Quel giorno d’aprile

Francesco Guccini

 

Il cannone è una sagoma nera contro il cielo cobalto
ed il gallo passeggia impettito dentro il nostro cortile
se la guerra è finita perché ti si annebbia di pianto
questo giorno di aprile

Ma il paese è in festa e saluta i soldati tornati
mentre mandrie di nuvole pigre dormono sul campanile
ed ognuno ritorna alla vita come i fiori nei prati
come il vento di aprile

E la Russia è una favola bianca che conosci a memoria
e che sogni ogni notte stringendo la sua lettera breve
le cicogne sospese nell’aria, il suo viso bagnato di neve

E l’Italia cantando ormai libera allaga le strade
sventolando nel cielo bandiere impazzite di luce
e tua madre prendendoti in braccio piangendo sorride
mentre attorno qualcuno una storia o una vita ricuce

E chissà se hai addosso un cappotto o se dormi in un caldo fienile
sotto il glicine tuo padre lo aspetti
con il sole d’aprile

È domenica e in bici con lui hai più anni e respiri l’odore
delle sue sigarette e del fiume che morde il pontile
si dipinge d’azzurro o di fumo ogni vago timore
in un giorno di aprile

Ma nei suoi sogni continua la guerra e lui scivola ancora
sull’immensa pianura e rivede quell’attimo breve
le cicogne sospese nell’aria, i compagni coperti di neve

E l’Italia è una donna che balla sui tetti di Roma
nell’amara dolcezza dei film dove canta la vita
ed un papa si affaccia e accarezza i bambini e la luna
mentre l’anima dorme davanti a una scatola vuota

Suona ancora per tutti campana
e non stai su nessun campanile
perché dentro di noi troppo in fretta ci allontana
quel giorno di aprile.

 

That day in April

Francesco Guccini

 

The cannon is a black silhouette against the cobalt sky
and the rooster sashays proudly inside our courtyard
if the war has ended why are you blinded with tears
this day in April

But the town is hailing the return of the soldiers
while herds of lazy clouds slumber above the belfry
and we go back to past lives like flowers in the fields
like the wind in April

And Russia is a white fable that you know by heart
and dream about at night while clenching the brief letter
storks suspended in the air, his face wet with snow

And Italy is singing free at last and floods the streets
waving in the sky flags that are wild with light
and your mother takes you up in her arms crying she smiles
while around you someone is mending a history or a life

And who knows if you are wearing a coat or if you are asleep in a warm barn
under the wisteria your father you await
under the sun in April

It’s Sunday and together on your bike you are older and breathe in the smell
of his cigarettes and the river that eats away at the bridge
tinted in azure or smoke is every indistinct fear
one day in April

But in his dreams the war rages on and he continues to skid
through the vast plain and relive that brief moment
storks suspended in the air, his companions covered in snow

And Italy is a lady who dances on the roof-tops of Rome
in the bitter sweetness of movies where life sings
and a pope looks out and caresses the children and the moon
while the soul sleeps in front of an empty crate

Ringing for all is the church bell
and you are not on any belfry
because all too quickly we leave behind us
that day in April.

Translation ©Matilda Colarossi

Francesco Guccini is an Italian singer-songwriter, considered one of the most important Cantautori of his time. His lyrics have been praised for their poetic and literary value. He has, in fact, received several awards for his works. Guccini, a supporter of the rights of the common people, has often dealt with political issues and the political climate of his time in his songs.

The song – celebrating April 25th, Italian Liberation Day – remembers the Italians who fought against the Nazis and Mussolini’s troops during World War II. It honours those who served in the Italian Resistance. It is from Guccini’s last album L’ultima Thule [borders of the known world].

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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