Hero's Death (Roamin' Jack)

Language: English


Una canzone risalente alla guerra civile americana
Il testo l'ho trovato sul buon Mudcat ma non so dirne di più.
Mi pare solo che il titolo ("Jack il vagabondo") non corrisponda molto al contenuto tristissimo del brano, dove un padre va a prendere le spoglie del figlio morto, soldato nell'esercito dell'Unione...
Ho trovato una versione solo leggermente differente intitolata Hero's Death, che mi sembra più verosimile, anche se in questa canzone non c'è affatto la celebrazione dell'eroismo guerresco

L'unica sostanziale differenza tra le due versioni che ho trovato è l'epilogo. In "Roamin' Jack" il padre dice quello che qualunque padre distrutto dal dolore direbbe di fronte al corpo di un figlio morto in guerra: "gliel'avevo detto di non andare..." ("We told him that he'd come back dead if he joined those boys in blue", che potrebbe anche indicare che questa era la versione cantata dai soldati della Confederazione...); in "Hero's Death", invece il padre ringrazia Dio che il figlio sia morto da eroe tra le giacche blu ("Thank God he died a hero's death while with the boys in blue", e questa potrebbe essere la versione cantata in campo nordista...)

Tutte mie supposizioni, comunque.
Ben vengano i vostri contributi.
It was on an autumn evening, an old man bent with age
Strolled up to the village express, just off of a dusty stage.
"Is this the express office? I've come to meet my son.
They told me that his train was due this place at half-past one."

"You've made a great mistake, sir, I would like for you to know.
This is the express office, not the town depot."
"You do not understand me, lad," with quivering lips he said.
"He's not coming as a passenger. He's coming to me dead."

Just then a whistle pierced the air. "The express!" someone cried.
And with feeble, trembling steps, the old man passed outside.
Just then a casket in a box was lowered to the ground.
It was an eager, tearful crowd that quickly gathered round.

"Don't handle him so roughly, boys. He is my darling Jack.
He went away as you are now. See how he's coming back.
He has broken his poor mother's heart. Mine is broken, too.
We told him that he'd come back dead if he joined those boys in blue."
[Thank God he died a hero's death while with the boys in blue]

Contributed by Alessandro - 2009/9/25 - 13:57

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