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Maria nella bottega di un falegname (English translation)

  • Artist: Fabrizio De André
  • Song: Maria nella bottega di un falegname 5 translations
  • Translations: English, Finnish, French, Polish, Russian

Mary in a Carpenter’s Workshop

[Mary]
«Carpenter, with your hammer,
why are you going like den den?
With your plane on that wood,
why are you going like fren fren?
Are you making crutches
for the people who went to war,
who came back home
from Nubia on their hands?»2
 
[Carpenter]
«My hammer is not striking,
my plane is not cutting
to fashion new legs
for people who offered them in battle;
[to fashion] three crosses instead: two for people
who deserted to steal,
the biggest one for him who
taught to desert war.»3
 
[People]
«In the sleeping temples4
of this city,
a hammer’s heart is pounding;
when will it stop?
Carpenter, on that wood,
so many blows already,
how much more are you going to slim it
with that plane?»
 
[Mary]
«The sores, the wounds
that you’re producing on the wood,
carpenter, those cuts
are just missing the blood now
in order to explain by themselves,
with their voices,
which faces will turn white
on your crosses.»
 
[Carpenter]
«These logs that they brought
so that my sweat
would transform them into the image
of three sufferings,
they will see tears on the eyelashes
of Dismas and Titus;5
the biggest one you are watching
will embrace your son.»
 
[People]
«From the street to the mountain
your den den is rising,
every valley in Jordan
is learning your fren fren;
some grieving group
is taking worried steps,6
others are waiting to be able
to make those thirsty people drink vinegar.»7
 
  • 1. The album skips from the time when Mary is pregnant to the moment when Jesus is about to be crucified. Mary enters a carpenter’s workshop where the three crosses are being prepared.
    Instead of working to build something useful, the carpenter has to build death devices.
  • 2. Nubia is a region south of Egypt.
  • 3. The carpenter is making a cross for Jesus (who was a pacifist) and two crosses for the thieves who are going to be crucified next to him.
  • 4. tempio = temple (religious building).
    tempia = temple (side of the head).
    The correct meaning is definitely the latter, referring to the people who ignore the injustice in the world (their mind is not paying attention).
  • 5. Titus and Dismas are the names of the two thieves crucified with Jesus; their names appear only in some apochryphal gospels.
  • 6. People grieving Jesus are worried that doing so will cause them trouble with the authority.
  • 7. Jesus was mocked by Roman soldiers by being made to drink vinegar when he was thirsty (since it just makes the thirst grow).
You can use my translations however you like.
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Submitted by Stefano8Stefano8 on Wed, 13/04/2016 - 20:02
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Maria nella bottega di un falegname

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