The Dominion of the Sword

Martin Carthy
Language: English

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Una canzone, il cui testo originario risale al periodo della “Guerra dei Tre Regni” (1639-1651), che Martin Carthy riscrisse attualizzandola e ribaltandone il significato.
Il brano originale era sulla melodia di “Love Lies a Bleeding”, una ballata dell’epoca. Martin Carthy usò invece un adattamento della bretone “Ar Ch'akouz” (“Il lebbroso”)
Nell’album di Martin Carthy intitolato “Right of Passage” del 1988
Testo trovato su Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music

Right of Passage

Martin Carthy trasformò una cinica e feroce canzone di guerra seicentesca nel suo esatto opposto, una denuncia del ricorso alla guerra e alla violenza come soluzione dei conflitti. Nell’impianto della ballata originaria - risalente alla lunga stagione delle guerre civili che insanguinarono la Gran Bretagna e l’Irlanda a metà 600, con centinaia di migliaia di morti di spada, di fame e di epidemie - Carthy inserisce addirittura dei riferimenti al governo dell’apartheid sudafricano, alla dittatura di Hastings Kamuzu Banda in Malawi, alle guerre coloniali e mercenarie in Mozambico, Angola, Botswana e Zimbabwe, all’affondamento della nave di Greenpeace “Rainbow Warrior” ad Auckland nel 1985, un attentato realizzato dai servizi segreti francesi in cui rimase ucciso il fotografo ed attivista olandese Fernando Pereira.
Lay by your pleading, law lies a-bleeding
Burn all your studies down, and throw away your reading
Small power the word has, and can afford us
Not half so much privilege as the sword does

It'll the foster the master, plaster disaster
This'll make a servant quickly greater than the master
Ventures, enters, seeks and it centres
Ever the upper hand, never a dissenter

Kruger, Krugerrand-a, whither do you wander?
Gone to the suborning of Hastings Banda
Kruger, Krugerrand-a, tear you all asunder
Beira to Luanda, Gabarone to Nyanga

Talks of small things, it sets up all things
This'll master money, though money masters all things
It is not season to talk of reason
Never call it loyal when the sword says treason

Balm for the worrier, the whaler, the furrier
This'll get the measure of a Rainbow Warrior
Incognito, come and sink a Rainbow
President will never know, I should bloody coco

Subtle deceiver, turns calm to fever
See the pilgrim flay the unbeliever
It'll make a lay man, preach and to pray man
It'll make a Lord of him that was but a drayman

Conquers the crown too, grave and the gown too
Set you up a province, but it'll pull it down too
No gospel can guide it, no law decide it
In church or state, till the sword sanctified it

Take books, rent 'em, who can invent 'em?
When that the sword says there'll be no argumentum
Blood that is spilt, sir, has gained all the guilt, sir
Thus have you seen me run my sword up to the hilt, sir

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2015/4/26 - 21:38

Language: English

Il testo della ballata originale, pubblicata nella raccolta “Loyal Garland” nel 1686 e rinvenibile in “The Cavalier Songs and Ballads of England from 1642 to 1684”, raccolta curata da Charles Mackay nel 1997 e disponibile in ebook su Project Gutenberg.

The Dominion of the Sword

A song made in the Rebellion.
From the Loyal Garland, 1686. To the tune of "Love lies a bleeding."

Lay by your pleading,
Law lies a bleeding;
Burn all your studies down, and
Throw away your reading.

Small pow'r the word has,
And can afford us
Not half so much privilege as
The sword does.

It fosters your masters,
It plaisters disasters,
It makes the servants quickly greater
Than their masters.

It venters, it enters,
It seeks and it centers,
It makes a'prentice free in spite
Of his indentures.

It talks of small things,
But it sets up all things;
This masters money, though money
Masters all things.

It is not season
To talk of reason,
Nor call it loyalty, when the sword
Will have it treason.

It conquers the crown, too,
The grave and the gown, too,
First it sets up a presbyter, and
Then it pulls him down too.

This subtle disaster
Turns bonnet to beaver;
Down goes a bishop, sirs, and up
Starts a weaver.

This makes a layman
To preach and to pray, man;
And makes a lord of him that
Was but a drayman.

Far from the gulpit
Of Saxby's pulpit,
This brought an Hebrew ironmonger
To the pulpit.

Such pitiful things be
More happy than kings be;
They get the upper hand of Thimblebee
And Slingsbee.

No gospel can guide it,
No law can decide it,
In Church or State, till the sword
Has sanctified it.

Down goes your law-tricks,
Far from the matricks,
Sprung up holy Hewson's power,
And pull'd down St Patrick's.

This sword it prevails, too,
So highly in Wales, too,
Shenkin ap Powel swears
"Cots-splutterer nails, too."

In Scotland this faster
Did make such disaster,
That they sent their money back
For which they sold their master.

It batter'd their Gunkirk,
And so it did their Spainkirk,
That he is fled, and swears the devil
Is in Dunkirk.

He that can tower,
Or he that is lower,
Would be judged a fool to put
Away his power.

Take books and rent 'em,
Who can invent 'em,
When that the sword replies,

Your brave college-butlers
Must stoop to the sutlers;
There's ne'er a library
Like to the cutlers'.

The blood that was spilt, sir,
Hath gain'd all the gilt, sir;
Thus have you seen me run my
Sword up to the hilt, sir.

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2015/4/26 - 21:40

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