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Lament for the Death of a Nobody

Ewan MacColl
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[1973]
Album “Folkways Record of Contemporary Songs”, con Peggy Seeger (Folkways Records)
Testo trovato su MySongBook

Album Cover

A proposito di lavoro che uccide, questa canzone parla della cosiddetta “sindrome dell’orologio d’oro”, cioè l’incremento statistico dei suicidi in quel segmento di popolazione maschile costituito da chi è stato mandato in pensione dopo decenni di onorato servizio… Aggiungerei che quei numeri, già significativi negli anni 60, sono oggi ben più impressionanti, vista la facilità con cui l’attuale sistema produttivo espelle i lavoratori ben prima dell’età pensionabile ma spesso ormai troppo vecchi per trovare un nuovo lavoro…
As I was a-walking down by the Thameside
I spied a dead body washed away by the tide

Borne along on the river it slowly drew near
To the oily black water by Westminster Pier

Grey stubbled face with its halo of scum
Eyes blindly staring at the high noonday sun

They took him to Southwark to the mortuary there
And hosed down his body and shaved off his hair

They noted its scars and distinguishing marks
They weighed him and measured him under mercury arcs

They laid him to rest on a bed of white tiles
His life story entered in the mortuary files

They tagged his belongings, his clothes and a ring
A pipe, some tobacco and a small piece of string

A pension book bearing the name 'Thomas Black'
An old-fashioned time-piece inscribed on the back

For fifty years' service, devotion supreme
From grateful employers this token of esteem

A good quiet worker, not given to strife
Who never once questioned the boss in his life

They gave him a watch when the bade him good bye
So that he could measure his life slipping by

It ticked through the empty days loud in his ears
A bright death-watch beetle undermining the years

Then one act of protest, one moment of strife
They called it a crime when he took his own life

Now this lump of great silence has finished with time
He demanded so little - and that was his crime

inviata da Alessandro - 27/4/2010 - 10:41


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