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Lyr Add: La Locomotiva / The Locomotive (Italian)

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Ezio, Italy 23 Dec 97 - 09:37 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: LA LOCOMOTIVA / THE LOCOMOTIVE
From: Ezio, Italy
Date: 23 Dec 97 - 09:37 AM

THE LOCOMOTIVE (by Francesco Guccini)

Probably this cannot be considered a "folk" song in the proper sense of the term; nevertheless is a poetic song about ideas of some folks at the beginning of the century. I've heard this song sung by the author, Francesco Guccini. Recently this song has been recorded also by "Modena City Ramblers", an Italian folk/rock group influenced by Irish music. Like other folk song, this one has a strong historical and political contents, sorry if you don't agree with it.

----------
My translation is awful (although it took me a lot of time). It's a task too hard for my English! I hope at least that the sense is clear. Also I'll be grateful if someone could post a better translation.

(Personal message for my friend Wolfgang: read this lyric, probably you will like it!).

Ezio, Italy


LA LOCOMOTIVA - THE LOCOMOTIVE
(Words and music by Francesco Guccini)

Non so che viso avesse, neppure come si chiamava - I do not know his face or his name
Con che voce parlasse, con quale voce poi cantava - I do not know his voice when he was speaking or singing
Quanti anni avesse visto allora - I do not know his age at that time
Di che color i suoi capelli - Or the color of his hair
Ma nella fantasia ho l'immagine sua - But in my fantasy I keep his image
Gli eroi son tutti giovani e belli - All the heroes are young and fair

Conosco invece all'epoca dei fatti qual'era il suo mestiere - I know instead his job ad the time of these events
I primi anni del secolo, macchinista ferroviere - The first years of the century, machinist railroader
I tempi in cui si cominciava - The days when it was beginning
La guerra santa dei pezzenti - The holy war of the ragamuffins
Sembrava il treno anch'esso un mito di progresso - The train was (considered) like a myth of progress
Lanciato sopra ai continenti - Thrown over the continents

E la locomotiva sembrava fosse un mostro strano - And the locomotive was like a strange monster
Che l'uomo dominava con il pensiero e con la mano - That man was dominating by the mind and by the hand
Ruggendo si lasciava indietro - (The locomotive) roaring was leaving behind
Distanze che sembravano infinite - Distances which seemed infinite
Sembrava avesse dentro un potere tremendo - It seemed she had inside a terrible power
La stessa forza della dinamite - The same force of the dynamite

Ma un'altra grande forza spiegava allora le sue ali - But another great force was unfolding its wings at that time
Parole che dicevano "gli uomini sono tutti eguali" - Words saying "all the men are equal"
E contro ai re e ai tiranni - And against kings and tyrants
Scoppiava nella via - Was bursting in the roads
La bomba proletaria, e illuminava l'aria - The proletarian bomb, and it was lighting the air
La fiaccola dell'anarchia - The torch of anarchy

Un treno tutti i giorni passava per la sua stazione - Every day a train used to pass through his station
Un treno di lusso, lontana destinazione - A luxury train, far destination
Vedeva gente riverita - He saw revered people
Pensava a quei velluti e agli ori - He was thinking of velvets and gold
Pensava al magro giorno della sua gente attorno - He was thinking of the poor day of the people around
Pensava ad un treno pieno di signori - He was thinking of a train filled with rich people

Non so che cosa accadde, perche' prese la decisione - I do not know what happened, why he took a decision
Forse una rabbia antica, generazioni senza nome - Perhaps an ancient rage and nameless generation
Che urlarono vendetta - Who cried out for vengeance
Gli accecarono il cuore - Made his heart blind
Dimentico' pietà, scordo' la sua bonta' - He forgot the pity, he forgot his goodness
La bomba sua la macchina a vapore - His bomb was the steam machine

E un giorno come gli altri, ma forse con piu' rabbia in corpo - And a day like other, only with more rage inside,
Penso' che aveva il modo di riparare a qualche torto - He thought he had the chance to punish some wrongs
Sali' sul mostro che dormiva - He got on the sleeping monster
Cerco' di mandar via la sua paura - He tried to drive away his fear
E prima di pensare a quel che stava a fare - And before thinking of what he was going to do
Il mostro divorava la pianura - The monster ran along the plain

Correva l'altro treno, ignaro e quasi senza fretta - The other train was running unaware and almost with no haste
Nessuno immaginava di andare verso la vendetta - No one could imagine going towards revenge
Ma alla stazione di Bologna - But in Bologna's station
Arrivo' la notizia in un baleno - The news came quickly
"Notizia d'emergenza, agite con urgenza - "Emergency - hurry up
Un pazzo si è lanciato contro il treno" - A fool is running toward the train"

Ma intanto corre corre la locomotiva - Meanwhile the locomotive runs
E sibila il vapore e sembra quasi cosa viva - And the steam whistles as something live.
E sembra dire ai contadini curvi - (The whistle) seems to say to the peasants bent (at work)
Il fischio che si spande in aria - The whistle that's filling the air
"Fratello non temere, che corro al mio dovere - "Brother don't fear, I'm rushing to my duty
Trionfi la giustizia proletaria" - Shall the proletarian justice triumph

E intanto corre corre corre sempre piu' forte - Meanwhile (he) runs faster and faster
E corre corre corre verso la morte - And runs, runs, runs toward the death
E niente ormai può trattenere - Now nothing can hold anymore
L'immensa forza distruttrice - The immense destructive force
Aspetta sol lo schianto e poi che giunga il manto - He's waiting only for the crash and then for the blanket
Della grande consolatrice - Of the Great Comforter

La storia ci racconta come fini' la corsa - The story tells how the run ended
La macchina deviata lungo una linea morta - The machine detoured on a dead-railway
Con l'ultimo suo grido d'animale - With her last cry, like an animal,
La macchina erutto' lapilli e lava - The machine threw out lapilli and lava
Esplose contro il cielo, poi il fumo sparse il velo - The she exploded against the sky, the smoke drew the veil
Lo raccolsero che ancora respirava - They found him still breathing

Ma a noi piace pensarlo ancora dietro al motore - But we like think that he's still behind the engine
Mentre fa correr via la macchina a vapore - While the steam-machine runs
E che ci giunga un giorno - Can one day come
Ancora la notizia - The news
Di una locomotiva come una cosa viva - Of a locomotive as something live
Lanciata a bomba contro l'ingiustizia - Thrown like a bomb against injustice


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