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I Hate the Whiteman

Roy Harper
Language: English

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[1969]
Parole e musica di Roy Harper
Nel disco “Flat Baroque and Berserk” pubblicato nel 1970

Flat Baroque and Berserk

[…] la meravigliosa "I Hate The White Man" invettiva torrenziale, ballata anti-imperialista e anti-colonialista satura di intensità, dove svetta il canto nitido e sofferto del nostro Roy Harper […]
(dalla recensione di bluesboy94 per DeBaser)

When Roy Harper wrote these words he was attacking all the things about the society he was spawned from that he found detestable. He was in effect taking on the brunt of the establishment. Who would have thought that it would take forty years for it to come and bite him on the bum.
The young Roy Harper was vitriolic in his attack on what the pervading culture of the ‘White Man’ was doing around the world with its creed of selfishness, exploitation and greed.
He harks back to an age where men were free to walk, hunt and live without the petty restrictions, hypocrisy and dubious morals of the world we were building.
He looked at the propaganda in the newspapers, the ever present threat of nuclear annihilation and the alcohol soaked pavements of our cities where mindless humanity obeyed the rules and drowned their sorrows as they live in a plastic, empty society devoid of meaning and purpose. Where anybody who rebels is cowed with teargas and batons, even guns. Power and might is always right.
He even turns the power of his poetry against himself and his impotence.
What an incredibly powerful indictment of the world we have created.
What a sad state of affairs when our leading dissident is now being hauled over the coals in the courtrooms of this mad society. You don’t think there’s any connection do you? It couldn’t be a conspiracy could it?
(Opher Goodwin, in Lyrics stuffed with meaning – Roy Harper – I Hate The Whiteman – Lyrics of a Dissident hoisted on his own petard!)
[L’ultimo paragrafo dello scritto si riferisce alle recenti dolorose vicende giudiziarie di Roy Harper, che nel 2013 fu denunciato per alcuni presunti episodi di abusi sessuali, crimini dei quali è stato ritenuto completamente innocente in due distinte sentenze alla fine del 2015, ndr]
Far across the ocean
In the land of look and see
There once was a time
For you and me

Where the winds blow sweetly
And the easy seas flow still
And where the barefoot dream of life
Can laugh and cry its fill

Where slot machine confusions
And the plastic universe
Are objects of amusement
In the fiction of their curse

And where the crazy whiteman
And his teargas happiness
Lies dead and long since buried
By his own fantastic mess

For I hate the whiteman
And his plastic excuse
For I hate the whiteman
And the man who turned him loose…

And the reins of coloured thunder
Of the stallion of the dawn
Ride the coalfire morning
On the beach where all is born

Where the emperor of meaning
Is burning up his forts
And sits to warm his toes around
A fire made up of useless thoughts

And when the children tempt him
With the riddles of their trance
He flings the flames of solstice
Casting laughs into their dance

And while a crazy whiteman
In the desert of his bones
Lies as bleached as the paradise
He likes to think he owns

And I hate the whiteman
In his evergreen excuse
Oh I hate the whiteman
And the man who turned him loose…

And far across the reaches
Of the drifting yellow sands
The living carpet wilderness
Forever joins its hands

With heaven hell’s attainment
In a surging crest of fire
Where more than all is thrown upon
The ever lasting pyre

And through the countless canticles
Of Jason’s charcoal fleece
Are sung the songs of nothing
In the timeless masterpiece

And there stood in the middle
Guess who?
It’s the everlasting burst
Built by god’s very own whiteman
As he tries to rule the dust

And I hate the whiteman
In his doctrinaire abuse
Oh I hate the whiteman
And the man who turned you all loose…

And the bowels of his city
Have been locked into a safe
Where the spew stains on the sidewalks
Are defenders of his faith

While back inside his kitchen
The bowler hatted, long haired saint
Cleans with soap and water
But it’s really just white paint

While his golden headed scandal sheets
Present their daily bite
To give their righteous news-bleeders
Drugs to keep them white

While outside in the whitewash
Where the guns are always, always right
A shooting star has summoned
Its dark angel from his night

And I hate the whiteman
And his evergreen excuse
Oh I hate the whiteman
And the man who turned you all loose
And the man who turned him loose…

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2016/2/25 - 09:11



Language: Italian

Traduzione italiana di Riccardo Venturi
27 febbraio 2016 (h 4,12 - h 6,55)

Due parole del traduttore. Immagino che non molte traduzioni siano state tentate dei testi di Roy Harper. Qualcuna probabilmente sì, e coscienziosamente sono andato a vedere; certo è che di questa canzone, proprio non c'è nulla. Per forza: “tradurre” una cosa del genere attiene alla pura follia. Non si tratta nemmeno di “riscrivere”, però, perché “riscrivendo” si perderebbe tutta quanta la lucida invettiva harperiana. Si procede, allora, per puro intuito; si lascia quel che si può lasciare e si interpreta, del tutto personalmente e arbitrariamente, quel che si percepisce ma che sfugge. Non vorrei davvero esagerare, ma si tratta di un testo veramente impossibile; cioè quelli che a me più piacciono quando, nel bel mezzo de la noche, mi metto alla tastiera col testo davanti. Io e lui da soli, una tazzata di caffè e il pacchetto di sigarette. Salud.
ODIO L'UOMOBIANCO

Lontano oltre l'oceano
nella terra delle meraviglie
ci fu, una volta, un tempo
per te e per me

In cui i venti soffiavano dolci
e i mari fluivano tranquilli
e in cui sognando una vita semplice
si poteva piangere o ridere a sazietà

Dove i bordelli delle slot machines
e tutto l'universo di plastica
erano roba per far divertire
in romanzi sulle loro disgrazie

E dove il pazzo Uomobianco
e la sua felicità al gas lacrimogeno
erano già da un pezzo morti e sepolti
dai suoi enormi disastri

Perché io odio l'Uomobianco
e i suoi pretesti di plastica
perché io odio l'Uomobianco
e chi lo ha sciolto...

E l'alba infuocata cavalca
con le sue redini di tuono variopinto
il mattino, come uno stallone,
sul lido dove tutto è nato

Dove il Re del Significato
divampa i suoi fortini
e siede scaldandosi le dita dei piedi,
un fuoco fatto di pensieri inutili

E quando i bambini lo tentano
coi loro enigmi incantati
lui lancia le fiamme del solstizio
gettando risa nella loro danza

E mentre il pazzo Uomobianco
nel deserto delle loro ossa
giace smorto come il paradiso
gli piace pensare che è tutto suo

E io odio l'Uomobianco
coi suoi pretesti sempre buoni
oh, io odio l'Uomobianco
e chi lo ha sciolto...

E lontano, oltre il dominio
delle gialle sabbie vaganti
la natura, tappeto vivente,
sempre aiuta se stessa

Con cognizione del bene e del male
in un pennacchio di fuoco fluttuante
su cui tutto quanto è gettato,
l'eterna pira

E in tutte le innumeri cantiche
sul vello di carbone di Giàsone
si cantano le canzoni del Nulla
nel capolavoro senza tempo

E lui ci stava nel mezzo,
indovinate chi?
E' l'esplosione infinita, fabbricata
da dìo e dal suo-proprio-suo Uomobianco
mentre cerca di dominare la polvere

E io odio l'Uomobianco
nel suo abuso dottrinale
oh, io odio l'Uomobianco
e chi lo ha sciolto...

E le budella della sua città
sono state chiuse in una cassaforte
dove le chiazze di vomito sui marciapiedi
sono i suoi defensores fidei

Mentre il santo capellone in bombetta
gli ripulisce di nuovo la cucina
con acqua e sapone,
ma è solo una mano d'imbiancatura

Mentre i suoi giornalacci scandalistici
mordono tutti i giorni coi loro titoloni
per dare alle canaglie dei loro lettori perbene
la droga per mantenerli bianchi

Mentre là fuori, nel bianco più bianco
dove le armi hano sempre, sempre ragione
una stella sparando ha richiamato
l'angelo nero dalla sua notte

E io odio l'Uomobianco
e i suoi pretesti sempre buoni
oh, io odio l'Uomobianco
e chi vi ha sciolti a tutti quanti,
e chi lo ha sciolto, a lui...

2016/2/27 - 06:55


Pathetic…?…!, by Roy Harper

March 20, 2010

I received this on March 17th 2010 from deepest bellsouth.net

Comment: I just wanted to say that I wouldn’t purchase anything from someone that hates his own race. Pathetic.


I felt that I should reply to the uninformed taunt that this represents, so I wrote the following:-

‘I Hate The White Man’ was written in response to the many injustices that the peoples/tribes of Europe had inflicted on greater Humanity in the modern age. Roughly over the period since the more precise mapping of the planet at the beginning of the age of discovery; which brought us into contact with peoples we considered, wrongly, to be inferior. Perhaps the crucible for this was the bloodbath of 14th Century Europe, second only to the 20th Century in terms of carnage, but that strays into opinion and theory.

Other races were successively subjected to racism, slavery, apartheid, torture and genocide by the elite classes of Europeans. Mass genocide in Africa, North America and Europe ensued, including the virtual extinction of a viable alternative way of life in North America.
Whether you believe this, or give recorded history the credit it deserves, or not, depends largely on the way you have been educated.

I was simply reminding the new generation about their responsibilities to history and to human culture at the time. It is now obvious that reminders of the dangers of allowing brutal social mechanisms to repeat savage histories will be necessary for every new generation of every race. Unfortunately, though our social mechanisms, eg., The United Nations, are very well intentioned, we have continued to set a very poor example to the rest of the world, eg., The Iraq War. So much so that we have now passed many of our bad habits on to the rest of humanity… and they have reciprocated in kind, eg., Al Qaeda, Robert Mugabe etc, etc.

I could never hate my own race without hating myself, and I don’t. The words to the song are a sentiment.. and intended as a shock tactic and wake-up call. In 1968, when it was written, the white man was the world bully. Perhaps we hadn’t yet entered into the general cynicism that has mainly pervaded since, but many of us could see and feel it coming. People like me, and there were many of us, were trying to hold it back. In the end, a forlorn task. We were trying to base our lives on different ethics. Many of us have refused to renege on these ideals. They are ideals that don’t involve rip-off, economizing with the facts, sharp practice, injustice, depravation, prejudice, humiliation or murder.

Whether you choose to live with that kind of a general ethic or not will largely depend on the way you have educated yourself, or been educated.

Some famous quotes..

“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.”
Chief Red Cloud

“We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on.”
Chief Seattle

“I’ve asked myself again and again whether it wouldn’t have been better if we hadn’t gone into hiding, if we were dead now and didn’t have to go through this misery, especially so that the others could be spared the burden. But we all shrink from this thought. We still love life, we haven’t yet forgotten the voice of nature, and we keep hoping, hoping for . . . everything.”
Anne Frank (Hiding from the Gestapo, May 26, 1944)

Bernart Bartleby - 2016/2/25 - 10:35


Grazie Riccardo, bella e difficile...
(maperò non fumare troppo, neh...)
Ciao!

B.B. - 2016/2/27 - 13:28


Tranquillo, e poi stanotte mi son fatto una bella ronfata sana e goduriosa (anzi, petalosa, visto che ora va di moda...). Però credo che senza cicchini e caffè una metà di questo sito non esisterebbe :-)) Comunque, con Roy Harper non è finita qui...

Riccardo Venturi - 2016/2/28 - 09:33



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