The 40 years of “Crêuza de mä”.  All songs: “Crêuza de mä”

The 40 years of “Crêuza de mä”. All songs: “Â duménega”

Unbridled, intemperate, mocking and hilarious as Sunday should be according to iconography, “Â duménega” to put it in the Genoese way, the day in which prostitutes leave their dens and swarm the streets mocked by the same people who, under the radar, usually frequent them (“de zèuggia, sabbu e de lûnedì”, Thursday, Saturday and Monday).

«From the sixteenth century until the end of the nineteenth century» explains Fabrizio, «it was a Genoese institution to relegate prostitutes to a city neighborhood. It seems that through the earnings of these unfortunate women the Municipality of Genoa was able to pay for all the port works for an entire year.” In exchange the Bocca di Rosa receive authorization for the “Sunday walk”, the one told by De André in lively tones, to say the least, to the music of a village festival transformed by Pagani into a refined taranta. “When you duménega fan u giuvu / capelin neuvu, neuvu u vestiu / cu 'a madama 'a madama 'n head / oh belin what a party, oh belin what a party / And everyone opens up prucessìun / from Teresin-a du Teresùn / all to me ë figge du diàu / che belin de lou che belin de lou” (“When on Sunday they go around / new hat, new dress / with the police, the police in front / oh belin what a party, oh belin who party / And everyone behind the procession / of the Teresina del Teresone / all admiring the daughters of the devil / what a beautiful job / what a beautiful job”). Even the children get excited and ask their mother for money because they want to “anâ a casìn” (go to the casino).

The refrain, which refers to the teasing of passers-by in the various districts of the city (Pianderlino, Foce, Carignano, Ponticello), is untranslatable due to its vulgarity, but something can also be glimpsed in that Genoese from angiporto: “A Ciamberlin sûssa belin / ä Fuxe cheusce de sciaccanuxe / in Caignàn musse de tersa man / and in Puntexellu ghe mustran l'öxellu”. And, supported by Franco Mussida's wild electric violin, De André also reveals to us the hypocrisy of the “u direttù du portu”, the port director, who sees gold in those “butts resting from work”, so as not to see that he is happy because the new pier has “u finanziamentu”. With the last invective to the bigot (“purtòu de Cristu”) who insults passing prostitutes: “There is only one who has noticed / who among those creatures / who earn a bread from nûe / to gh'è to gh'è to gh'è to gh'è / to gh'è also teu muggé” (“You are not the only one who has noticed / that among those creatures / who earn the bread undressing / there is there is there is / your wife is also there”).

De André not only freed himself from Brassens but also set him on a path of extraordinary artistic and musical growth: yet an echo still resonates from his old master who in 1965 sang “La complainte des filles de joie” (the lament of the girls of life): “Don't laugh at poor Venus / at the poor old whore / it was a close call my dear / that this whore wasn't your mother / this whore that you make fun of”.

Tomorrow we will write about “D'ä mê riva”

The text published here is taken, courtesy of the author Federico Pistone and the publisher Arcana, from the book “Tutto De André – The tale of 131 songs”. (C) Lit editions of Pietro D'Amore sas