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Nelly Gray

Benjamin Hanby
Language: English

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[1856]
Parole e musica di Benjamin Hanby (1833-1867), compositore, educatore e pastore evengelico, abolizionista, attivista – insieme al padre, anche lui ministro del culto – nell’Undergroud Railroad, la rete segreta attraverso la quale nell’800, prima della Guerra Civile, molti schiavi neri del Sud riuscirono a guadagnare la libertà verso il Nord degli USA.



Benjamin Hanby compose questa canzone nel 1856 a Westerville, Ohio, su richiesta di un ex schiavo nero, tal Joseph Selby o Shelby, mentre la locale chiesa evangelica stava raccogliendo la somma necessaria per riscattare la compagna del fuggiasco, ancora schiava da qualche parte nel sud del paese.



Una canzone tristirrima.
There's a low, green valley, on the old Kentucky shore.
Where I've whiled many happy hours away,
A-sitting and a-singing by the little cottage door,
Where lived my darling Nelly Gray.

Oh! my poor Nelly Gray, they have taken you away,
And I'll never see my darling any more;
I'm sitting by the river and I'm weeping all the day.
For you've gone from the old Kentucky shore.

When the moon had climbed the mountain and the stars were shining too.
Then I'd take my darling Nelly Gray,
And we'd float down the river in my little red canoe,
While my banjo sweetly I would play.

One night I went to see her, but "She's gone!" the neighbors say.
The white man bound her with his chain;
They have taken her to Georgia for to wear her life away,
As she toils in the cotton and the cane.

My canoe is under water, and my banjo is unstrung;
I'm tired of living any more;
My eyes shall look downward, and my song shall be unsung
While I stay on the old Kentucky shore.

My eyes are getting blinded, and I cannot see my way.
Hark! there's somebody knocking at the door.
Oh! I hear the angels calling, and I see my Nelly Gray.
Farewell to the old Kentucky shore.

Oh, my darling Nelly Gray, up in heaven there they say,
That they'll never take you from me any more.
I'm a-coming-coming-coming, as the angels clear the way,
Farewell to the old Kentucky shore!

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2014/11/6 - 15:12



Language: Czech

Versione ceca come interpretata da Rudolf Cortés (Rudolf Kraisinger, 1921-1986) nell’adattamento di Vladimír Dvořák (1925-1999)
NELLY GRAY

Vzpomínám si na ty šťastné chvíle u nás v údolí.
Vzpomínám očí modrých nad šalvěj.
každá vzpomínka jak čerstvá rána v srdci zabolí.
měl jsem rád dívku jménem Nelly Gray

Bože můj, soucit měj s mojí malou Nelly Gray.
která zmizela mi navždy v širou dál.
smutnou písničku si řeka zpívá, ztichl ptačí rej.
Pro můj žal celý kraj se rozplakal.

Přišel den jako jiné dny a přece tolik zlý.
bílý pán stanul náhle ve dveřích.
potom v okovech mi moji milou někam odvedli.
to že, snad černou kůži mít je hřích.

Bože můj, soucit měj s mojí malou Nelly Gray.
která zmizela mi navždy v širou dál.
smutnou písničku si řeka zpívá, ztichl ptačí rej.
pro můj žal celý kraj se rozplakal.
pro můj žal celý kraj se rozplakal.

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2014/11/6 - 15:32



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