Fabrizio De André
was of those outstanding people who possessed various skills: he was a poet, composer and a singer. A person like this is called in Italian "cantautore". This combination of skills, and the style of his songs resembles that of Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.
He composed and sang songs about miserable people from the margins of society, about the suffering that happens due to war, about gypsies and American Indians, and about lost, impossible love.
A few of his well-known songs:
La Guerra di Piero ("The War of Piero"),
Fiume Sand Creek ("Sand Creek River" - about the of the massacre of Native Americans in 1864, an event that was the basis for the movie "Soldier Blue" ),
La canzone di Marinella ("The Marinella Song"),
Via Del Campo, Bocca Di Rosa ("Rose Mouth"),
and Amore Che Vieni Amore Che Vai ("Love That Comes, Love That Goes").
He wrote in Italian, but also in dialects of Genoa, Sardinia and Naples. Fabrizio also translated and performed works by George Brassens, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.
Among these works are:
Susan, Nancy and Joan of the Arc - by Leonard Cohen
The Gorilla, To Die for Ideals, In The Fountain Water - by George Brassens
Desolation Row (Via Della Povertà) and Romance in Durango (Avventura A Durango) - by Bob Dylan
However, most of De André works are originals.
Fabrizio De André was born in Genoa, Italy in 1940 and died in 1999.
His father was anti-fascist, and during WW2 the family had to escape and find a refuge because of the authorities.
When he was a young boy he studied the violin, and later he also played the guitar.
His first songs were published in 1958. His first collection of songs, an anthology called "Tutto Fabrizio De André" appeared in 1966, and his first album "Volume 1" appeared in 1967.
When one listens to his music, and hears his clear and expressive voice, one can get each word clearly.
If one does not understand Italian, still, there is some mystical bond to the subject,
and a beautiful flow of the rhythm and the music. Even today, in Italy there are ongoing events and concerts where they perform his works.
The following albums are my favorites - I think they are genuine masterpieces:
Translations to Hebrew by Eli Tomer
- Volume 1, which, I believe, includes many of the themes that De André would pursue in the following years, like Jesus as a human, death, compassion and love. It includes the song Via del Campo, about a street in Genoa that is the landscape of impossible love scenarios, and the famous humorous-ironic song Bocca di Rosa (Rose Mouth).
- Tutti Morimmo A Stento ("All Die Reluctantly ") about miserable people
- La Buona Novella: a fascinating view about Maria and Jesus, as humans with pain and joy, rather than divine figures, the songs also mention the two thieves who were crucified together with Jesus
- Rimini (written together with Massimo Bubola): songs in a melancholy style
- Fabrizio De André 1981 ("The Indian"): songs about longing, nature with a mystical atmosphere
fondazione de André
- The official site
Via Del Campo
- An homage to De André, also includes translations to English
Le Opere Di Dani
Anti War songs
A site with the discography list