un po' più al largo del dolore

e sun chi affacciòu
a 'stu bàule da mainä
e sun chi a miä
       e son qui affacciato
       a questo baule da marinaio
       e son qui a guardare

tréi camixe de vellûu
dui cuverte u mandurlin
e 'n cämà de legnu dûu
       tre camicie di velluto
       due coperte e il mandolino
       e un calamaio di legno duro

e 'nte 'na beretta neigra
a teu fotu da fantinn-a
pe puèi baxâ ancún Zena
'nscià teu bucca in naftalin-a
       e in una berretta nera
       la tua foto da ragazza
       per poter baciare ancora Genova
       sulla tua bocca in naftalina


D'ä mê riva © 1984 Fabrizio De André/Mauro Pagani

"D'ä mê riva" closes the album with a plaintive song that depicts the sailor heading back out to sea, leaving behind his loved one and his home.








From my shore,
only your bright handkerchief
from my shore.




In my life,
your bitter smile
in my life.





You'll pardon me the lump in my throat,
but I think of you against the sun,
and I know well that you’re watching the sea,
a little further out off the coast of sadness.




And I'm here looking down on
this seaman’s trunk,
and I’m here to look -




three velvet tops,
two blankets, and the mandolin
and a hardwood inkwell,





and in a black hat
your picture as a young girl,
so I can still kiss Genoa
on your mouth, in mothballs.

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser


Creuza de mä received both critical and popular acclaim upon its release. David Byrne told Rolling Stone that Creuza de mä was one of the ten most important works of the Eighties. The album grew out of a deep collaboration between Mauro Pagani, founding member of PFM, and De André. Pagani had been studying Mediterranean musics - Balkan, Greek, Turkish - and De André suggested that they make a Mediterranean album together, partly as an act of identity and a declaration of independence from the strains of Anglo-American music that were then dominant: rock, pop and electronic music. De André once stated that "music should be a cathartic event, but today's music is only amphetamine-like, and enervating." While granting that Americans made great music that he too was influenced by, he felt there were different ways and different roots that were being smothered by the mass commercialization and success of American popular music; Creuza de mä was to be a synthesis of Mediterranean sounds, and it was indeed a stark contrast to the music of the time. De André's lyrics are in Genovese, a dialect that over the centuries absorbed many Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, French and even English words, and Pagani's music combined folk instruments (oud, shehnai, doumbek, bazouki, bağlama) with contemporary instrumentation, including Synclavier, creating what might be called an ethnic/pop masterpiece.


Back to Album List         Back to Song List