A Pair of Brown Eyes

The Pogues
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OriginalVersione italiana di Valentina
One summer evening drunk to hell
I stood there nearly lifeless
An old man in the corner sang
Where the water lilies grow(1)
And on the jukebox Johnny(2) sang
About a thing called love
And it's how are you kid and what's your name
And how would you bloody know?
In blood and death 'neath a screaming sky
I lay down on the ground
And the arms and legs of other men
Were scattered all around
Some cursed, some prayed, some prayed then cursed
Then prayed and bled some more
And the only thing that I could see
Was a pair of brown eyes that was looking at me
But when we got back, labeled parts one to three
There was no pair of brown eyes waiting for me
Una sera d'estate, ubbriaco marcio,
Stavo lì in piedi, quasi morto.
Un vecchio nell'angolo cantava
“Dove crescono le orchidee”.
E al jukebox Johnny cantava
Di una cosa chiamata amore.
E come stai bimbo e come ti chiami,
E come cazzo lo sai?
E fra il sangue e la morte, sotto un cielo che urlava,
Ero disteso a terra.
Le braccia e le gambe di altri uomini erano sparse tutto attorno,
Alcuni imprecavano, alcuni pregavano, alcuni pregavano e poi imprecavano,
Poi sanguinavano e ancora pregavano.
E l'unica cosa che potevo vedere
Era un paio di occhi marroni che mi guardavano.
Ma quando tornammo indietro, i pezzi etichettati da uno a tre,
Non c'era nessun paio di occhi marroni che mi aspettava.
And a rovin' a rovin' a rovin' I'll go
For a pair of brown eyes
E vagando me ne andrò,
Per un paio di occhi marroni...
I looked at him he looked at me
All I could do was hate him
While Ray and Philomena sang(3)
Of my elusive dream
I saw the streams, the rolling hills
Where his brown eyes were waiting
And I thought about a pair of brown eyes
That waited once for me
So drunk to hell I left the place
Sometimes crawling sometimes walking
A hungry sound came across the breeze
So I gave the walls a talking
And I heard the sounds of long ago
From the old canal
And the birds were whistling in the trees
Where the wind was gently laughing
Lo guardai e lui mi guardò,
Tutto ciò che potevo fare era odiarlo.
Mentre Ray e Philomena cantavano
Del mio sogno irraggiungibile,
Io vedevo i ruscelli e le dolci colline
Dove i suoi occhi marroni mi aspettavano,
E pensavo a un paio di occhi marroni
Che un tempo aspettarono me.
Così, ubbriaco marcio, me ne andai,
A tratti strisciando, a tratti camminando.
Un suono famelico giunse attraverso il vento,
Così dissi una parola ai muri.
E udii i suoni di tanto tempo fa,
Provenire dal vecchio canale.
E gli uccelli fischiettavano fra gli alberi,
Là dove il vento dolcemente rideva.
And a rovin' a rovin' a rovin' I'll go
For a pair of brown eyes
E vagando me ne andrò,
Per un paio di occhi marroni...
(1) This might be a stretch, but "Where the water lillies grow" is the chorus to the 19th century ballad "Agnes by the River.

(2) "Johnny" might refer to Johnny McEvoy (a country artist who came to prominence on the Irish music scene in the 1960s, and was likened to an "Irish Bob Dylan") since among his hits were a version of "Muirshin Durkin" and a tune called "Those Brown Eyes." However in an interview Shane says it refers to the "Man in Black," Mr. Johnny Cash. Cash recorded an album and song (released in 1972) called "A Thing Called Love":
"It's just about a guy getting pissed at a bar round here," says Shane nonchalantly. "He's getting pissed because he's broken up with this bird and... you know how it is when you just go into a pub on your own to drink and it's really quiet and you get this old nutter who comes over and starts rambling on you. So this old guy starts on about how he came back from the war, the First World War. Or the Second. One of them anyway. And he tells him about the ship he had out there and how he got out and came back and this girl had fucked off with someone else, a girl with a pair of brown eyes. Which is the same situation as the young guy sitting there listening to all this rubbish and the juke box playing Johnny Cash and ...

Ray Lyman [sic] and Philomena Begley, classic London juke box tracks. And in the end he gets to the stage where he says fuck it, and he goes stumbling out of the pub and he walks along the canal and starts feeling really bad, on the verge of tears, and he starts realising that the old guy has had a whole fucking lifetime of that feeling, going through the war and everything, but his original reaction is to hate him and despise him. I'm not saying he goes back and starts talking to him but you know...

Ray Lynam and The Hillbillies became a fixture on the Irish record charts in the late 1960s and one of the leading country music artists in Ireland. During the 1980s Lynam had a weekly gig at Dublin's Harcourt Hotel. He is still singing and touring throughout Ireland. Philomena Begley is also an active country artist in Ireland. Indeed, in January 2000 she was awarded the 'Millennium Inspirational Award' from Country Music Ireland at its inaugural awards ceremony.

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