La guerra di Piero (English translation)

Piero's War

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You sleep buried in a wheat field
it's not the rose nor the tulip
that keeps vigil in the shadows of the trenches
but there are thousands of red poppies
 
"Along the banks of my creek
I want to see run silvery fish
not the corpses of the soldiers
carried along with the flow"
 
And so you said and it was winter
and, like the others, toward hell
you marched sadly like those that must
the wind spits snow in your face
 
Stop Piero, stop now;
let the wind blow over you
of the battle dead you carry the voice:
Those who gave their lives, got back a Medal
 
But you didn't hear it and time was short
in lockstep with the seasons
and you eventually crossed the border
on a bright spring day
 
And while you were marching with your soul on your shoulders
you saw another man, way down in the valley
that was in the your same identical mood
but with a uniform of a different color
 
Shot him Piero, shoot him now
and after you shoot him, shot him again
until you see him fall bloodless
drop to the ground on his own blood
 
"If I shoot him in the face or in the heart
he'll only have enough time to die
but I'll have plenty of time to look
into the eyes of a dying man"
 
And while you are giving him this courtesy
the other one turns, sees you and he is scared
and pointing his weapon
doesn't return you the favor
 
You fell to the earth without a sound
but you realized in the blink of an eye
that not enough time was left
to ask forgiveness for every sin
 
You fell to the earth without a sound
but you realized in an instant
that your life was ending that day
and that there would't be second chances
 
"My Ninetta, to die in May,
it takes way too much courage
Ninetta dear, going straight to hell
would have been easier deep in wintertime
 
And while the wheat field listened to you
in your hands you carried your rifle
in your mouth you carried a few words
words too cold to melt in the sun
 
You sleep buried in a wheat field
it's not the rose nor the tulip
that keeps your vigil in the shadows of the trenches
but there are thousands of red poppies
 
Submitted by cconticconti on Thu, 17/12/2015 - 08:49
Author's comments:

This is not an easy song to translate. The italian words have many hidden meanings and raise emotions that are simply absent in English (or above my meager talents).I have tried to do my best and while I think my effort is better than the current translations (I have at least broke up the text in quatrains) it is not nearly as beautiful and poetic as the original. Not by a long shot. I hope you appreciate and enjoy the effort.

ItalianItalian

La guerra di Piero

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