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Gung Ho

Patti Smith


Language: English


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Album "Gung Ho" (2000)

Gung Ho
The album title Gung Ho has so many implications. What were you trying to communicate with the title?

PS: Well, it's got two things. One, it's a play on words, because the title cut "Gung Ho" is an overview of the life of Ho Chi Minh, looking at what drove him as a patriot and a person who foresaw and worked all his life on creating an independent Vietnam. He was a very special man, but he was also a very common man. And I thought of him sort of like Gunga Din, who had those qualities. So it has that "gung-ho" sort of play on words.

But also, when I was a kid, my father fought in World War II, and my mother always used to use that term, gung-ho. It was used for someone who was putting their whole heart [into something] and really believing in what they were doing and even going into a difficult task with positive, idealistic energy. I decided that I wanted to enter the new century like that. We have so many things that are wrong, so many difficult things. I wanted to go into the new century in a positive, work-oriented frame of mind.

Austin Chronicle
On a field of red one gold star
Raised above his head
Raised above his head
He was not like any other
He was just like any other
And the song they bled
Was a hymn to him

Awake my little one
The seed of revolution
Sewn in the sleeve
Of cloth humbly worn
Where others are adorned

Above the northern plain
The great birds fly
With great wings
Over the paddy fields
And the people kneel
And the men they toil
Yet not for their own
And the children are hungry
And the wheel groans

There before a grass hut
A young boy stood
His mother lay dead
His sisters cried for bread
And within his young heart
The seed of revolution sewn
In cloth humbly worn
While others are adorned

And he grew into a man
Not like any other
Just like any other
One small man
A beard the color of rice
A face the color of tea
Who shared the misery
Of other men in chains
With shackles on his feet
Escaped the guillotine

Who fought against
Colonialism imperialism
Who remained awake
While others slept
Who penned like Jefferson
Let independence ring
And the cart of justice turns
Slow and bitterly
And the people were crying
Plant that seed that seed
And they crawled on their bellies
Beneath the giant beast
And filled the carts with bodies
Where once had been their crops

And the great birds swarm
Spread their wings overhead
And his mother dead
And the typhoons and the rain
The jungles in flames
And the orange sun
None could be more beautiful
Than Vietnam
Nothing was more beautiful
Than Vietnam

And his heart stopped beating
And the wheel kept turning
And the words he bled
Were a hymn to them
I have served the whole people
I have served my whole country
And as I leave this world
May you suffer union
And my great affection
Limitless as sky
Filled with golden stars

The question is raised
Raised above his head
Was he of his word
Was he a good man
For his image fills the southern heart
With none but bitterness

And the people keep crying
And the men keep dying
And it's so beautiful
So beautiful
Give me one more turn
Give me one more turn
One more turn of the wheel

One more revolution
One more turn of the wheel


Language: Italian

Traduzione di Roberto Malfatti
GUNG HO

Una stella d'oro in un campo rosso
Si alzò sopra la sua testa
Si alzò sopra la sua testa
Non era come tutti gli altri
Era proprio come tutti gli altri
La canzone che sanguinarono
Era un inno in suo onore

Svegliati piccolo mio
Il seme della rivoluzione
Cucito nella manica
Di un vestito indossato con umiltà
In mezzo a persone agghindate

Sopra la pianura del nord
Il grande uccello volava
Con le sue immense ali
Sopra le risaie
Tutti sono inginocchiati
Gli uomini si ammazzano di fatica
Ma non per se stessi
I bambini hanno fame
La ruota cigola

Là prima di una capanna
Un bambino è fermo in piedi
Sua madre giace morta
Sua sorella piange per la fame
Nel suo giorvane cuore
Il seme della rivoluzione è cucito
Su un vestito indossato con umiltà
In mezzo a persone agghindate

Diventò un uomo
Non come tutti gli altri
Proprio come tutti gli altri
Un piccolo uomo
La barba colore del riso
Il viso colore del tè
Ha condiviso la miseria
Con altri uomini ridotti in catene
Con i ceppi ai piedi
E' sfuggito alla gigliottina

Ha combattuto contro
il Colonialismo e l'Imperialismo
E' rimasto sveglio
Mentre altri dormivano
Ha pensato e scritto come Jefferson
Lascia che suonino le campane dell'indipendenza
Il carro della giustizia si muove
Lentamente, amaramente
La gente piangeva
Pianta quel seme, quel seme
Hanno strisciato sul ventre
Al di sotto della gigantesca belva
E riempito di corpi i carri
Che prima caricavano di raccolti

Lo stormo dei grandi uccelli
Ha spiegato le sue ali nel cielo
Sua madre morta
I tifoni e la pioggia
La giungla in fiamme
E il sole arancione
Niente poteva essere più bello
Del Vietnam
Niente era più bello
Del Vietnam

Il suo cuore cessò di battere
La ruota ha continuato a girare
Le parole che sanguinò
Erano un inno in loro onore
Ho servito il mio popolo
Ho servito il mio paese
Adesso che lascio questo mondo
Possiate sopportare e essere uniti
Il mio amore per voi è grande
Immenso quanto il cielo
Scintillante di stelle d'oro

La questione è sollevata
Sollevata sopra la sua testa
Era un uomo di parola?
Era un uomo buono?
Perchè la sua immagine riempie i cuori della gente del sud
Con niente altro che risentimento

La gente continua a piangere
Gli uomini continuano a morire
Ed è così bello
Così bello
Ancora un altro giro
Ancora un altro giro
Ancora un altro giro della ruota

Un'altra rivoluzione
Un altro giro della ruota

Contributed by Roberto Malfatti - 2016/8/23 - 18:59


Una canzone, a mio avviso splendida, di non immediata comprensione. Questa intervista in inglese a Patti smith può aiutare a comprenderla meglio: http://www.austinchronicle.com/music/2000-03-31/76646/

Roberto Malfatti - 2016/8/23 - 19:04



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