School Day

Chuck Berry
Lingua: Inglese

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Parole e musica di Chuck Berry
Singolo poi nell’album “After School Session”

After School Session

“Up in the mornin’ and out to school / The teacher is teachin’ the golden rule / […] / Hail, hail rock and roll / Deliver me from the days of old”, cantava Chuck Berry vent’anni prima di Another Brick in the Wall dei Pink Floyd…

E infatti propongo il testo di questo brano immortale dopo averlo trovato in “Popular Music and/as Event: Subjectivity, Love and Fidelity in the Aftermath of Rock ’n’ Roll”, uno studio di Richard Elliott dell’Università di Newcastle nel quale la “School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell)” di Chuck Berry viene vista come un condensato dei concetti più tardi espressi diffusamente dal filosofo marxista francese Louis Althusser nel suo “Idéologie et appareils idéologiques d’État” (1970). La “golden rule” insegnata dal professore è quella inculcata ai ragazzi nella scuola, uno degli “Appareils idéologiques d’État” – con la Chiesa, la Famiglia, i partiti e i sindacati, i mass media - che servono ad imporre la visione del mondo e la corretta relazione fra le classi sociali… Qualora poi la manipolazione psico-sociale non si riveli sufficiente, a causa della particolare resistenza e refrattarietà di certi soggetti, allora entrano in azione gli “Appareils répressifs d’État”, esercito, polizia, giustizia e carcere…

Come già ci raccontava il compianto John Trudell nella sua Baby Boom Ché – testo non a caso trovato anch’esso nell’analisi citata di Richard Elliott - il Rock 'n' Roll delle origini fu di per sé stesso rivoluzionario e anti istituzionale, spesso anche indipendentemente dai suoi contenuti e dalla coscienza che delle sua portata ebbero i suoi protagonisti…
American history and practical math
You studyin’ hard and hopin’ to pass
Workin’ your fingers right down to the bone
And the guy behind you won’t leave you alone

Ring, ring goes the bell
The cook in the lunch room's ready to sell
You’re lucky if you can find a seat
You’re fortunate if you have time to eat
Back in the classroom, open your books
Keep up the teacher don’t know how mean she looks

Soon as three o’clock rolls around
You finally lay your burden down
Close up your books, get out of your seat
Down the halls and into the street
Up to the corner and round the bend
Right to the juke joint, you go in

Drop the coin right into the slot
You’re gotta hear somethin’ that’s really hot
With the one you love, you’re makin romance
All day long you been wantin’ to dance,
Feeling the music from head to toe
Round and round and round you go

Hail, hail rock and roll
Deliver me from the days of old
Long live rock and roll
The beat of the drums, loud and bold
Rock, rock, rock and roll
The feelin’ is there, body and soul.

inviata da Bernart Bartleby - 14/12/2015 - 13:01

“[…] This songs works on a number of different levels, all complementary. First, it offers a slice of American teenage life in the late fifties. A wealth of detailed observation serves the song well in this regard — the sharp glimpses of the school day, the movement “down the halls and into the street,” the local juke joint where you could select your favorite tunes and dance to them with your best girl — all these and more are carefully depicted.

The song also works as a direct expression of rock’s grand theme of liberation. The first two verses describe the oppression of the school day: being subject to authority, working hard at the study of subjects that seem to have no intrinsic interest, the regimented schedule of classes with no more than a brief interlude for lunch, the competition with the jostling crowd at the school.

The next two verses offer release from all these constraints. “Soon as three o’clock rolls around, you finally lay your burden down.” The scene at the juke joint is joyful and energetic, in stark contrast to the school day. In particular, there is contrast between the rigid structure of the school routine, and the emotional freedom offered by the rock music and its associated environment: hearing something “really hot,” “feeling the music from head to toe,” and making romance with the one you love.

Finally, the song pays direct homage to rock music as a liberating force, saying that, by being “loud and bold,” the music can “deliver us from the days of old.” And what are we being liberated to? “The feeling is there, body and soul.”

So we can see that this brief rock song encapsulates the mission of rock music as a liberating force, freeing a generation from a value system that places structure, discipline and rote learning at the top of its pyramid, and releasing it to a new world dominated by passion and feeling. Put another way, the movement is from an experience based primarily on the “head,” to a “whole body” experience that includes the heart and soul, as well as the mind. […]”

(Herb Bowie in Reason to Rock)

Bernart Bartleby - 14/12/2015 - 13:13

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