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Un chimico (English translation)

  • Artist: Fabrizio De André
  • Song: Un chimico 4 translations
  • Translations: English #1, #2, #3, French

A Chemist

Versions: #1#2#3
Only death could bring me on the hill,
a body among many, giving phosphorus to the air
for campfires of so-called will-o-the-wisp’s,
which don’t leave ashes, don’t melt the frost.
Only death could bring me on the hill.
 
Once, as a chemist, I had the power
to marry the elements and make them react,
but I could never get to understand humans,
why they combined through love,
entrusting their joy and sorrow to a game.
 
Look at the smile, look at the color,
at how they play on the face of people looking for love.
But the same smile, the same color,
where are they on the face of people who found love?
Where are they on the face of people who found love?
 
It’s strange to go away without suffering,
without a woman’s face to remember.
But is your dying different in any way,
you who reach out for love, who surrender to April?
What’s different in your dying?
 
Spring doesn’t knock, she enters with self-confidence,
like smoke, she penetrates every crack,
she has lips of flesh, hair of wheat;
you’re so thrilled, you want her to take your hand so much.
You’re so thrilled, you want her to take you far away so much.
 
But look at hydrogen keeping silent in the sea,
look at oxygen sleeping by his side:
just a law that I can understand
was able to marry them without making them burst.
Just the law that I can understand.
 
I was a chemist and, no, I decided not to marry,
I didn’t know whom I would marry and whom I would generate.
I died in an experiment gone wrong,
just like the fools who die for love.
And someone will say that there’s a better way.
 
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, 25/12/2017 - 08:20
Author's comments:

Non al denaro non all’amore né al cielo {Neither to money, nor to love, nor to heaven} is a concept album that was inspired by Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology.
~~~
The chemist in the song never knew love: he could understand the laws that create bonds between chemicals, but not the laws that create bonds between humans. He was worried about marrying and having children, so he never did. He had no regrets, though: death is the same for everyone.
~~~
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Un chimico

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