Il fannullone (English translation)

  • Artist: Fabrizio De André
  • Song: Il fannullone 5 translations
  • Translations: English #1, #2, French, Italian (Southern Italian dialects), Polish

The Loafer

Versions: #1#2
Without the presumption of overdoing it,
I sleep fourteen hours a day;
that’s part of why, in my neighborhood,
I have the reputation of being a loafer.
But respectable people shouldn’t be indignant
if I can’t do anything in my life.
You wander on the streets almost all night long,
dreaming a thousand fairy tales of glory and revenge;
you tell your stories to a few, tired men
who laugh staring at you with an empty, blank look.
You play a role that’s inconvenient to people,
turning life into a funny comedy.
I even tried to work:
I got down to it sparing no efforts,
but the only result of the experiment
was a dramatic increase in my hunger.
Well-to-do people shouldn’t resent it
if I do not comply to bearing chains.
They gave you a job in a big restaurant,
washing the leftovers of elegant people,
but you used to say ‟the sky is my only fortune”
and the dish water doesn’t reflect the moon.
You went back to singing stories along the streets, by night,
defying the good mood of your broken shoes.
After all, I’m not such an evil dog,
without morality, a beggar and a stray animal,
that contents itself with a small bone1
throw at it with tender disdain.
The loafer’s heart does beat;
the stray dog found his love.
You thought about marriage as a spin on the dance floor,
you loved your woman like a vacation day,
you took your house as a refuge for your slackness,
as a coat rack where to hang your jacket.
And your sweet bride consoled her sorrow
looking among people for someone who offered her some tenderness.
She has gone making no sound,
maybe singing a love song,
she was telling it to a tired world
that was walking distractedly by her side.
She’ll come back on a summer night,
the enchanted stars will clap for her.
From above, the streetlamps will brighten
the strange dance of two loafers;
the moon will be a silvery color
over the backs of cats in love.
  • 1. X bucato {holey X} refers to something of no value at all (like soldo bucato = holey coin).
You can use my translations however you like.
“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.” ― Dalai Lama XIV
Submitted by Stefano8Stefano8 on Mon, 26/09/2016 - 19:17
Author's comments:

Il fannullone