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Fabrizio de André

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Un giudice

A Judge

 

Un giudice

Cosa vuol dire avere
un metro e mezzo di statura,
ve lo rivelan gli occhi
e le battute della gente,
o la curiosità
di una ragazza irriverente
che si avvicina solo
per un suo dubbio impertinente:
vuole scoprir se è vero
quanto si dice intorno ai nani,
che siano i più forniti
della virtù meno apparente,
fra tutte le virtù
la più indecente.

Passano gli anni, i mesi,
e se li conti anche i minuti,
è triste trovarsi adulti
senza essere cresciuti;
la maldicenza insiste,
batte la lingua sul tamburo
fino a dire che un nano
è una carogna di sicuro
perché ha il cuore troppo,
troppo vicino al buco del culo.

Fu nelle notti insonni
vegliate al lume del rancore
che preparai gli esami.
diventai procuratore
per imboccar la strada
che dalle panche d’una cattedrale
porta alla sacrestia
quindi alla cattedra d’un tribunale,
giudice finalmente,
arbitro in terra del bene e del male.

E allora la mia statura
non dispensò più il buonumore
a chi alla sbarra in piedi
mi diceva "Vostro Onore",
e di affidarli al boia
fu un piacere del tutto mio,
prima di genuflettermi
nell’ora dell’addio
non conoscendo affatto
la statura di Dio.

 

A Judge

What does it mean to have
five feet in stature,
I'll proving to the eyes
and the lines of people,
or the curiosity
of an irreverent girl
that only brings you closer
for her impertinent question:
she wants to know if it is true
what they say around the dwarves,
which are best provided
of the virtue, the less apparent,
among all the virtues
the most indecent.

The years go by, the months,
and if you count the minutes too,
it is sad to be adults
without being grownup;
backbiting insists,
the tongue beats on the drum
far as to say that a dwarf
is a bitch for sure
because his heart is too
too close to the asshole.

It was in the sleepless nights
vigilant to the lumen of resentment
that I prepared for exams.
I became Attorney
to take the road
that from the benches of a cathedral
brings to the sacristy
then to the chair of a court
Judge finally,
arbitrator on the ground of good and evil.

And then my height
did not dispens any more humor
to those standing at the bar
they said to me, "Your Honor,"
and to entrust them to the Executioner
it was a pleasure of my own,
before genuflecting myself
at the hour of farewell
not knowing at all
the stature of God
.


Umbre de muri - Omaggio a Fabrizio De Andre' - Un giudice

Spoon River Anthology (1915) - Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950).

Translation into Italian by Fernanda Pivano

Judge Selah Lively

Suppose you just stood five feet two,
And had worked your way as a grocery clerk,
Studying law by candle light
Until you became an attorney at law?
And then suppose through your diligence
And regular church attendance,
You became attorney for Thomas Rhodes,
Collecting notes and mortgages,
And representing all the widows
In the Probate Court? And through it all
They jeered at your size, and laughed at your clothes
And your polished boots? And then suppose
You became the County Judge?
And Jefferson Howard and Kinsey Keene,
And Harmon Whitney, and all the giants
Who had sneered at you, were forced to stand
Before the bar and say "Your Honor"--
Well, don't you think it was natural
That I made it hard for them?

Il Giudice Selah Lively

Immaginate di essere alto cinque piedi e due pollici
e di aver cominciato come garzone droghiere
finché, studiando legge di notte,
siete riuscito a diventar procuratore.
E immaginate che, a forza di zelo
e di frequenza in chiesa,
siate diventato l'uomo di Thomas Rhodes,
quello che raccoglieva obbligazioni ed ipoteche,
e rappresentava le vedove
davanti alla corte. E che nessuno smettesse
di burlarsi della vostra statura,
e deridervi per gli abiti e gli stivali lucidi.
Infine voi diventate il Giudice.
Ora Jefferson Howard e Kinsey Keene
e Harmon Whitney e tutti i pezzi grossi
che vi avevano schernito sono costretti a stare in piedi
davanti alla sbarra e pronunciare "Vostro Onore".
Be', non vi par naturale
che gliel'abbia fatta pagare?

translation by: Enrico Massetti

Non al denaro non all'amore né al cielo (Not to Money, Not to Love, Nor to Heaven) is an album released by Fabrizio De André. It was issued in 1971. It is a concept album based on the Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. The co-author of the music is composer Nicola Piovani, who later won an Academy award for his soundtrack for Roberto Benigni's Life is beautiful. The title itself is a citation from the first poem in the Spoon River Anthology, The Hill:

Drinking, rioting, thinking neither of wife nor kin,
Nor gold, nor love, nor heaven?

To explain the meaning of the lyrics of a song by Fabrizio de Andrè always puts in awe, for the high level of the author, but, also, because often the songs of the Genoese genius don't have it. One thing is certain, they never have a moral !

With the song " a judge " the author once again, digs into the soul of the people, describes the deepest feelings and places them within society. Let's see : while the dwarf in question is not necessarily a dwarf in terms of stature. It is simply a hapless, one of the many unfortunate that as a child is teased and mocked by all. It could also be a fat man, a pimply, a poor shabby or simply a bad or a stutterer. One of those poor people who have all had as a classmate.

 The subject in question, however, converts anger into force, a force that allows him to study and to work continuously, day and night, to become somebody. And then at the end someone he becomes, and then, hw uses the power that was given to have a blind vengeance on all mankind. Enjoys seeing the " nice people" that made fun of him calling him " your honor," revels in the know to be the most important person after God, in sending to the Executioner the one who has the unfortunate happened to him to end up in his hands. No moral of this text. It is so simple and straightforward that leaves no room for interpretation even. Instinct to the bad guy is the judge, but they could also be the ones that led to so much hate ?

Now as I look around "dwarf judges" I see so many. I see so many people frustrated and I see so many people in positions of power in the way they do have clear manifestations of anger and hatred toward everything and everyone. I do not want here and I implore readers not to, to refer to " popular " characters, who often we have the displeasure of seeing on television. Of course, looking at their physical appearance, it is not hard to imagine that before becoming important even they were not victims of pranks and mischief of others.

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