Monday, October 6, 2014

Creuza de mä:

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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