Il bombarolo (English translation)

  • Artist: Fabrizio De André
  • Song: Il bombarolo 7 translations
  • Translations: English, French, German, Greek, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

The bomberman

Those who go around saying
that I hate my job
don't know how much love
I dedicate myself to TNT with,
it's almost independent
a couple of hours more
and then I will give it a voice
the detonator.
My frail Pinocchio
handmade relative
of [explosive] devices built
on industrial scale.
It will never make me
a Knight of Merit for Labour,
I'm a different breed,
I'm a bomberman.
While walking down the stairs
I am more careful
it would be unforgivable
to execute myself at the front door
right on the day when
the decision is mine
on the penalty of death
or amnesty.
In the street many faces
don't have a nice shade
here, those who don't terrorise
get ill with terror,
there are those who wait for the rain
not to cry alone,
I disagree,
I'm a bomberman.
Today's intellectuals
Tomorrow's idiots
give me back the brains
that is enough for my hands,
very acrobatic prophets
of revolution
today I'll do it myself
without a lesson.
I'll track down your enemies
so distant for you
and after killing them
I'll be among the fugitives
but as long as I am looking for them
they are the fugitives,
I've picked a different school 1
I'm a bomberman.
Power too many times
delegated to other hands,
dropped 2 and given back to us
from your airplanes
I came to give you back
a bit of your terror
of your chaos,
of your noise.
This was what a desperate 30 years old man
thought intensely
if not completely right
almost not at all wrong,
looking for an adequate place
for his TNT,
In short, the place worthy
of a bomberman.
There are some who saw him laughing
in front of the Parliament
waiting for the explosion
that proved his talent,
there are some who saw him crying 3
a torrent of vowels
seeing a newsagent's kiosque
But what hurt him
deeply in his pride
was the image of her
that leant out of every sheet,
far from the ridiculousness
where she left him alone,
but on the first page
with the bomberman.
  • 1. I think that with that he means "I do things in a different way"
  • 2. "sganciare" means to drop something, like a bomb
  • 3. weeping
Submitted by Eduard PukkEduard Pukk on Fri, 30/10/2015 - 22:51
Added in reply to request by ϕιλομαθήςϕιλομαθής
Last edited by Eduard PukkEduard Pukk on Tue, 03/11/2015 - 09:24

Il bombarolo

ϕιλομαθήςϕιλομαθής    Sat, 31/10/2015 - 14:02

Hello my friend, Regular smile I hope you don't mind a couple of questions and suggestions.
Would it be incorrect, politically or otherwise, to translate the title "The Terrorist Bomber"?
"d'un'altra razza" may be better translated as "I 'm a different breed", because "race" is very literal: black, white... "Breed" implies variety, stock, strain; type, kind, sort...
"on the penalty of death"
Thanks again Regular smile

Eduard PukkEduard Pukk    Tue, 03/11/2015 - 09:17

I wondered the same thing about the title, but then I realised that it wouldn't be the exact translation. A "Bombarolo" is a vague colloquial word for someone who places bombs, regardless whether it is for duty, craziness or ideology, while "Terrorist Bomber" is... too exact as a word? I can't explain that. Maybe I'm reading too much into the song or I'm simply unfamiliar with '70s common language, but it seems to me that "Bombarolo" has a more informal and ambiguous shade. Sure, in the song it's implied that the bomberman is a terrorist (let's remember that this song has been made during the famous "Years of Lead") and sets bomb to fight the power, but I think that "Terrorist Bomber" would be a bit of a spoiler on why the protagonist is a bomber and would lose its "informality" Regular smile I'm not 100% sure that "bomberman" would be the right word to translate that, but that's the only word that I found online Confused smile

Oh! Thanks, I'll correct the translation!

ϕιλομαθήςϕιλομαθής    Tue, 03/11/2015 - 11:36

Thanks for another good translation Regular smile Regardless of what you call him, you captured Il bombarolo's creepiness well.
My friend who wrote the Spanish translation of this song left "bombarolo" untranslated in the song itself and used the title "One who sets bombs". She called it a "Neologism", and I guess it is. Wink smile
Thanks again.