Parlando del naufragio della London Valour (English translation)

  • Artist: Fabrizio De André
  • Song: Parlando del naufragio della London Valour 3 translations
  • Translations: English, French, German

Speaking of the Shipwreck of the London Valour

The seamen are digesting coca leaves on deck,
the captain has a lover ‘round his neck,
just in from England.
The confectioner of Via Roma is descending the stairs,
every dozen steps he finds a hand to step on.
He has a toy whip under his tea coat.
And the radio on board is a crystal sphere,
it says the wind will becomee a wolf,
the sea will become a jackal.
The paraplegic holds in his pocket a little bird, cobalt blue.
He laughs with his eyes, at the Togni Circus,
when the acrobat fails his leap.
And the anchors lost the bet and their hold,
the seamen, seagull eggs, rained on the rocks.
The Methodist poet has rose thorns in his paws
to make peace with the acclaim, to feel more distant,
his star eclipsed
ever since he won the weightlifting contest.
And with a tongue click,
the cable parts from the bank,
steals the captain’s lover, entangling her waist.
The butcher, hands of silk,
gave himself a battle name.
He keeps, swaddled inside the refrigerator,
nine antiwar jawbones.
He has a bulletproof apron
between his newspaper and his vest.
And the confectioner and the poet
and the paraplegic and his blanket
met again on the dock,
with crossword puzzle smiles,
to nurse like a drink the captain
who shot himself in the eyes,
and by afternoon to forget him
with his pipes and his chessmen,
and they smelled secret agreements
in the innuendos and in the actions
against every kind of shipwreck or other revolutions.
And the butcher, hands of silk, handed out the munitions.
Submitted by LobolyrixLobolyrix on Thu, 09/02/2017 - 16:51
Author's comments:

The shipwreck of the London Valour was an actual event that took place in Genoa in 1970. But the focus in this song is on the people who came out to the Genoa docks to rubber neck and watch the unfolding tragedy in morbid fascination. The lyrics are somewhat obtuse, with many possible references to political events and cultural figures from Italy's Years of Lead, (the late 1960's to the early 1980's), which were marked by tremendous social upheaval and terrorism. - Dennis Criteser


Parlando del naufragio della London Valour

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