Creuza de mä

Fabrizio De André & Mauro Pagani, 1984

Umbre de muri muri de mainé
dunde ne vegnì duve l’è ch’a né
da ‘n scitu duve a lûna se mustra nûa
e a neutte n’à puntou u cutellu ä gûa
e a muntä l’àse gh’é restou Diou,
u Diàu l’é in çë e u s’è gh’è faetu u nìu;
ne sciurtìmmu da u mä pe sciugà e osse da u Dria,
e a funtana di cumbi ‘nta cä de pria.

E andae, andae, anda ayo;
e andae, andae, anda ayo.

E ‘nt’a cä de pria chi ghe saià
int’à ca du Dria che u nu l’è mainà
gente de Lûgan facce da mandillä
qui che du luassu preferiscia l’ä
figge de famiggia udù de bun
che ti peu ammiàle senza u gundun.

E andae, andae, anda ayo;
e andae, andae, anda ayo.

E a ‘ste panse veue cose che daià
cose da beive, cose da mangiä
frittûa de pigneu giancu de Purtufin,
çervelle de bae ‘nt’u meximu vin
lasagne da fiddià ai quattru tucchi,
paciûgu in aegruduse de lévre de cuppi.

E andae, andae, anda ayo;
e andae, andae, anda ayo.

E ‘nt’a barca du vin ghe naveghiemu ‘nsc’i scheuggi,
emigranti du rìe cu’i cioi ‘nt’i euggi
finché u matin crescià da puéilu rechéugge
frè di ganeuffeni e dè figge.
bacan d’a corda marsa d’aegua e de sä
che a ne liga e a ne porta ‘nte ‘na creuza de mä.

E andae, andae, anda ayo;
e andae, andae, anda ayo.

Alley to the Sea

Translated by: Rachel Ballenger

Shadows of faces, faces of sailors,
where are you coming from, where are you going?
From a place where the moon stands naked
and night put a knife to our throat,
where God is still riding his donkey
while the Devil has made a nest for himself in Heaven.
We come out of the sea to dry our bones at Andrea’s,
in the stone house by the doves’ fountain.

And who will be in Andrea’s stone house,
Andrea who’s not a sailor?
Guys from Lugano, robbers’ faces,
they’d rather have the wing of the sea-bass,[1]
well-mannered girls who smell good—
you can look at them without a condom.

So, what is Andrea going to give these empty bellies?
Something to drink, something to eat,
fried fish, Portofino white wine,
lamb’s brains cooked in the same wine,
four sauce lasagna to cut in slices,
bittersweet rabbit-on-the-roof-casserole.[2]

And we will sail through the cliffs in that wine boat,
laughing emigrants with nails in our eyes,
until morning is so ripened that we can pick it up,
brother to the carnations and to the girls,
master to the rotten rope of water and salt
that binds us and carries us down to the alley to the sea.

 

[1] “Having the wing from the sea-bass” means that they are always ready to “fly away” (from the police).
[2] The sailors imply that Andrea might have served them a cat (a rabbit who walks on roofs) instead.