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Because He Was Only a Tramp

McGee Brothers


Lingua: Inglese


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‎[192?]‎




Una canzone sulla dura vita dei “tramp”, “bum” o “hobo” che dir si voglia, i senza tetto, lavoratori ‎migranti ed occasionali che la crisi degli anni 20 moltiplicò sulle strade americane, vita così ben ‎descritta in film come “Wild Boys of the Road” (1933) di William Wellman, o “Boxcar Bertha” ‎‎(1972) di Martin Scorsese e Roger Corman, o “Emperor of the North Pole” (1973) di Robert ‎Aldrich, che sembra proprio riprendere la canzone nella trama, raccontando infatti di Shack, un ‎violento e sadico capotreno (interpretato da Ernest Borgnine) che uccide a martellate i barboni che ‎salgono abusivamente sui suoi convogli e che dovrà vedersela con N.1, il veterano degli hobo (Lee ‎Marvin). Epico lo scontro finale sul treno in corsa.‎
Al proposito si vedano anche East Texas Red di Cisco Houston e Vigilante Man di Woody Guthrie.‎
I'm a man broken down without credit or cash
My clothes are all ragged and torn;
Not a friend have I in this dreary world
I wish I had never been born.

In vain I search for employment
Sleeping out on the ground cold and damp
I'm stared in face by starvation
God pity the life of a tramp.

Last night down on the L&N Railroad (*)
There's a man most hungry and cold.
An empty boxcar stood still on the track
He jumped in and closed up the door.

He had rode three miles in an empty boxcar
Till a brakeman came round with his light:
He was thrown from the train and was killed by the rails
Because he was only a tramp.

Kind friends, I want you all to remember
That every poor man is not a tramp:
There's many a true heart still beating
Beneath the old coat of a tramp.

Poor Lazarus lay at the rich man's door
And the dogs came and licked his sores:
But at last his spirit took its sweet flight
Where there's room and bread for the poor.‎
(*) La Louisville & Nashville Railroad‎

inviata da Bartleby - 13/2/2012 - 11:58



Lingua: Inglese

Versione della Carter Family, sempre risalente agli ‎anni 20.‎
THE BROKEN DOWN TRAMP

I'm a broken down tramp without money
My clothes are all tattered and torn
And I am so sad and so lonely
I wish I had never been born

All through this wide world I have wandered
Inquiring for something to do
But whenever I ask for a job of work
They say they have none for a tramp

Now drink was the cause of my downfall
And the money I had I bought rum
And the friends that were mine when I had it
Now pass by and call me a bum

Now don't be too hasty to judge me
As I drift along with the tide
My clothes may be ragged and dirty
But a clean heart is beating inside

One night on a dark lonely railroad
A hobo all hungry and cold
Saw an empty boxcar on the siding
He climbed in and closed up the door

Six miles he had rode on the railway
When the brakeman came 'round with his light
He was shoved from the car and was killed by the train
Because he was only a tramp

Now young men, let this be a warning
For all you who long for the road
Better stick to the straight life and don't be like me
A poor bum to die in the cold

inviata da Bartleby - 13/2/2012 - 11:59



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