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.

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