The Promise

Chris Cornell

Lingua: Inglese

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dalla colonna sonora del film di Terry George The Promise
Orchestrazione di Paul Buckmaster

L'ultima canzone registrata da Chris Cornell prima della sua morte. Pubblicata come singolo il 10 marzo 2017.

Chris Cornell

La canzone di chiusura del film The Promise, dedicato al genocidio armeno.
Quando il produttore cinematografico Eric Esrailian contattò il cantante perché scrivesse una canzone per il film, Cornell accettò subito perché l'argomento lo aveva toccato. Inoltre la famiglia della moglie di Cornell, che è di origine greca, era stata vittima delle persecuzioni ottomane, che non avevano toccato solo gli armeni ma anche altre popolazioni non turche.

All'inizio Cornell pensò che Serj Tankian dei System Of A Down (che è di origine armena e che aveva già scritto varie canzoni che parlavano del genocidio) sarebbe stata la persona più adatta a scrivere una canzone per il film. Poi si convinse che il fatto di non essere né troppo vicino né troppo estraneo all'argomento lo avrebbe aiutato a scrivere un buon testo.

La canzone si apre con l'immagine pregnante di una fotografia salvata dalle fiamme, l'ultimo ricordo di una persona cara, di una famiglia. Parla di una una promessa fatta alle persone care uccise: la promessa di sopravvivere, di rinascere, di andare avanti, di riempire il mondo di vita. Una canzone di speranza che stride davvero con la scelta di Cornell di lasciarsi vincere dagli abissi della sua anima e di abbandonarsi nelle braccia della grande consolatrice.

The song’s opening line, “If I had nothing to my name/ But photographs of you,” comes from a documentary you watched that talked about Armenians fleeing with photos of their loved ones. Was that image your way in to the song?

I just was sitting there and I sang the first line. I’m not sure how conscious I was of it, but I’d been so moved by photographs being taken over things they needed to survive. I’m always looking for the person that sings the song, and it’s never really me. Even if I’m writing a song that’s about me, it’s always someone else. I imagined this young man singing the song to a photo of his father or grandfather about the inspiration that he was and rededicating himself to persevering against whatever odds there might be. In the case of the genocide, it was horrendous.


Genocide goes on today. How did that play into your writing the song?

I’d love to be able to have the effect of [The Promise] not just represent a century ago, but bring it into now. When people get done watching the film, rather than think, “Wow, what a horrendous thing that happened a century ago,” realize that it is happening now, realize the film [is] telling a true story and you’re seeing how it was created. And the fact that those warning signs are pretty much always the same leading up to a genocide. We have the ability as a global community to pre-empt that, if we’re paying attention and we’re not allowing our leaders to politicize it and get away with it. It’s the goal of everyone in the film that it’s representative of the past, but it’s also exposing the present.

If I had nothing to my name
But photographs of you
Rescued from the flames
That is all I would ever need
As long as I can read
What's written on your face
The strength that shines
Behind your eyes
The hope and light
That will never die

And one promise you made
one promise that always remains
No matter the price
A promise to survive
Persevere and thrive
As we've always done

And you said
"The poison in a kiss
Is the lie upon the lips"
Truer words were never shared
When I feel
Like lies are all I hear
I pull my memories near
The one thing they can't take

And one promise you made
one promise that always remains
No matter the price
A promise to survive
Persevere and thrive
As you’ve always done

The books still open
on the table
The bells still ringing
in the air
The dreams still clinging
to the pillow
The songs still singing
in a prayer

Now my soul
Is stretching through the roots
To memories of you
Back through time and space
To carry home
the faces and the names
And these photographs of you
Rescued from the flames

And one promise you made
one promise that always remains
No matter the price
A promise to survive
Persevere and thrive
And dare to rise once more
A promise to survive
Persevere and thrive
And fill the world with life
As we've always done

inviata da Lorenzo - 19/5/2017 - 22:34

Inside Chris Cornell's Moving, Refugee-Themed Final Video

The Promise Video

For the video, the Armenian genocide becomes a microcosm of human-rights atrocities around the world, with Cornell drawing on personal experience, research and perennially pervasive headlines about Rwanda, Cambodia, Darfur and other regions for inspiration. "Chris had the idea of, 'How can we bridge the video … with fear-inducing images of what people have to deal with as well as messages and images of hope and perseverance and resilience and survival,' which is what the song is also about," Esrailian says.

This dichotomy – scenes of reunions, rescues and marches for justice contrast with bombed-out cities, debris-filled classrooms and crying mothers – stands at the heart of the video, whose original, darker cut focused more on genocide and its effects. Avis and Smith omitted the historical and explanatory text they originally conceived for the video, giving the images of disparate groups fleeing an ominous universality.


"I hope [the video] provides a wider human context for the tragedy of his death," says Avis. "I hope it creates something with purpose because Chris had purpose and to lose your purpose is a terrible thing."

Rolling Stone

20/6/2017 - 23:36

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