The Flood And The Storm

Woody Guthrie
Lingua: Inglese

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Sacco e Vanzetti
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Testo e musica di Woody Guthrie
Lyrics and music by Woody Guthrie

Questa canzone, assieme ad altre, fu commissionata a Woody Guthrie tra il 1945 e il 1947 da Moses Asch

Woody Guthrie: The Ballads of Sacco and Vanzetti


1. The Flood And The Storm
2. I Just Want To Sing Your Name
3. Old Judge Thayer
4. Red Wine
5. Root Hog And Die
6. Suassos Lane
7. Two Good Men
8. Vanzetti's Letter
9. Vanzetti's Rock
10. We Welcome To Heaven
11. You Souls Of Boston
12. Sacco's Letter To His Son (Pete Seeger)

Ballads of Sacco and Vanzetti è una raccolta di ballate folk scritte e interpretate dal cantautore americano Woody Guthrie, ispirate alla vicenda di Sacco e Vanzetti. Le ballate furono commissionate da Moses Asch nel 1945, e registrate tra il 1946 e il 1947. Guthrie non completò mai il progetto, e si ritenne insoddisfatto dal lavoro, sebbene suo figlio Arlo Guthrie, a sua volta cantautore professionista, giudicò le ballate del ciclo "Sacco e Vanzetti", tra le migliori mai composte da suo padre. Una canzone inedita, "Sacco's Letter To His Son", fu registrata da Pete Seeger per il progetto.

Ballads of Sacco & Vanzetti is a set of ballad songs, written and performed by Woody Guthrie, related to the trial, conviction and execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. The series was commissioned by Moe Asch in 1945 and recorded in 1946 and 1947. Guthrie never completed the project and was unsatisfied by the result. The project was released later in its abandoned form by Asch. An unreleased track, "Sacco's Letter To His Son" was recorded by Pete Seeger for the project.

Moses ("Moe") Asch

Moses Asch.
Moses Asch.

Moses Asch was the founder/head of Folkways Records, which made available the music of Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Without this music, what would Dylan have been? Tom Piazza, writing in the April 1995 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, gives a history of Folkway Records and of Moses Asch:

"Born in Poland in 1905, Asch arrived in the United States when he was ten years old. He spent a few years in German in the early 1920s, studying electronics, but by the time he found himself back in New York, in 1926, his interest in American folk music had been stirred by his discovery, in a bookstall on a Paris quay, of John Lomax's book Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads.

"While building radio equipment and arranging sound systems for clients ranging from Yiddish theaters to burlesque houses on the Lower East Side, Asch came up with the idea of creating a record label to document the music that the larger commercial labels tended to leave alone.

"His idea was nourished not only by a love for the music itself but also by a brand of leftist populism in which folk expression was a voice for the disenfranchised. By taste and political conviction, Asch was attracted to the raw and the otherwise unheard.

"In the early 1940s he started two record companies, Asch and Disc. Both failed. Before folding them Asch recorded his most important artists -- the singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie and great twelve-string guitarist and singer Leadbelly.

"In 1947 Asch started Folkways, and this time it worked. Until his death, in 1986, Asch was Folkways' president, chief financial officer, talent scout, audio engineer, and sometimes shipping clerk."

"In 1987, the Smithsonian bought out Folkways, agreeing to keep all 2,200 Folkways albums in print. By writing or calling Smithsonian/Folkways (414 Hungerford Drive, Suite 444, Rockville, MD 20850; 301-443-2314 or fax 301-443-1819) one can order any Folkways title and receive a high-quality cassette, along with the original descriptive notes, for about $11. A free copy of the The Whole Folkways Catalogue, which lists every title, should be ordered first.

"It is," concludes Piazza in The Atlantic Monthly, "the definitive guide to Asch's bold, eccentric, priceless legacy."

It was an indirect impact on Dylan, but very major.

The year is nineteen and twenty, kind friends,
And the great World's War we have won.
Old Kaiser Bill, we've beat him once again
In the smoke of the cannon and the gun.

Old von Hindenburg and his Royal German Army,
They are tramps in tatters and in rags.
Uncle Sammy has tied every nation in this world
In his long old leather money bags.

Wilson caught a trip and a train into Paris,
Meetin' Lloyd George and Mr. Clemenceau.
They said to Mr. Wilson, "We've staked all of our claims,
There is nothing else for you."

"I plowed more lands, I built bigger fact'ries,
An' I stopped Hindenburg in his tracks.
You thank the Yanks by claimin' all the lands,
But you still owe your money to my bank."

"Keep sending your ships across these waters;
We'll borrow all the money you can lend.
We must buy new clothes, new plows, and fact'ries,
And we need golden dollars for to spend."

Ever' dollar in the world, well, it rolled and it rolled,
And it rolled into Uncle Sammy's door.
A few got richer, and richer, and richer,
But the poor folks kept but gettin' poor.

Well, the workers in the world did fight a revolution
To chase out the gamblers from their land.
Farmers, an' peasants, an' workers in the city
Fought together on their five-year plans.

The soul and the spirit of the workers' revolution
Spread across ever' nation in this world;
From Italy to China, to Europe and to India,
An' the blood of the workers it did spill.

This spirit split the wind to Boston, Massachussetts,
With Coolidge on the Governor's chair.
Troopers an' soldiers, the guards and the spies
Fought the workers that brought the spirit there.

Sacco and Vanzetti had preached to the workers,
They was carried up to Old Judge Thayer.
They was charged with killin' the payroll guards,
And they died in the Charlestown chair.

Well, the world shook harder on the night they died,
Than 'twas shaken by that great World War.
More millions did march for Sacco and Vanzetti
Than did march for the great war lords.

Well, the peasants, the farmers, the towns and the cities,
An' the hills and the valleys they did ring.
Hindenburg an' Wilson, an' Harding, Hoover, Coolidge,
Never heard this many voices sing.

The zigzag lightning, the rumbles of the thunder,
And the singing of the clouds blowing by,
The flood and the storm for Sacco and Vanzetti
Caused the rich man to pull his hair and cry.

inviata da Adriana e Riccardo - 6/1/2006 - 14:33

Lingua: Italiano

Traduzione italiana di Riccardo Venturi
25/26 agosto 2014

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)
Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

Il fatto che nella canzone sia nominato Wilson poteva avere una valenza particolare per Guthrie: il suo nome completo era infatti Woodrow Wilson Guthrie, che suo padre gli diede essendo un ammiratore dell'allora governatore del New Jersey, e che sarebbe divenuto Presidente di lì a poco. [RV]


L'anno è il 1920, amici cari,
e abbiamo vinto la Grande Guerra.
Il vecchio kaiser Bill lo abbiamo battuto ancora una volta
In mezzo al fumo del cannone e del fucile.

Il vecchio Von Hindenburg e la sua regia armata tedesca
sono ridotti a barboni cenciosi, a straccioni.
Lo zio Sam ha accalappiato ogni paese del mondo
alle sue borsate di vecchio cuoio piene di soldi.

Wilson ha fatto un viaggio in treno fino a Parigi
per incontrare Lloyd George e Mr. Clemenceau.
Hanno detto a Mr. Wilson: “Ecco la pila delle nostre pretese,
e per Lei non c'è nient'altro.”

“Io ho arato parecchie terre, ho costruito fabbriche più grandi
e ho sbarrato la strada a Hindenburg.
E il vostro grazie agli Yankees è reclamare tutti i paesi,
però dovete ancora quattrini alla mia banca.”

“Continuate a mandare le vostre navi per questi mari;
ci impresterete tutti i soldi che ci potrete dare.
Ci abbiamo da fabbricare nuovi vestiti, aratri e fabbriche,
e ci servono dollaroni d'oro da spendere.”

Beh, tutti i dollari del mondo scorsero e scorsero,
e andarono a finire alla porta dello zio Sam.
Pochi diventarono sempre più ricchi e straricchi,
ma la povera gente continuò solo a essere povera.

Beh, nel mondo i lavoratori fecero una rivoluzione
per cacciar via quegli imbroglioni dalla loro terra.
Contadini, mezzadri e operai della città
Lottarono insieme sulla base dei loro piani quinquennali.

L'anima e lo spirito della rivoluzione dei lavoratori
si diffusero per ogni paese del mondo;
dall'Italia alla Cina, all'Europa e all'India,
e davvero zampillò il sangue dei lavoratori.

Quello spirito squarciò l'aria a Boston, Massachusetts,
quando Coolidge era in carica come governatore.
Truppe e soldati, le guardie nazionali e le spie
combatterono contro i lavoratori che avevano portato là quello spirito.

Sacco e Vanzetti avevano tenuto discorsi ai lavoratori
e la cosa fu riferita al vecchio giudice Thayer.
Furono accusati di avere ammazzato i portavalori
e morirono sulla sedia elettrica a Charlestown.

Beh, il mondo ebbe una scossa, la notte in cui morirono
più forte di quella della Grande Guerra mondiale.
Per Sacco e Vanzetti marciarono più milioni di persone
di quelli che marciarono per i grandi signori della guerra.

I contadini, i mezzadri, i paesi e le città,
le colline e le valli ne risuonarono.
Hindenburg e Wilson, Harding, Hoover e Coolidge
non avevano mai sentito cantare talmente tante voci.

Il fulmine guizzante, i rombi del tuono
e il canto delle nuvole che esplodeva,
l'alluvione e la tempeta per Sacco e Vanzetti
fecero strappare i capelli e sparger lacrime al ricco.

26/8/2014 - 22:31

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