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Francesco Guccini: La Locomotiva

GLI EXTRA DELLE CCG / AWS EXTRAS / LES EXTRAS DES CCG
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INGLESE / ENGLISH [2] - Davide Turcato
THE STEAM ENGINETHE STEAM ENGINE
How was his face like, what was his name, still I don’t know,
His voice when speakin’, his voice when singin’, I don’t know
What was his age at that time, what was the colour of his hair
But his image can I figure in my mind,
All heroes are so young and handsome,
All heroes are so young and handsome,
All heroes are so young and handsome!
I don't know what he looked like, not even what was his name,
the way he used to talk, the way he used to sing,
how old he was then, the color of his hair,
but in my fantasy I carry his image,
heroes are all young and handsome.
Yet I know when all this id did happen, what was his job,
The first year of this cent’ry, a steam engine driver,
The years when ‘twas beginnin’ the holy war of the poor,
The train too seem’d to be the image of progress
Speeding along the whole world,
Speeding along the whole world,
Speeding along the whole world.
However, I know the time of the events, what was his occupation:
the first years of the century, engine driver, railwayman,
the time when the holy war of the underdogs was starting off,
the train itself looked like a myth of progress
flung over the continents.
And the steam engine it look’d like a bizarre monster
That Man did dominated with his hands and his thought,
It did cover, with his roar, distances that one said would never end
It seem’d he had inside a terrific power,
The same power of dynamite,
The same power of dynamite,
The same power of dynamite.
And the locomotive looked like a strange monster
that man dominated with his thought and his hand,
it covered distances that seemed infinite with a roar
it seemed to have a tremendous power inside,
the same power of dynamite.
Another great power was just spreading its wings,
‘Twas words that said All people are equal
And against kings and tyrants it blew up in the streets
The proletary bomb, and the air was lit up
By the light of Anarchy,
By the light of Anarchy,
By the light of Anarchy!
Another powerful force was then also spreading its wings,
words saying "men are all equal",
and against kings and tyrants, in the street
the proletarian bomb exploded, and the air was lit by
the torch of anarchy.
A train pass’d ev’ry by the station where he work’d,
I know it was a long-distance luxury train,
He saw respectable people and thought of velvet and gold,
He thought of the meagre day of his family and friends,
He thought of a train fill’d wi’ lords,
He thought of a train fill’d wi’ lords,
He thought of a train fill’d wi’ lords.
A train used to pass every day by his station,
a luxury train, with a far-off destination,
he used to see revered people, think of those velvets and jewellery,
think of the meagre day of his people around him,
think of a train full of lords.
The steam engine it did stand on its track,
The pulsating machine seem’d to be a living thing,
It seem’d to be a young, a young and unbridled steed
Who did bit the rails with his steel muscles,
With the blind force of lightning,
With the blind force of lightning,
With the blind force of lightning.
I don't know what happened, why he took the decision,
perhaps an old rage, nameless generations
that cried out for vengeance, blinded his heart,
he forgot pity, he forgot his goodness,
the steam engine was his bomb.
I don’t know what it happen’d, why he took that decision,
Maybe the century-old rage of nameless generations
That cried for vengeance and blinded his heart,
He forgot his goodness, became merciless,
His bomb was the steam engine,
His bomb was the steam engine,
His bomb was the steam engine!
The locomotive was standing on the track,
the throbbing engine looked like a living being
it looked like a young colt just let off the bit,
biting the rail with steel muscles,
with blind force of lightning.
One day like all others, but maybe still more angry,
He thought he could someway make up for some wrong,
He got on the sleeping monster trying to drive his fear away
An’ before he could think of all what he was doing
The monster was eating up the plain,
The monster was eating up the plain,
The monster was eating up the plain.
On a day like any other, perhaps just angrier than before,
he thought he had a chance to rectify some wrongs,
he mounted the sleeping monster, he tried to get rid of his fear
and before he thought about what he was doing,
the monster was devouring the plain.
The other rain did run unknowing, almost with no haste,
Nobody could imagine he was to run across vengeance,
But to the station of Bologna did the news spread in a flash,
"This is an emergency, you mustn’t waste time,
Someone’s racing madly off ‘gainst a train
Someone’s racing madly off ‘gainst a train,
Someone’s racing madly off ‘gainst a train."
The other train was running unaware, as if in no hurry
nobody imagined to be going towards a revenge
but at the Bologna station the news arrived in a flash:
emergency bulletin, act urgently,
a madman threw himself against the train.
But the steam engine is running, running and running,
The steam is whistling and seems to be a living thing,
And the whistle spreadin’ in the air says to peasants bent at work,
"My brother, don’t fear, I’m runnin’ to do my duty,
May people’s justice walk in triumph,
May people’s justice walk in triumph,
May people’s justice walk in triumph! "
Meanwhile the locomotive runs runs runs
and the steam whistles, it looks like a living being
and the whistle spreading in the air seems to tell to the stooping peasants:
brother don't be afraid, as I am running to my duty,
may the proletarian justice triumph.
The steam engine’s running faster, faster and faster,
It’s running, running, running towards death
And now nothing can stop the immense force of destruction,
He’s waiting for the crash and for the winding sheet
Of the Great Comforting Lady,
Of the Great Comforting Lady,
Of the Great Comforting Lady.
Meanwhile it runs runs runs faster and faster
and runs runs runs runs towards death
and nothing can now hold back that immense destructive force
he only awaits the crash, then let
the great consoler's mantle come.
In history it is written how that run did end,
The engine was switched to a dead-end track,
With its last animal shout the machine did burst like a volcano
It blew up ‘gainst the sky, then smoke unwrapp’d its veil
They pick'd him up and he was still breathing,
They pick'd him up and he was still breathing,
They pick'd him up and he was still breathing.
History tells us how the run ended up,
the engine switched to a dead-end track,
with its last animal cry the engine erupted lapilli and lava,
exploded against the sky, then the smoke drew its veil,
when they picked him up he was still breathing.
But I like to imagine he’ s still runnin’ the motor,
I like to imagine he’s still making the engine fly,
So may the news come again, again one day to us
Of a steam engine, that like a living thing
Is running like a bomb against injustice,
Is running like a bomb against injustice,
Is running like a bomb against injustice!
However, we like to imagine him still at his seat,
driving away his steam engine,
and may we one day receive again the news
of a locomotive like a living being,
thrown like a bomb against injustice.


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