Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Essential De André

Search by album or by song title.

This site will help English speakers understand the work of a great singer/songwriter, Fabrizio De André. Much of the supplementary information about songs and albums comes from an Italian book by Walter Pistarini - The Book of the World: Fabrizio De André, the Stories Behind the Songs, which helped me greatly to understand many of the lyrics.

For starters, here are two clips from a fantastic concert in Rome at Teatro Brancaccio in 1998, near the end of De André's career.

The songs you can listen to on this playlist come from De André's final three albums.

Here are some of De André's most popular songs, a short list of "essential Fabrizio De André" as a starting point for exploring his work.

From the early years (1964-1967)

La canzone di Marinella
Amore che vieni, amore che vai
La canzone dell'amore perduto
Via del Campo
Bocca di rosa

From the middle years (1970-1978)

Il pescatore
Il testamento di Tito
La cattiva strada
Amico fragile
Andrea
Volta la carta

From the later years (1981-1996)

Fiume Sand Creek
Creuza de mä
Don Raffaè
La domenica delle salme
Dolcenera


These songs (starting at 2:55) come from the album La Buona Novella (The Good Book), released in 1970.


Fabrizio De André wrote songs about love, war, social affairs, politics, current and historical events, Jesus, people who lived on the margins of society, rebels, and death. He had strong connections to the earth and nature, to common people, and to philosophical ideas ranging from pacifism to anarchism to the power of love. He took inspiration from literature (medieval to contemporary), from news clippings, and from the struggles in his own life. His strongest early influence was French songwriter Georges Brassens, and he collaborated with many Italian songwriter/composers throughout his career. De André's lyrics consistently attain the stature of poetry with the unique stamp of his own inner voice, his vision so attuned to the fleeting beauties and the horrors of the human condition and to the feelings and failings of the people he portrays, himself included.

Fabrizio De André - 1940-1999
There are still parts of various translations that need improvement. I welcome comment from anyone who has insight into Italian meanings not rendered well.