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Dreadful Memories

Aunt Molly Jackson


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[1935]
Dall’album “The Songs and Stories of Aunt Molly Jackson”, Folkways Records, 1961.




La canzone racconta di quando nel 1931 nella "Bloody Harlan County" - contea del Kentucky dove la lotta tra lavoratori e compagnie minerarie è stata violentissima per quasi tutto il 20° secolo – i minatori che avevano scioperato rifiutandosi di estrarre il carbone per 33 centesimi alla tonnellata venivano “blacklisted”, cioè gli si impediva di lavorare anche se tornavano ai pozzi. Questo atteggiamento delle compagnie ridusse alla fame molte famiglie, che non avevano più di che scaldarsi e di che mangiare. Aunt Molly Jackson, che all’epoca era infermiera, vide morire fra le sue braccia decine di bambini - biondi bambini americani - uccisi dalla denutrizione.
Dreadful memories! How they linger,
How they pain my precious soul!
Little children, sick and hungry,
Sick and hungry, weak and cold.

Little children, cold and hungry,
Without any food at all to eat;
They had no clothes to put on their bodies,
They had no shoes to put on their feet.

Dreadful memories! How they linger,
How they fill my heart with pain;
Oh, how hard I've tried to forget them,
But I find it all in vain.

I can't forget them, little babies,
With golden hair as soft as silk;
Slowly dying from starvation,
They parents could not give them milk.

l can't forget them coal miners' children
That starved to death for want of milk;
While the coal operators and their wives and their children
Were all dressed in jewels and silk.

Dreadful memories! How they haunt me
As the lonely moments fly;
Oh, how them little babies suffered!
l saw them starve to death and die.

inviata da Bartleby - 25/3/2011 - 10:46



Lingua: Inglese

Versione risalente al 1938 scritta da Sarah Ogan Gunning.
Testo trovato su History in Song.

Sarah Ogan Gunning riteneva di aver scritto lei per prima questa Dreadful Memories e che Aunt Molly Jackson l’avesse appresa da lei per poi modificarla in seguito…
Vero o no, mi pare che siano canzoni con una comune ispirazione ma parecchio diverse tra loro.
DREADFUL MEMORIES

Dreadful memories, how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul.
How the workers and their children
Died from hunger and from cold.

Hungry fathers, wearied mothers,
Living in those dreadful shacks,
Little children cold and hungry
With no clothing on their backs.

Dreadful gun thugs and stool pigeons
Always flock around our door.
What's the crime that we've committed?
Nothing. only that we're poor.

Oh, those memories, how they haunt me
Make me want to organize
Makes me want to help the workers
Make them open up their eyes.

When I think of all the heartaches
And all the things that we've been through,
Then I wonder how much longer
And what a working man can do.

Really, friends, it doesn't matter
Whether you are black or white.
The only way you'll ever change things
Is to fight and fight and fight.

We will have to join the union,
They will help you find a way
How to get a better living
And for your work get better pay.

inviata da Bartleby - 25/3/2011 - 10:47


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