Hank Williams – A Mansion On The Hill (testo)
“Tonight down here in the valley
I’m lonesome and O how I feel
As I sit here alone in my cabin
I can see your mansion on the hill
Do you recall when we parted
The story to me you revealed
You said you could live without loving
In your loveless mansion on the hill
I’ve waited all through the years love
To give you a heart true and real
Cause I know you’re living in sorrow
In your loveless mansion on the hill
The light shine bright from yer window
The trees stand so silent and still
I know you’re alone with your pride dear
In your loveless mansion on the hill”.
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“A Mansion on the Hill is a song written by Hank Williams and Fred Rose and originally recorded by Williams on MGM Records. It peaked at No. 12 on the Most Played Jukebox Folk Records chart in 1948. The details surrounding the origins of “A Mansion on the Hill” are ambiguous. For many years, an apocryphal tale circulated that after meeting Hank Williams and hearing his compositions, Fred Rose was so impressed that he could hardly believe that the unknown singer from Alabama could have written so many quality songs by himself, so he tested Hank by giving him the title “A Mansion on the Hill” to write a song around, which Hank did in a side room. In an interview years after Hank’s death, his ex-wife Audrey claimed to have had a hand in writing the song herself: “Fred said…’To prove to me you can write, I’m gonna give you a title, and I want you to take it back to Montgomery and write a song around it.’ Hank worked with it and worked with it, and he never could do too much with it, and the reason he couldn’t was because it wasn’t his idea. One night…I started singing, “Tonight down here in the valley’…He really liked it, and it was a mixture of my lyrics, Hank’s lyrics, and Fred Rose‘s lyrics”. Part of the reason why Williams had difficulty with “A Mansion on the Hill” might have been that he did not write narrative ballads, his best songs freezing a moment, a feeling, or a grudge in time. He wound up adapting the melody for the song from Bob Wills‘ 1938 recording of “I Wonder If You Feel the Way I Do“. The song was recorded in Nashville at Castle Studio on November 7, 1947, with Rose producing. The players included Jerry Byrd (steel guitar), Robert “Chubby” Wise (fiddle), Zeke Turner (lead guitar), probably Louis Innis (bass) and either Owen Bradley or Rose on piano. It was released in December 1948 and peaked at No. 12″.
(Wikipedia, voce A Mansion on the Hill)
“[Mansion on the Hill di Bruce Springsteen] attinge sin dal titolo al brano di Hank Williams A Mansion on the Hill, dove la casa sulla collina è abitata dalla donna che ha lasciato il protagonista dichiarando di poter vivere da sola e senza amore. E’ la tipica “relazione romantica ostacolata dalla differenza di classe””.
(Leonardo Colombati, Bruce Springsteen – Come un killer sotto il sole, Mondadori, 2018, pp. 508-509)
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