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Promised Land

Chuck Berry
Lingua: Inglese

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[1964]
Versi di Chuck Berry
Sulla melodia della folk song “The Wabash Cannonball”
Nell'album intitolato “St. Louis to Liverpool”

St. Louis to Liverpool Promides Land


The biblical story of the Exodus had long been a source of hope and inspiration for African Americans dating back to the era of slavery. In 1965 rock & roll pioneer Chuck Berry released a song called “Promised Land” that tells the story of a “poor boy” who leaves his home in Norfolk, Virginia to try and make it big in Los Angeles. He boards a Greyhound bus that takes him through many of the cities and towns where the Freedom Riders had encountered resistance and violence a few years before the song’s release. The bus on which Berry’s protagonist rides bypasses the town of Rock Hill, South Carolina where the Riders first encountered armed white resistance but makes a note of Alabama where the worst violence was experienced in Anniston, Birmingham, and Montgomery with the lines “had most trouble/it turned into a struggle/hallway across Alabam.”




Il racconto biblico dell'Esodo è sempre stato una fonte di speranza e di ispirazione per gli afro americani, risalente al periodo della schiavitù. Nel 1965 il pioniere del rock & roll Chuck Berry uscì con una canzone chiamata "Terra Promessa", che racconta la storia di un "povero ragazzo", che lascia la sua casa a Norfolk, in Virginia per cercare di raggiungere la grande Los Angeles. Salito su di un autobus della famosa linea Greyhound, il protagonista attraversa molte delle città e paesi dove solo qualche anno prima la carovana dei Freedom Riders – la prima grande esperienza collettiva del movimento dei diritti civili – aveva incontrato la reazione violenta di gruppi di bianchi organizzati da KKK e altre entità della galassia segregazionista. Nella canzone Chuck Berry passa per Rock Hill, South Carolina, dove ci furono le prime aggressioni, e fa poi riferimento all'Alabama, dove si registrarono le violenze peggiori, ad Anniston, Birmingham, e Montgomery, sottolineate dal verso "ha avuto i guai peggiori / si sono trasformati in scontro / nel passaggio attraverso l'Alabama."
(from Nathan Todd, “Songs of the Civil Rights Movement”)
I left my home in Norfolk Virginia
California on my mind.
Straddled that Greyhound, rode him past Raleigh
On across Caroline.

Stopped in Charlotte and bypassed Rock Hill
And we never was a minute late.
We was ninety miles out of Atlanta by sundown
Rollin' 'cross the Georgia state.

We had more trouble it turned into a struggle
Half way 'cross Alabam
And that 'hound broke down and left us all stranded
In downtown Birmingham.

Straight off, I bought me a through train ticket
Ridin' cross Mississippi clean
And I was on that midnight flier out of Birmingham
Smoking into New Orleans.

Somebody help me get out of Louisiana
Just help me get to Houston town.
There's people there who care a little 'bout me
And they won't let the poor boy down.

Sure as you're born, they bought me a silk suit
Put luggage in my hands
And I woke up high over Albuquerque
On a jet to the promised land.

Workin' on a T-bone steak a la carte
Flying over to the Golden State
The pilot told me in thirteen minutes
We'd be headin' in the terminal gate.

Swing low sweet chariot, come down easy
Taxi to the terminal zone
Cut your engines, cool your wings,
And let me make it to the telephone.

Los Angeles give me Norfolk Virginia
Tidewater four ten O nine
Tell the folks back home this is the promised land callin'
And the poor boy's on the line.

inviata da Bernart Bartleby - 15/2/2017 - 22:46


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