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Could You Please Oblige Us With A Bren Gun?

Noël Coward
Lingua: Inglese



[1941]

In Gran Bretagna, all’inizio della seconda guerra mondiale, fu creata un’organizzazione di volontari, composta da coloro che per un motivo o per un altro non potevano andare in guerra (gli scarti, insomma) con il compito di contrastare un’eventuale invasione nazista. Inizialmente battezzata “Local Defence Volunteers" (LDV), l’organizzazione divenne presto nota come “Home Guard” e arrivò a contare circa 1.5 milione di volontari.
Essendo di per sé stessi “scarti”, o anziani strappati al bancone del pub, armati con il proprio vecchio fucile da caccia e le giberne o l’elemetto di un quarto di secolo prima, o militari a riposo un po’ imbolsiti, certo la visione di queste squadre un po’ raffazzonate doveva suscitare anche un po’ di ilarità…. E infatti l’acronimo LDV divenne presto “Look-Duck-Vanish”, che credo significhi più o meno “Guarda – che arrivano i crucchi - nasconditi, scompari”… La Home Guard, poi, divenne presto nota come “Dad’s Army”, a causa del gran numero di arzilli vecchietti che vi prendevano parte. E “Dad’s Army” è proprio il nome di una delle più celebri commedie televisive britanniche degli anni ’60 e ’70, sorta di “M*A*S*H*” in salsa inglese, anche se meno pregnante dal punto di vista del messaggio antimilitarista… Leggendo qualcosa circa questa vecchia sit-com, non ho potuto fare a meno di ricordare il bellissimo film di Spielberg “1941: Allarme a Hollywood", quello con due devastanti John Belushi e Dan Aykroyd, un anno prima de “The Blues Brothers”, alle prese con il caos scatenato sulle coste californiane dalle solerti e sgangherate milizie volontarie per l’autodifesa all’indomani dell’attacco giapponese a Pearl Harbour…

Coward compose il suo ironico brano dedicato alla Home Guard nel 1941. Il nome del colonnello in pensione protagonista della canzone era originariamente McNamara, ma fu cambiato in Montmorency quando un vero colonnello McNamara dell’esercito di sua maestà minacciò una querela per diffamazione contro Coward… evidentemente, non proprio tutti gli inglesi sono dotati di sens of humor, di sicuro non i militari….

(fonte: en.wikipedia)
Colonel Montmorency who was in Calcutta in ninety-two
Emerged from his retirement for the War
He wasn't very pleased with all he heard and all he saw
But whatever he felt, he tightened his belt and organised a Corps

Poor Colonel Montmorency thought considering all the wars he'd faught
The Home Guard was his job to do or die
But after days and weeks and years, bravely drying his many tears
He wrote the following letter to the Minister of Supply

Couls you please oblige us with a Bren gun?
Or failing that, a hand grenade will do
We've got some ammunition, in a rather damp condition
And Major Huss has a arquebus that was used at Waterloo

With the Vicar's stirrup pump, a pitchfork and a stave
It's rather hard to guard an aerodrome
So if you can't oblige us with a Bren gun
The Home Guard might as well go home

Could you please oblige us with a Bren gun?
We're getting awfully tired of drawing lots
Today we had a shipment of some curious equipment
And just for a prank, they sent us a tank that ties itself in knots

On Sunday's mock invasion, Captain Clark was heard to say
He hadn't even got a brush and comb
So if you can't oblige us with a Bren gun
The Home Guard might as well go home

Colonel Montmorency planned, in case the enemy tried to land
To drive them back with skill and armoured force
He realised his army should be mechanised, of course
But somewhere inside, experience cried "My Kingdom for a horse"

Poor Colonel Montmorency tried, at infinite cost to time and pride
To tackle his superiors again
Having just one motorbike, fourteen swords and a marlin spike
He wrote the following letter in the following urgent strain

Could you please oblige us with a Bren gun?
We need it very badly, I'm afraid
Our local crossword solver has an excellent revolver
But during a short attack on a fort, the trigger got mislaid

In course of operations planned for Friday afternoon
Our orders are to storm the Hippodrome
So if you can't oblige us with a Bren gun
The Home Guard might as well go home

Could you please oblige us with a Bren gun?
The lack of one is wounding to our pride
Last night we found the cutest, little German parachutist
He looked at our kit and giggled a bit, and laughed until he cried

We'll have to hide that armoured car when marching through Berlin
We'd almost be ashamed of it in Rome
So if you can't oblige us with a Bren gun
The Home Guard might as well go home.

inviata da Alessandro - 31/7/2009 - 10:17



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