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“My heart’s in the ice house
come hill or come valley
like a long ago Sunday
when I walked through the alley
on a cold winter’s morning
to a church house
just to shovel some snow.

I heard sirens on the train track
howl naked gettin’ nuder
an altar boy’s been hit by a local commuter
just from walking with his back turned
to the train that was coming so slow.

You can gaze out the window
get mad and get madder
throw your hands in the air
say – What does it matter? –
but it don’t do no good to get angry
so help me I know.

For a heart stained in anger
grows weak and grows bitter
you become your own prisoner
as you watch yourself sit there
wrapped up in a trap of your very own
chain of sorrow.

I been brought down to zero
pulled out and put back there
I sat on a park bench
kissed the girl with the black hair
and my head shouted down to my heart
– You better look out below! –
Hey, it ain’t such a long drop
don’t stammer don’t stutter
from the diamonds in the sidewalk
to the dirt in the gutter
and you carry those bruises
to remind you wherever you go


You can gaze out the window
get mad and get madder
throw your hands in the air
say – What does it matter? –
but it don’t do no good to get angry
so help me I know

For a heart stained in anger
grows weak and grows bitter
you become your own prisoner
as you watch yourself sit there
wrapped up in a trap of your very own
chain of sorrow”.

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Traduzione.

“Il mio cuore è congelato
ovunque vada collina o valle
come una domenica di tanto tempo fa
quando sono entrato in un vicolo
in una fredda mattina di inverno
fino a una chiesa
solo per spalare della neve.

Ho sentito le sirene lungo il binario ferroviario
le nude urla che ti spogliano
un chierichetto investito da un pendolino locale
stava solo camminando dando le spalle
al treno che avanzava lentamente

Tu puoi guardare dalla finestra
puoi infuriarti e impazzire
alzare le mani in aria
dire – Che importanza ha? –
ma non serve a niente arrabbiarsi
perciò aiutami

Un cuore sporco di rabbia
si indebolisce, si indurisce
ne diventi prigioniero
resti all’erta, e ti guardi, seduto immobile
incatenato alla tristezza
preso in una trappola
in cui la trappola sei tu

Sono stato trascinato fino in basso
e poi sono ritornato su
seduto su una panchina del parco
ho baciato una ragazza dai capelli neri
e la testa gridava al cuore
– E’ meglio che stai attento! –
Hey, non ci vuole molto a passare
dalle stelle alle stalle
non tergiversare, non perdere tempo
e ti porti dietro questi lividi
per ricordartelo ovunque vai

Tu puoi guardare dalla finestra
puoi infuriarti e impazzire
alzare le mani in aria
dire – Che importanza ha? –
ma non serve a niente arrabbiarsi
perciò aiutami

Un cuore sporco di rabbia
si indebolisce, si indurisce
ne diventi prigioniero
resti all’erta, e ti guardi, seduto immobile
incatenato alla tristezza
preso in una trappola
in cui la trappola sei tu”.

(Traduzione a cura di Arianna Russo e Peppo Anselmi)

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John Prine, Bruised orange (Chain of sorrow) – 5:21
(John Prine)
Album: Bruised Orange (1978)

Per segnalare errori su testi o traduzioni, o semplicemente per suggerimenti, richieste d’aiuto e qualunque altra curiosità, potete scriverci all’indirizzo [email protected].

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Cover.

1. Bon IverBruised orange (Chain of sorrow) (2011, testo e traduzione)

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Citazioni.

““Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs”. That’s Bob Dylan describing, in the way that only Dylan can, the songwriting acumen of John Prine. It may seem like a mouthful, but that description is pretty on-point when it comes the heartrending slices of life that Prine has been peddling for four decades now.
Consider one of these typical “Midwestern mindtrips,” 1978’s “Bruised Orange (Chain Of Sorrow)”. The first verse was inspired by an actual incident that Prine witnessed as a boy in Illinois. As he set out early one morning to shovel the snow from the parking lot of a local church, he came upon the scene of a freak accident where a young boy was hit by a commuter train. The random senselessness of it all clearly stuck with Prine all those years, and he pondered how people should react to it in the chorus. The instinctive reaction to “get mad and get madder” is the wrong one, he suggests, because those downbeat feelings could envelop a person until they get “Wrapped up in a trap of your very own/Chain of sorrow”.
In the second verse, Prine switches gears to show how everyone is on a rollercoaster ride of sorts, in life and love, just as likely to bask in “the diamonds in the sidewalk” as they are to wallow in the “dirt in the gutter”. The only sure thing is that every one of those experiences is going to leave a mark: “And you carry those bruises/To remind you wherever you go”.
Prine’s deadpan delivery of the song seems to second the philosophy espoused within; he refuses to get worked up even as his world-weary drawl betrays how the lack of easy answers can wear on you. For a completely different take, check out the 2010 cover version delivered by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Using his trademark high harmonies, Vernon turns the song into a hymn to man’s futility.
Cherry-picking a single song out of John Prine’s catalog is always difficult, but the man is so consistently good that whatever you choose is almost assuredly going to be representative of his high songwriting standards. Nonetheless, “Bruised Orange (Chain Of Sorrow)” is as good a place as any to start. Whether it’s beautifully existential or existentially beautiful, it’s a fantastic piece of work either way”.

(Americansongwriter.com, John Prine, “Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow)”)

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Brano proposto da: Arturo Bandini
Direttore: Arturo Bandini ([email protected])
Responsabile Quality: Alessandro Menegaz ([email protected])
Segretaria di Redazione: Arianna Russo ([email protected])

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