Un uomo onesto, un uomo probo,
d'una che non lo amava niente.
Gli disse portami domani,
gli disse portami domani
il cuore di tua madre per i miei cani.
Lui dalla madre andò e l'uccise,
dal petto il cuore le strappò
e dal suo amore ritornò.
Non era il cuore, non era il cuore,
non le bastava quell'orrore,
voleva un'altra prova del suo cieco amore.
Gli disse amor se mi vuoi bene,
gli disse amor se mi vuoi bene,
tagliati dei polsi le quattro vene.
Le vene ai polsi lui si tagliò,
e come il sangue ne sgorgò,
correndo come un pazzo da lei tornò.
Gli disse lei ridendo forte,
gli disse lei ridendo forte,
l'ultima tua prova sarà la morte.
E mentre il sangue lento usciva,
e ormai cambiava il suo colore,
la vanità fredda gioiva,
un uomo s'era ucciso per il suo amore.
Fuori soffiava dolce il vento,
ma lei fu presa da sgomento,
quando lo vide morir contento.
Morir contento e innamorato,
quando a lei niente era restato,
non il suo amore, non il suo bene,
ma solo il sangue secco delle sue vene.
La ballata dell'amore cieco (o della vanità) © 1966 Fabrizio De André
"La ballata dell'amore cieco (o della vanità)" was the B-side of the next to last 45 released on the Karim label. The lyrics of this song are closely related to a French poem "La Chanson de Marie-des-Anges" by Jean Richepin. De André's father had studied French literature at university, and in the years following WWII De André grew up surrounded with books and music. One of his attractions was to the dark sensibilities of Baudelaire. The macabre lyrics of this song coupled with the lively music (Dixieland interludes!) show the influence also of George Brassens.
An honest man, a man of probity
Fell deeply in love
With a woman who loved him not at all.
She told him bring me, tomorrow
She told him bring me tomorrow
The heart of your mother for my dogs.
He went to his mother’s house and killed her,
From her chest he tore out her heart
And to his love he returned.
It wasn’t the heart, it wasn’t the heart
It wasn’t enough for her, that horror,
She wanted another proof of his blind love.
She said darling, if you love me
She said darling, if you love me
Cut the four veins of your wrist.
He cut the veins in his wrist
And as the blood gushed out,
Running like a madman he returned to her.
She said to him, laughing hard
She said to him, laughing loud
Your final proof will be death.
And while his blood slowly drained out
And then his color changed,
The cold vanity rejoiced,
A man had been killed for his love.
Outside, the wind blew gently
But she fell into a state of consternation
When she saw him dying, contented.
Dying content and in love,
When for her nothing remained,
Not his love, not his well-being,
Just the dried blood of his veins.
English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser
Canzoni, released in 1974, was a "filler" album, like Volume III, desired by De André's label. The only three previously unreleased songs here are covers of Dylan's "Desolation Row" and of two songs by Georges Brassens. Also included are two covers of Leonard Cohen songs.
Fabrizio De André, the revered Italian singer/songwriter, created a deep and enduring body of work over the course of his career from the 1960s through the 1990s. With these translations I have tried to render his words into an English that reads naturally without straying too far from the Italian. The translations decipher De André's lyrics without trying to preserve rhyme schemes or to make the resulting English lyric work with the melody of the song.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
La ballata dell'amore cieco (o della vanità)
The Ballad of Blind Love (or of Vanity)
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