Fabrizio de Andrè

Fabrizio de Andrè, the great Italian singer-songwriter, died ten years ago today. He wrote and sang many great pieces, some of which I can understand! Here is one of my humorous favourites, Bocca di Rosa (Rose Mouth) along with an English translation. I hope you take the time to enjoy it. 🙂

Her name was Bocca di Rosa

and she thought that nothing, she thought that nothing,

Her name was Bocca di Rosa

and she thought that nothing was better than love.


When her train pulled into Sant’Ilario

by the time she had stepped to the ground,

the welcoming crowd, at a glance, saw it wasn’t

the Church that had sent her to town.


There are some who make love for a living,

others have nothing better to do.

Bocca di Rosa, she wasn’t like either:

love was her passion through and through.


But a life in the service of passion

often will lead you from bed to bed

without first finding out of your lover

whether his heart’s free or whether he’s wed.


And so, from one day to another,

Bocca di Rosa found herself prey

to the menacing wrath of those bitches

whose bones she had taken away.


But a village’s meddling gossips

great initiative hardly display,

so up to this point their revenge had been merely

to hurl a few insults her way.


Now you know how folks like to advise you –

in words Jesus himself might have said –

you know how folks like to advise you

once they’re too old to paint the town red.


Thus an elderly unmarried woman,

whose heart now within her was ice,

felt required to offer these villagers

the benefit of her advice.


And approaching the cuckolded wives,

she addressed them in words shrewd and wise:

“We can bring the love thief to her knees

if we call on the proper authorities.”


So they went to speak to the Police Chief,

and letting all niceties drop,

said “this baggage has too many customers

– even more than the local co-op.”


So the Chief sent around four Gendarmes,

wearing their plumes, wearing their plumes,

and the Chief sent around four Gendarmes,

wearing their plumes and their firearms.


Now your average cop’s never too happy

to show up for work; but he’s vain;

so dressed in their finest regalia

they put Bocca on the first train.


All the villagers came to the station,

from Police Chief to Sacrestan,

all the villagers came to the station,

with red eyes and hats in hand,


to say farewell to one who, though briefly,

with nothing to hide, with nothing to hide,

to say farewell to one who, though briefly,

had brought love to the countryside.


There was a yellow banner

and on it, written in blue

it said, “Goodbye Bocca di Rosa. When you leave us,

Spring takes its leave of us too.”


News of such strange goings on didn’t need

to be published in print to get round;

and in no more than just a few minutes they’d heard

all the details in the next town.


So though many had bid her farewell when she left,

there were even more at the next station,

throwing kisses and flowers at Bocca di Rosa

and trying to make reservations.


Even the parish priest who enjoyed,

between saying Mass and Confession,

the ephemeral pleasures of beauty, decided
he wanted her in his procession.


So in front of them all went the Virgin

and Bocca di Rosa followed in train,

and the priest took the two of them out for a walk

love sacred and love profane.

A singable translation by Simon Evnine, www.as.miami.edu

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: