SIMON J. EVNINE

 

Fabrizio de Andrè

Fabrizio de Andrè (1940-99) is often described as an Italian Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen. I have tried here to produce translations of a few of his songs that are both fairly literal and at the same time singable. If anyone is inclined actually to use them in performance, that would be fine. I would, however, greatly appreciate learning about it.

 

Index of Songs

Country Crime

Flowers of evil aren't just found
in the big cities and towns.
Of everyday murders there are a few
here in the country too.

Though all his hair had turned to gray,
his heart was still young and gay.
And once again it started to race
for a young pretty face.

But his desire proved too strong.
He didn't last for long.
And so he spent his last youthfulness
with just a kiss and a caress.

When she held out her hand for pay
sadly he had to say,
that he was down on his luck and now poor.
She got her clothes from the floor.

And she made off in double time
to round up her partner in crime;
and they returned, the pimp and his bawd,
to the old stingy fraud.

Six times she stabbed him with her knife,
while her friend held him tight.
She stuck her tongue out at him, so they say,
as he was passing away.

Though they turned everything upside down,
nothing of worth they found,
just unpaid bills of various sorts
and some old legal reports.

Then regret took them by surprise,
recalling the old man's cries,
and by the corpse they fell on their knees,
saying "forgive us, please."

When the police at last appeared,
they found them both in tears.
Sorry they were, for having given
the old man a trip to heaven.

And it's said that they flew among
the blessèd, once they were hung.
A few pious types were sorely incensed
over this turn of events.

Flowers of evil aren't just found
in the big cities and towns.
Of everyday murders, there are a few
here in the country too.

 

Picture of Fabrizio de Andre

Delitto di paese

Non tutti nella capitale
sbocciano i fiori del male,
qualche assassinio senza pretese
lo abbiamo anche noi in paese.

Aveva il capo tutto bianco
ma il cuore non ancor stanco
gli ritornò a battere in fretta
per una giovinetta.

Ma la sua voglia troppo viva
subito gli esauriva,
in quattro baci e una carezza
l'ultima giovinezza.

Quando la mano lei gli tese
triste lui le rispose,
d'essere povero in bolletta
lei si rivestì in fretta.

E andò a cercare il suo compagno
partecipe del guadagno
e ritornò col protettore
dal vecchio truffatore.

Mentre lui fermo lo teneva
sei volte lo accoltellava
dicon che quando lui spirò
la lingua lei gli mostrò.

Misero tutto sotto sopra
senza trovare un soldo
ma solo un mucchio di cambiali
e di atti giudiziari.

Allora presi dallo sconforto
e dal rimpianto del morto,
si inginocchiaron sul poveruomo
chiedendogli perdono.

Quando i gendarmi sono entrati
piangenti li han trovati
fu qualche lacrima sul viso
a dargli il paradiso.

E quando furono impiccati
volarono fra i beati
qualche beghino di questo fatto
fu poco soddisfatto.

Non tutti nella capitale
sbocciano i fiori del male,
qualche assassinio senza pretese
lo abbiamo anche noi in paese.

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