venerdì 29 ottobre 2010

Le nuvole ~ The clouds

"The clouds" is the intro of the homonymous music album (Ricordi-Fonit Cetra, 1990) written and performed by Fabrizio De André (1940-1990).

Italian lyrics:

Vanno, vengono
ogni tanto si fermano
e quando si fermano
sono nere come il corvo
sembra che ti guardano con malocchio

Certe volte sono bianche
e corrono
e prendono la forma dell'airone
o della pecora
o di qualche altra bestia
ma questo lo vedono meglio i bambini
che giocano a corrergli dietro per tanti metri

Certe volte ti avvisano con rumore
prima di arrivare
e la terra si trema
e gli animali si stanno zitti
certe volte ti avvisano con rumore

Vanno, vengono
e magari si fermano tanti giorni
che non vedi più il sole e le stelle
e ti sembra di non conoscere più
il posto dove stai

Vanno, vengono
per una vera
mille sono finte
e si mettono li tra noi e il cielo
per lasciarci soltanto una voglia di pioggia.

English translation:

They go, they come
sometimes they stop
and when they stop
they're black like the crow
it seems they're putting a jinx on you

Sometimes they are white
and run
and take the shape of the heron
or the sheep
or some other beast
but this is better noticed by children
who play at running after them for a lot of metres

Sometimes they warn you with noise
before they come
and the land trembles
and the animals stay in silence
sometimes they warn you with noise

They go, they come
the come back
and maybe they stay so much days
that you don't see the sun and the stars anymore
and it seems you don't ever know
where you are

They go, they come
for a real one
there're thousand fakes
and they stay there, between us and the sky
letting us only a desire of rain


The lyrics were written by De André, but they're performed by two women, a old one and a young one:

« I choosed Lalla Pisano and Maria Mereu because i thought their voices could well represent the "Mother Earth", which always watches the clouds running in the sky, and waits for the rain. It's explicit that "they stay there, between us and the sky": we are forced to look up to see them, but at the same time, bcause of them, we can't see something different or higher place    above them. So the clouds become something that makes decisionswithout consulting us, and we must obey but, even if they influence the life of all of us, actually they're made of nothing, they only are appearance going above us with indifference and carelessness, because we're whishing the rain... »
(Fabrizio De André, interviewed by Matteo Borsani and Luca Maciacchini)

The song takes inspiration from Νεφέλαι (Nephélai), a comedy written by the greek Aristophanes in 421~418 B.C.

« The "clouds", for the aristocratic Aristophanes, were those bad advisors that teach to the youngs how to contest; in particular, Aristophanes had it with sophists that teach to the new generations a new type of mental and behavioural innovative and provoking attitude with the conservative government of Athens in those days. The more dangerous "cloud" was Socrates, that Aristophanes unbelievably considered a sophist too.
But aside this, and aside the fact that aristophanes was an artist and so he was unconsciously a big innovator too, my "clouds" otherwise are those intrusive and looming people in our social, political and economical life; they are all the people afraid of the new, because tha new could subvert their social status.

The lower classes are affected by the "clouds", without any evident sign of protest. »
(Fabrizio De André, interview, 1990)

So Fabrizio De André represents with the "clouds" everything (and everyone) that is obstructing our freedom, especially the freedom of the weak people not able to protest and defend themselves.

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