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White Wind

Ewan MacColl
Lingua: Inglese


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[1960?]
Parole e musica di Ewan MacColl
Cinque canzoni che formano quasi un poema epico sulla conquista e la dominazione del Sudafrica da parte di olandesi e britannici e sulla lotta di liberazione dei nativi. Il brano fu in gran parte composto da MacColl dopo il massacro di Sharpeville del marzo 1960 (cui l’autore dedicò anche un’altra canzone, The Ballad of Sharpeville) ma fu registrato solo parecchi anni dopo nell’album “Hot Blast” del 1978. Quindi in una significativa compilation del 1986 intitolata “White Wind, Black Tide”, con Peggy Seeger. Raramente eseguita dal vivo, di certo per la sua lunghezza e complessità.

Hot Blast
White Wind, Black Tide
I
Did you hear the wind that came in the night from the Northland?
We have heard, we have heard.
Did you hear the notes of the broken song of the wind of the Northland?
We have heard, we have heard.
Song of rust sung out of iron throats,
The rattling bones, lamenting flesh;
Chattering teeth of guns saluting death,
The crackling tongues of fire -
Cadaverous choir of worms.

Have you seen how the land was raped by the wind from the Northland?
We have seen, we have seen.
Have you seen the crops that were sown in the night by the wind from the Northland?
We have seen, we have seen.
The tortured land is lashed with iron rain,
The shuffling reapers harvest chains,
Skulls in the twisted trees are ripe with flame,
Whips bloom in the fields -
The land is bearing prisons.

Have you known the sickness borne on the wind from the Northland?
We have known, we have known.
Have you smelled the blood and known the hate that was born on the wind from the Northland?
We have known, we have known.
The white disease, the pestilence of greed,
The carriers of the taking plague,
Scavengers of the world condemned to feed
On everything that lives -
And kill what they don't need.

II
The warriors came,
They overran our land;
The landless poor of distant lands,
Red-coated poor,
The disinherited
Of northern lands,
The broken men
Of the white tribes.

The warriors came,
They overran our land;
Their only song the song of fire,
Red-coated slaves
Who bring enslavement,
Their only dance
The dance of death
Of the white tribes.

The warriors came,
They overran our land
With smoke and flame and reek of blood,
Their god of pain
Is fed on murder
And tortured flesh,
The gentle god
Of the white tribes.

The warriors came,
They overran our land;
And bloodless men came bearing laws,
The twisted laws
That make theft easy,
The law of chains
That made us slaves
Of the white tribes.

The warriors came,
They overran our land;
The hard-eyed men who worship gold,
They took the land
That bore and fed us
And made it theirs:
The ravaged earth
Of the white tribes.

The warriors came,
They overran our land
With shuffling priests of gods of pain,
And men with serpents' eyes -
Lawbearers
Of poisoned laws
That gave our land
To the white tribes.

THE SPOILERS CAME,
A RAVENING PLAGUE OF ANTS:
WHITE ANTS THAT FEED ON BLOOD AND GOLD,
DEVOURING MEN
AND PLAINS AND MOUNTAINS
AND GRASS AND TREES;
DRIVEN BY GREED
MADE MAD WITH NEED
OF DEAD YELLOW ROCK
AND CRYSTALS BURIED IN THE EARTH'S DRY GRAVE.

THE SPOILERS CAME,
RIDING A WHITE NIGHTMARE THROUGH EMPTY VIEWS,
KNOWING NO WARMTH, NO LOVE, NO KINSHIP,
ONLY PRIDE IN THE SKIN OF THE WHITE TRIBE.

III
Who are the people, the people of southern Africa,
The sons and the daughters,
The natural offspring of Africa's soil.
O -----
Who labours and toils so that Africa's soil
Might be fed with their sweat?
O -----
What are their names?
What are their names?

Xhosa and Swazi and Tswana, Mpondu, Mfengu,
Venda, Shangaan, Tsonga and Sotho, Africans all,
O -----
Coloured and Indian, one people,
The people of Africa's south,
O -----
These are their names
These are their names

Whose is the land and the riches of southern Africa?
The copper, the coal, the valuable diamonds, the glittering gold?
O -----
Is it the Zulu's, the Swazi's
The people of Africa's south?
O -----
Whose is the land?
Whose is the land?

Who digs the coal and the copper and gold of Africa?
Who are the toilers? Who digs the diamonds, uranium ore?
O -----
Who works in the fields
And who gathers a harvest that's none of their own?
O -----
What are their names?
What are their names?

Who plunders the land and the people of southern Africa?
Who are the spoilers? Who owns the diamonds, uranium ore?
O -----
Who takes the gold and the copper and coal,
All the fruits of the earth?
O -----
What are their names?
What are their names?

Vorster and Verwoerd and Smuts, the unholy trinity:
British investors, American, German, Belgian and French,
O -----
General Motors and Barclays and Rio Tinto and Shell
O -----
These are their names
These are their names

The prophets of progress have come to southern Africa,
Bringing apartheid, guns and the Pass Law
Prisons and slums,
O -----

IV
Where is your daddy, son?
Where has your daddy gone?
Why doesn't he live at home?
Why did he go away?
Why does he stay away?
Why does he leave you and your mammy alone?

Maybe he's down a mine
Or building a railway line,
Maybe he's hauling stone.
Maybe within a year
They'll let him come back here,
Give him a permit to visit his home.

How will he know you, son?
You've been a-growing, son,
He's been away so long.
So long since he's seen you,
They've bulldozed our lean-to,
So how will he know where you've gone?

How will you know him, son?
You've been a-growing, son,
He's been away so long.
He's poor and he's black
And the clothes on his back
And the pass in his pocket is all that he owns.

Maybe he'll never come,
Maybe he's on the run,
Maybe he's lost his pass.
Maybe he's gone to ground,
Hid in some shanty-town,
Waiting to earn enough cash.

Maybe they picked him up,
Questioned him, beat him up,
Then sent him on his way.
Maybe they weren't satisfied,
Maybe they thought he lied,
Maybe they put him away.

Maybe he got colour-blind,
Maybe he spoke his mind,
Maybe he didn't say "Please".
Maybe he saw the light,
Better to stand and fight
Than live all your life on your knees.

Maybe he's lying dead,
Hanged or shot through the head,
Killed in a prison cell.
Maybe he's fighting back,
Gone over to the attack,
Maybe he's learned to rebel.

Where is your daddy, son?
Where has your daddy gone?
Why doesn't he live at home?
He's learning to fight
For all black people's rights
And he'll never let up till we've won.

V
SIXTEENTH DAY OF JUNE
IN THE YEAR OF SEVENTY-SIX,
THE LONG HOT BLOODY YEAR,
THE YEAR OF SOWETO.

Soweto! Soweto! Soweto! Soweto! Soweto!
Sleepers stir and the dawn is breaking,
Soweto! Soweto!
Morning sun and the township waking,
Soweto! Soweto!
Through the streets black children walking,
Soweto! Soweto!
Rise and fall of voices talking,
Soweto! Soweto!
Down at the schoolhouse people waiting,
Soweto! Soweto!
Barefoot students demonstrating,
Soweto! Soweto!
Boys and girls they stand determined,
Soweto! Soweto!
Give us books, the tools of learning,
Soweto! Soweto!
Clouds of dust as the armoured cars pass,
Soweto! Soweto!

We ask for books and they give us tear-gas,
Soweto! Soweto!
Learn the lesson of apartheid,
Soweto! Soweto!
Tanks in the streets and the smell of cordite,
Soweto! Soweto!
Children who have known no childhood,
Soweto! Soweto!
Pledge their hope and give their life-blood,
Soweto! Soweto! Soweto!

Soweto: a word for murder,
Soweto means fascist terror,
Soweto: a word for death,
Tanks opposing naked flesh.
Soweto! Soweto!

Soweto: a word for courage,
Soweto means will to fight,
Soweto means end oppression,
Soweto: it spells UNITE!

inviata da Bernart Bartleby - 4/5/2018 - 08:32



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