Amore e Morte

Il post musicale di questo mercoledì sfiora uno dei temi più importanti di ogni letteratura: amore e morte.

Ben lontano dal volere essere esaustivo, propongo due Murder Ballads (ballate omicide) tratte dall’omonimo album di Nick Cave, pubblicato nel 1996.

La prima ballata, Henry Lee, racconta di una donna che uccide un uomo che non la amava a sufficienza.

La storia e la musica affondano le proprie radici nella tradizione, risalendo a Young Hunting, una ballata scozzese del diciottesimo secolo, catalogata da F. J. Child al numero 68 delle Popular Ballads.

Il brano ha avuto nel tempo una serie di versioni con titoli, testi e musiche più o meno diverse: The Proud Girl, Earl Richard (UK), Henry Lee e Love Henry (USA).

Questo il duetto tra Nick Cave e P. J. Harvey

Get down, get down, little Henry Lee
And stay all night with me
You won’t find a girl in this damn world
That will compare with me
And the wind did howl and the wind did blow
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee
I can’t get down and I won’t get down
And stay all night with thee
For the girl I have in that merry green land
I love far better than thee
And the wind did howl and the wind did blow
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee
She leaned herself against a fence
Just for a kiss or two
And with a little pen-knife held in her hand
She plugged him through and through
And the wind did roar and the wind did moan
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee
Come take him by his lilly-white hands
Come take him by his feet
And throw him in this deep deep well
Which is more than one hundred feet
And the wind did howl and the wind did blow
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee
Lie there, lie there, little Henry Lee
Till the flesh drops from your bones
For the girl you have in that merry green land
Can wait forever for you to come home
And the wind did howl and the wind did moan
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee

La seconda ballata, Where the Wild Roses Grow, racconta invece di una giovane donna uccisa dal suo primo ed unico amante.

In questo caso sembra che l’ispirazione testuale derivi da una ballata omicida di inizio 1800 conosciuta come Down in the Willow Garden od anche Rose Connelly.

Questo il duetto tra Nick Cave e Kylie Minogue


They call me The Wild Rose
But my name is Elisa Day
Why they call me it I do not know
For my name is Elisa Day

From the first day I saw her I knew she was the one
As she stared in my eyes and smiled
For her lips were the colour of the roses
That grew down the river, all bloody and wild

When he knocked on my door and entered the room
My trembling subsided in his sure embrace
He would be my first man, and with a careful hand
He wiped at the tears that ran down my face

[Chorus]

On the second day I brought her a flower
She was more beautiful than any woman I’d seen
I said, “Do you know where the wild roses grow
So sweet and scarlet and free?”

On the second day he came with a single red rose
He said: “Will you give me your loss and your sorrow?”
I nodded my head, as I lay on the bed
“If I show you the roses will you follow?”

[Chorus]

On the third day he took me to the river
He showed me the roses and we kissed
And the last thing I heard was a muttered word
As he knelt above me with a rock in his fist

On the last day I took her where the wild roses grow
And she lay on the bank, the wind light as a thief
As I kissed her goodbye, I said, “All beauty must die”
And lent down and planted a rose between her teeth

Qui mi fermo, non voglio oggi metter altra carne al fuoco. Mercoledì prossimo è mia intenzione proporre versioni alternative di questi brani e storie.

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