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John Bim
disegno di Martina Musio

John Bim’s ballad

John Bim: testo e voce Roberto Baghino. Musica Riccardo Barnieri

 

I saw John Bim                                         vidi John Bim

On a black whale’s fin                              sulla pinna di una balena nera

He didn’t smile                                         non sorrideva

He couldn’t cry                                         non poteva piangere

Only a breathe                                          soltanto un respiro

Deep like a shout                                      profondo come un grido

From his red and no-teeth mouth            dalla sua bocca rossa e sdentata

 

I knew John Bim                                            conobbi John Bim

When he was three                                        quando aveva tre anni

And I fifteen                                                  e io quindici

He told about                                                 raccontava di un mare

About a sea                                                    di un mare

Never sailed                                                  mai navigato

Never crowned                                              mai incoronato

 

He told one night                                           diceva che una notte

He dreamed it tight                                       lo sognò “stretto”

And put his hand                                           e posò la sua mano

On Water of Land                                         su Acqua di Terra

Where his thin                                               dove le sue sottili

Baby fingers                                                  dita di bambino

Dig it dig it                                                    scavano scavano

Dig it something                                            scavano qualcosa

Until the hole                                                finchè il buco

Called him by name                                      lo chiama per nome

To say come                                                  per dire vieni

Come little Bim                                             vieni piccolo Bim

Come and look                                               vieni e guarda

With closed eyes                                           con gli occhi chiusi

The history                                                    la storia

Of Fishman’s                                                 della futura vita

Future life                                                      dell’Uomopesce

 

I met him twice                                              lo incontrai di nuovo

When he was six                                           quando aveva sei anni

And I eighteen                                               e io diciotto

He thought about                                           pensava a

About a ghost                                                a un fantasma

Who every night                                            che ogni notte

Played guitar                                                 suonava la chitarra

To make the light                                          per trasformare la luce

A friendly moon                                            in luna amica

On a funny golden spoon                              su un buffo cucchiaio dorato

Eat my pill                                                     mangia la mia pillola

Said the ghost                                                disse il fantasma

Eat my moon                                                 mangia la mia luna

And you’ll be lost                                         e sarai perduto

Cry in the pillow                                           piangi nel cuscino

Growing willow                                            crescerai salice

 

So young Bim                                                così il giovane Bim

Had another dream                                        fece un altro sogno

About the sea                                                 sul mare

Was never sailed                                           mai navigato

Was never crowned                                       mai incoronato

He crossed it                                                  lo attraversò

By his feet                                                     a piedi

And signed a Zig                                           e vi segnò

A Zig-Zag Street                                           una strada a zig-zag

 

But when he turned                                                   ma quando voltò

His curly head                                                            la sua testa riccia

A spiteful wind                                                         un vento dispettoso

Kidnapped him                                                          lo rapì

On a silver wing                                                        su un’ala d’argento

Keeping afloat Bim                                                   tenendo sospeso Bim

On Zig-Zag Street                                                     su Zig-Zag Street

So he could realize                                                    così potè realizzare

It was a cicatrize                                                       che era una cicatrice

Like life line                                                             simile alla linea della vita

In the wrinkled palm                                                 nel rugoso palmo

Of an old geomancer                                                 di una vecchia geomante

 

And when he awoke                                                  e quando si svegliò

His coloured room                                                    la sua stanza colorata

Was pervaded                                                            era pervasa

By a spring smell of rain                                          da un odore di pioggia primaverile

And Bim imagined                                                    e Bim immaginò

The body hermaphrodite                                           il corpo ermafrodita

Of future Fishman                                                     del futuro Uomo pesce

Sleeping in a yellow and transparent larva              dormire nella larva gialla e trasparente

Embedded in that hole                                              incastonata in quel buco

He had dug                                                                che aveva scavato

In first dream                                                             nel primo sogno

About the sea                                                            sul mare

Never sailed                                                              mai navigato

Never crowned                                                          mai incoronato

 

Then was time                                                  poi venne il tempo

That Bim was nine                                                    che Bim compì nove anni

For his birthday                                                         per il suo compleanno

He had a cap                                                              ricevette un berretto

And Water of Land’s soul map                                 e la mappa anima di Acqua di Terra

Drawn in the night                                                    disegnata durante la notte

On the mirror                                                            sullo specchio

By the ghost                                                              dal fantasma

 

And when John Bim                                                  e quando John Bim

Put on the cap                                                            indossava il berretto

In front of the mirror                                                 di fronte allo specchio

The soul map                                                             la mappa anima

Began to live                                                             iniziava a vivere

Began to move                                                          iniziava a muoversi

While Zig-Zag Street                                                mentre Zig-Zag Street

Throbbed like lightning vein                                    pulsava come la vena-fulmine

Of a powerful heart                                                   di un cuore potente

So the bones of all the old men                                così le ossa di tutti i vecchi

Cracked morning and night                                      tintinnarono mattina e notte

 

Next day                                                                    il giorno dopo

They formed a big tail                                              formarono una lunga coda

Outside his window                                                  fuori dalla sua finestra

And everyone said                                                    e ognuno disse

It was the greatest vision                                          che era la più grande visione

Of his long life                                                          della sua lunga vita

 

At the end of the tail                                                 alla fine della coda

There was a woman                                                   c’era una donna

The old geomancer                                                    la vecchia geomante

When she stopped                                                     quando si fermò

Outside the window                                                  fuori dalla finestra

She sang                                                                    cantò

Bumbery Bambery Buu                                             Bumbery Bambery Buu

Nice to meet you                                                       piacere di incontrarti

Bumbery Bambery Hoii                                            Bumbery Bambery Hoii

Thank for my life visionary boy                               Thank for my life visionary boy

But beware                                                                ma fai attenzione

You have lots of enemies                                          hai tanti nemci

 

I too was near the window                                        anch’io ero vicino alla finestra

And asked her to tell more                                        e le chiesi di raccontare di più

But she blew a kiss to Bim                                       ma lei soffiò un bacio a Bim

And disappeared from our eyes                                e scomparve dai nostri sguardi

 

After three moons                                                     dopo tre lune

A desperate ghost                                                      un fantasma disperato

Smashed his guitar                                                    spaccò la sua chitarra

And golden spoon                                                     e il cucchiaio d’oro

In John’s profaned room                                           nella stanza profanata di John

Crying                                                                       gridando

Where are you                                                           dove sei

Where is he                                                               dov’è lui

Where is my brother Bim                                         dov’è mio fratello Bim

Why can not I see                                                      perché non posso vedere

Who has taken him                                                   chi ha preso lui

The mirror the cap                                                    lo specchio il berretto

And the soul map                                                      e la mappa anima

 

Then ghost’s tears turned into rain   allora le lacrime del fantasma si mutarono in pioggia

That every woman                                                     che ogni donna

Child and man                                                            ragazzo e uomo

Could feel flow                                                         potevano sentir scorrere

In his own cold brain                                                nel suo cervello freddo

Until an ancient                                                         finché un antico

And wise ghost                                                          e saggio fantasma

Came to him                                                              venne da lui

As a wonderful cloud                                                in forma di meravigliosa nuvola

And said                                                                    e disse

We too are prohibited omnipotence                         anche a noi è proibita l’onnipotenza

Stop your tears                                                          ferma le tue lacrime

And think about the pink                                          e pensa al rosa

The pink that lies                                                      al rosa che giace

Beneath the crust                                                      sotto la crosta

Of a wound                                                                di una ferita

Stop and wait                                                            fermati e aspetta

Said the wise ghost                                                   disse il saggio fantasma

Stop and stay                                                             fermata e resta

Because nothing is lost                                             perché niente è perduto

And I know                                                                e io so

That tomorrow                                                          che domani

Someone will run                                                      qualcuno correrà

To look for Bim                                                        a cercare Bim

Under the sun                                                            sotto il sole

 

So I left                                                          così partii

Direction east                                                direzione est

Sure to find                                                    sicuro di trovare

First on my list                                              prime nella mia lista

Old geomancer’s                                           le impronte digitali nere

Black fingerprints                                         della vecchia geomante

 

What an illusion                                            che illusione

Was my fitful search                                     fu la mia spasmodica ricerca

For her                                                            di lei

Every line                                                      ogni linea

Piece and fissure                                           pezzo e fessura

Of ground                                                      di terra

She caressed                                                  che lei accarezzava

With her hands of coal                                  con le sue mani di carbone

Became quickly the same                              diventavano subito come prima

Just I caught at one sign                                appena io cercavo di catturare un segno

No trace of her passage                                 nessuna traccia del suo passaggio

Could help me                                               poteva aiutarmi

To find a clue                                                a trovare un indizio

About Bim’s disappearance                          sulla scomparsa di Bim

Disappearance

 

And when                                                      e quando

Dirty and tired                                                sporco e stanco

I arrived                                                         arrivai

At the end of the desert                                 alla fine del deserto

I saw an hot-air balloon                                vidi una mongolfiera

Sure I had a mirage                                       sicuro che fossa un miraggio

I got on it                                                       ci salii sopra

But it was really                                            ma era vera

So I started to fly                                           così incominciai a volare

Direction west                                                direzione ovest

Over many lands                                           sopra molte terre

Where people were fighting                         dove la gente combatteva

Against anything                                           contro ogni cosa

Different from them                                      diversa da loro

Rolling over bellies full                                rotolando su pance piene

Of air and hate                                               di aria e odio

And celebrating with empty                          e festeggiando con

Plates and glasses                                          piatti e bicchieri vuoti

 

I travelled for three years                              viaggiai per tre anni

Without notices of Bim                                 senza notizie di Bim

But one night                                                 ma una notte

He visited me in dream                                 mi visitò in sogno

And said                                                        e disse

Don’t look for me                                          non cercarmi

In the wounds of men or earth                      nelle ferite degli uomini e della terra

But remember                                                ma ricorda

The willow                                                    il salice

 

Oh friendly moon                                          Oh luna amica

I cried                                                            gridai

When I awoke                                                quando mi svegliai

Show me the thin shadow                             mostrami l’ombra sottile

That I must follow                                         che devo seguire

To find Bim                                                   per trovare Bim

Please please friendly moon                         prego prego luna amica

Make my dream true                                     rendi il mio sogno vero

Let me get to Water of Land                         fammi arrivare a Acqua di Terra

Let me get to it                                              fammi arrivare laggiù

 

Thanks friendly moon                                   grazie luna amica

 

It was not night                                  non era notte

Neither day                                        né giorno

When I paused                                   quando mi fermai

Still a little stiff                                 ancora un po’ anchilosato

At a streak of sand                             su una lama di sabbia

While a delicious voice                     mentre una voce deliziosa

Invited me                                          mi invitava

To take in a reef                                a prenderla con calma

 

So I waited for more sun                   così aspettai per più sole

But that kind of twilight                    ma quella specie di penombra

Never changed                                   non cambiava mai

Only a twinkling                                soltanto uno scintillio

That winked at me                             che mi ammiccava

Furios as the eye                                furioso come l’occhio

Of  a black bird                                  di un merlo

But I didn’t care                                ma me ne fregai

And moved                                        e mossi

My first steps                                    i miei primi passi

On that sticky carpet                         su quel tappeto viscido

Sinking like stone                              sprofondando  come pietra

Re-emerging like wood                     riemergendo come legno

With a light smell                              con un leggero odore

Of burning on my skin                      di bruciato sulla mia pelle

And when I stumbled                         e quando inciampai

Against                                              contro

Sinuous  roots                                    radici sinuose

I immediately sensed                         intuii subito

That they were                                   che erano

Those of willow                                 quelle del salice

I climbed them                                   le scalai

And in a flash                                     e in un attimo

I was among the branches                 fui tra i rami

In Water of Land’s upside                 in Acqua di Terra di sopra

Where I saw John Bim                      dove vidi John Bim

On a black whale’s fin                      sulla pinna di una balena nera

They plunged downside                    si tuffarono sotto

I too                                                    anch’io

But I was caught                                ma rimasi intrappolato

In the roots                                         nelle radici

And when I got rid                             e quando mi liberai

They were too far                              erano troppo lontani

From me                                             da me

I could only see                                 potei solo vedere

The tail of the whale                         la coda della balena

With an ignis fatuus                          con un fuoco fatuo

Skipping on it                                    saltellante su essa

Trembling                                          tremante

Excited                                               eccitato

I walked into their direction              camminai nella loro direzione

Smiling at                                          sorridendo a

Will-o’-the-wisp                               fuoco fatuo

But then                                             ma dopo

I bumped into                                     inciampai

The hole                                             nel buco

Of yellow and transparent larva        della larva gialla e trasparente

I tried to grab it                                 provai ad afferrarla

But it sank                                         ma sprofondò

And I with it                                      e io con lei

After a dizzy fall                               dopo una caduta vertiginosa

I could grab it                                   riuscii ad afferrarla

Ooh                                                    ohh

The Fishman                                      l’Uomopesce

Who opened his eyes                         che aprì i suoi occhi

Had my own face                               aveva il mio stesso viso

I cried                                                 gridai

I cried                                                 gridai

For the sudden                                   per l’improvvisa

Strong and white light                       forte e bianca luce

In the narrow space                           nello spazio stretto

While a doctor                                   mentre un dottore

Run to hold my wrist                         corse a stringermi il polso

Whispering                                        sussurrando

Be quiet                                             calma

Be quiet                                             calma

And welcome welcome again            e benvenuto benvenuto di nuovo

I crawled my tongue                          io strisciai la mia lingua

Over my toothless gums                    sulle mie gengive sdentate

Welcome where                                 benvenuto dove

I asked                                                io chiesi

Welcome to life                                 benvenuto alla vita

The doctor said                                  disse il dottore

You’ve just emerged                         sei appena riemerso

From a long coma                              da un lungo coma

 

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Spazi pubblicitari Liguria.Today

Info Roberto Baghino

Scrittore e organizzatore di eventi culturali. Tra le sue pubblicazioni Il sipario di Maissa(2004), Virginia (2006), Atti lunici(2008), Storie di cani (2019). Tra i testi teatrali rappresentati Il sesso di Igor (2007), Puntura (2008). Con Davide Barabino ha realizzato i cortometraggi Scheria(2008), Ecco (2008). Fondatore e redattore della rivista cultura Il Cormorano dal 2000 al 2006.

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