Friday, August 8, 2014


Teresa ha gli occhi secchi
guarda verso il mare
per lei figlia di pirati
penso che sia normale
Teresa parla poco
ha labbra screpolate
mi indica un amore perso
a Rimini d'estate.

Lei dice bruciato in piazza
dalla santa inquisizione
forse perduto a Cuba
nella rivoluzione
o nel porto di New York
nella caccia alle streghe
oppure in nessun posto
ma nessuno le crede.

Coro: Rimini, Rimini

E Colombo la chiama
dalla sua portantina
lei gli toglie le manette ai polsi
gli rimbocca le lenzuola
"Per un triste Re Cattolico - le dice -
ho inventato un regno
e lui lo ha macellato
su una croce di legno.

E due errori ho commesso
due errori di saggezza
abortire l'America
e poi guardarla con dolcezza
ma voi che siete uomini
sotto il vento e le vele
non regalate terre promesse
a chi non le mantiene ".

Coro: Rimini, Rimini

Ora Teresa è all'Harrys' Bar
guarda verso il mare
per lei figlia di droghieri
penso che sia normale
porta una lametta al collo
è vecchia di cent'anni
di lei ho saputo poco
ma sembra non inganni.

"E un errore ho commesso - dice -
un errore di saggezza
abortire il figlio del bagnino
e poi guardarlo con dolcezza
ma voi che siete a Rimini
tra i gelati e le bandiere
non fate più scommesse
sulla figlia del droghiere".

Coro: Rimini, Rimini

Rimini © 1978 Fabrizio De André/Massimo Bubola

Rimini is a famous Italian seaside resort and tourist destination, and De André said it was the emblem of the album: a place where during summer one casts off one's everyday experience and for a period of time enters into a mirage of consumerism and of feeling well-off, a place where the lower middle class can emulate the upper middle class and feel like somebody. In the song "Rimini," an old woman (speaking to the singer at Harry's Bar in Venice) recounts a dream-like past where she was constrained as a young girl in Rimini to have an abortion against her will. She spins tales of how her lover might have died and of her meeting with Christopher Columbus. A parallel is drawn between the destruction and subjugation of the New World under a Catholic king and the persecution of the young Teresa for her love affair under the hard rules of propriety in Catholic Italian lower middle class society.

Teresa has dry eyes,
she looks out to sea.
For her, daughter of pirates,
I think it’s normal.
Teresa speaks little,
has chapped lips,
she indicates to me a lost love
in Rimini, in the summer.

She says he was burned in the plaza
by the Holy Inquisition,
maybe lost in Cuba
in the revolution,
or in the Port of New York
in the witch hunt,
or in no place at all,
but no one believes her.

Chorus: Rimini, Rimini

And Columbus calls her
from his stretcher.
She removes the handcuffs from his wrists,
folds back his sheets.
“For a sad Catholic King,” he tells her,
“I invented a kingdom,
and he butchered it
on a wooden cross.

“And two errors I made,
two errors of wisdom:
aborting America
and then looking at her kindly.
But you who are men
under the wind and the sails,
don’t give away promised lands
to those who won't maintain them.”

Chorus: Rimini, Rimini

Now Teresa is at Harry’s Bar,
she looks out to the sea.
For her, daughter of drygrocers,
I think it’s normal.
She carries a razorblade hung from her neck,
she’s an old woman of a hundred years.
I knew little about her,
but it seems like she's not foolin'.

“And I committed an error,” she says,
“an error of wisdom:
aborting the son of the lifeguard
and then looking at him with tenderness.
But you who are in Rimini
amid gelatos and flags,
don’t place more bets
on the drygrocer's daughter.”

Chorus: Rimini, Rimini

English translation © 2014 Dennis Criteser

Rimini grew out of De André's disappointments with the political events of the previous couple of years. In close collaboration with Massimo Bubola, a young 24-year-old who had just released his first album, De André explored several social and political themes, including abortion, homosexuality, and how the petite bourgeoisie attempted to move into the ranks of the powerful and rise above the political and social turmoil of the times. The music has more influence from American rock and pop music than previous albums, and includes his first forays into ethnic music, which will eventually come to full fruition in his masterpiece album Crêuza de mä.

Rimini in summertime
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