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

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

Two years earlier, September 1982, the Lebanese Christian militias supported by the Israeli army raided the defenseless Palestinian refugee camp of Sabra and Shatila causing hundreds of deaths, perhaps thousands.

Fabrizio De André tells, in a chilling reportage, the small tragic story of an Arab man who holds in his hands the remains of his little son crushed by a tank that is proceeding towards Sidon (Sidùn), south of Beirut. “Spremmûu 'nta maccaia de stäe de stäe / e oua grûmmu deblood ouëge e denti de læte” (“Squeezed in the humid heat of summer / and now blood clot ears and baby teeth”). Fabrizio gives a historical account: «Sidon is the Lebanese city that gave us, in addition to the use of the letters of the alphabet, also the invention of glass. I imagined her, after the attack suffered by General Sharon's troops, as a middle-aged Arab man, dirty, desperate, certainly poor, holding his son crushed by the tracks of a tank in his arms.”

The song opens with the conciliatory voices of General Ariel Sharon, future prime minister of Israel, and of the President of the United States Ronald Reagan, covered by applause and the noise of incoming crawlers.

Pagani's oud intones a lament intertwining with De André's heartfelt voice which finds new nuances to tell of an atrocious and silent pain, “a cosmic desolation”, as Cesare Romana defines it. Mauro Pagani goes so far as to say that with this song «Fabrizio, who considered 'Sidùn' the most beautiful thing he had written, stopped being a songwriter and started being a singer». The song is so intense that it causes almost physical pain and the incomprehensible dialect is not enough to cover the conscience. «Fabrizio didn't necessarily want to talk about that war» Dori recalls, «but about the absurdity of all wars». “The hero's ballad”, “Piero's war”, “Girotondo”, “Andrea” and now “Sidùn”, for a circle of death, power and vulgarity, summed up in the last desolate farewell to his son reduced to pulp: “Hello mæ 'nin / the legacy is excused 'nte this çittäe / ch'a brûxa, ch'a brûxa inta seia che chin-a / e in stu grande ciæu de feugu / pe a teu die picin-a” : “Hello my child / the inheritance is hidden in this city / that burns, that burns in the falling evening / and in this great sky of fire / for your little death”.

Tomorrow we will write about “Sinán Capudán Pascià”

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