El músic nord-americà Bob Dylan guanya el premi Nobel de literatura 2016

bob_dylanEl músic nord-americà Bob Dylan guanya el premi Nobel de literatura 2016 “per haver creat una nova expressió poètica en la gran tradició nord-americana de la cançó”, segons ha anunciat aquest dijous la secretària de l’Acadèmia sueca, Sara Danius. La decisió ha estat una sorpresa, i Danius ha hagut d’aturar-se un moment abans de poder continuar per anunciar el motiu pel qual se li donava el guardó a Dylan, ja que durant les dues últimes dècades l’Acadèmia sueca només ha recompensat dos poetes, Tomas Tranströmer (2011) i Wyslawa Szymborszka (1996). Uns minuts després, Danius ampliava el missatge inicial: “ Dylan mereix el Nobel perquè és un gran poeta en llengua anglesa. Durant una trajectòria de 55 anys


1. Blowin’ in the wind. Inclosa al disc ‘The freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’ (1963), és un emblema de la cançó protesta. Dylan es pregunta sobre la pau, la guerra i la llibertat

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?

Yes, ‘n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

2. Tombstone Blues. La cançó de ‘Highway 61 revisited’ (1965) forma part del grapat gens anecdòtic de lletres surrealistes que Dylan ha escrit, entre les quals també hi ha ‘Bob Dylan’s 115th dream’ i ‘Subterranean homesick blues’. Entremig de versos extravagants com “Well, John the baptist after torturing a thief / looks up at his hero the Commander-in-Chief” hi ha una crítica a l’autoritat i al poder.

The sweet pretty things are in bed now, of course
The city fathers, they’re trying to endorse
The reincarnation of Paul Revere’s horse
But the town has no need to be nervous

The ghost of Belle Starr, she hands down her wits
To Jezebel the nun, she violently knits
A bald wig for Jack the Ripper, who sits
At the head of the Chamber of Commerce

Mama’s in the factory, she ain’t got no shoes
Daddy’s in the alley, he’s lookin’ for food
I’m in the kitchen with the tombstone blues

The hysterical bride in the penny arcade
Screaming, she moans, “I’ve just been made”
Then sends for the doctor who pulls down the shade
And says, “My advice is to not let the boys in”

Now the medicine man comes and he shuffles inside
He walks with a swagger and he says to the bride
“Stop all this weeping, swallow your pride
You will not die, it’s not poison”

Mama’s in the factory, she ain’t got no shoes
Daddy’s in the alley, he’s lookin’ for food
I’m in the kitchen with the tombstone blues

Well, John the Baptist, after torturing a thief
Looks up at his hero the Commander-in-Chief
Saying, “Tell me, great hero, but please make it brief
Is there a hole for me to get sick in?”

3 Love sick. L’any 1997 va aparèixer ‘Time out of mind’, el trentè disc d’estudi de Bob Dylan. Juntament amb ‘Tempest’ –que arribaria quinze anys després– és considerat un dels àlbums més destacats de l’última etapa de Dylan. Hi abunden el blues i els mitjos temps.

I’m walking through streets that are dead
Walking, walking with you in my head
My feet are so tired, my brain is so wired
And the clouds are weeping

Did I hear someone tell a lie?
Did I hear someone’s distant cry?
I spoke like a child, you destroyed me with a smile
While I was sleeping

I’m sick of love
But I’m in the thick of it
This kind of love
I’m so sick of it

I see, I see lovers in the meadow
I see, I see silhouettes in the window
I watch them till they’re gone and they leave me hanging on
To a shadow

I’m sick of love
I hear the clock tick
This kind of love
I’m love sick

Sometimes the silence can be like the thunder
Sometimes I wanna take to the road and plunder
Could you ever be true? I think of you
And I wonder

I’m sick of love
I wish I’d never met you
I’m sick of love
I’m trying to forget you

Just don’t know what to do
I’d give anything to be with you
Love sick en català (Bob Dylan)

Estic caminant,pels carrers que estan morts
caminant, caminant amb tu al meu cap
Tinc els peus tan cansats. El meu cervell està tan embolicat
I els núvols estan plorant

He sentit a algú dir una mentida?
He sentit el crit distant d’algú?
Vaig parlar com un nen, tu em vas destruir amb un somriure
mentre jo estava dormint.

Estic malalt d’amor
Però sóc al mig d’ell
Aquest tipus d’amor
Estic tan fart d’això

Veig, Veig amants al prat
Veig, Veig siluetes a la finestra
Els observo fins que se’n van
em deixen penjat en una ombra.

Estic malalt d’amor
Escolto el tic de rellotge
Aquest tipus d’amor
Estic tan fart d’això

De vegades el silenci pot ser com el tro
A vegades vull prendre la carretera i el saqueig (A vegades sento que m’estan enterrant.)
Podria alguna vegada ser veritat? penso en tu
I em pregunto

Estic malalt d’amor
Voldria no haver-te conegut mai
Estic malalt d’amor
Jo estic intentant oblidar-te

Simplement no sé què fer
Donaria qualsevol cosa per estar amb tu

4. Hurricane. La cançó protesta inclosa a ‘Desire’ (1975) explica la història del boxejador Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, que va ser condemnat juntament amb John Artis d’un triple assassinat a Paterson l’any 1966. Al llarg de vuit minuts i mig, Dylan defensa que rere l’empresonament de Carter hi havia motius racials.

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall.
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood,
Cries out, “My God, they’ve killed them all!”
Here comes the story of the Hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin’ that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Three bodies lyin’ there does Patty see
And another man named Bello, movin’ around mysteriously.
“I didn’t do it,” he says, and he throws up his hands
“I was only robbin’ the register, I hope you understand.
I saw them leavin’,” he says, and he stops
“One of us had better call up the cops.”
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashin’
In the hot New Jersey night.

Meanwhile, far away in another part of town
Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are drivin’ around.
Number one contender for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that.
In Paterson that’s just the way things go.
If you’re black you might as well not show up on the street
‘Less you wanna draw the heat.

Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the cops.
Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowlin’ around
He said, “I saw two men runnin’ out, they looked like little apes
They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates.”
And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head.
Cop said, “Wait a minute, boys, this one’s not dead”
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
He told ’em he could identify the guilty men.

Four in the mornin’ and they haul Rubin in,
They took him to the hospital and they brought him upstairs.
The wounded man looks up through his one dyin’ eye
Says, “Why’d you bring him in here for? He ain’t the guy!”
Yes, here’s the story of the Hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin’ that he never done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

Four months later, the ghettos are in flame,
Rubin’s in South America, fightin’ for his name
While Arthur Dexter Bradley’s still in the robbery game
And the cops are puttin’ the screws to him, lookin’ for somebody to blame.
“Remember that murder that happened in a bar?
Remember you said you saw the getaway car?
You think you’d like to play ball with the law?
Think it might-a been that fighter that you saw runnin’ that night?
Don’t forget that you are white.”

Arthur Dexter Bradley said, “I’m really not sure.”
The cop said, “A poor boy like you could use a break
We got you for the motel job and we’re talkin’ to your friend Bello
You don’t wanta have to go back to jail, be a nice fellow.
You’ll be doin’ society a favor.
That sonofabitch is brave and gettin’ braver.
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on him
He ain’t no Gentleman Jim.”

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much.
“It’s my work,” he’d say, “I do it for pay
And when it’s over I’d just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along the trail.”
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.

All of Rubin’s cards were marked in advance
The trial was a pig-circus, he never had a chance.
The judge made Rubin’s witnesses drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger.
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger.
And though they could not produce the gun,
The D.A. said he was the one who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed.

Rubin Carter was falsely tried.
The crime was murder one, guess who testified?
Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride.
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game.

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sunrise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell.
Yes, that’s the story of the Hurricane,
But it won’t be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he’s done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.

5. Visions of Johanna. És una de les cançons d’amor més estranyes que Dylan ha escrit al llarg dels anys. El músic s’acabava de casar amb Sara Lownds, però el record de Joan Baez era tan present que la veu narradora de ‘Visions of Johanna’ –inclosa a ‘Blonde on blonde’ (1966)– troba a faltar el seu antic amor tot i que ja en té un de nou. “Louise, she’s all right, she’s just near / s’he’s delicate and seems like the mirror/ but she just makes it all too concise and too clear / that Johanna’s not here”, escriu.

Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re tryin’ to be so quiet ?
We sit here stranded, though we’re all doing our best to deny it
And Louise holds a handful of rain, tempting you to defy it
Lights flicker from the opposite loft
In this room the heat pipes just cough
The country music station plays soft
But there’s nothing really nothing to turn off
Just Louise and her lover so entwined
And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind.
In the empty lot where the ladies play blindman’s bluff with the key chain
And the all-night girls they whisper of escapades out on the D-train
We can hear the night watchman click his flashlight
Ask himself if it’s him or them that’s really insane
Louise she’s all right she’s just near
She’s delicate and seems like the mirror
But she just makes it all too concise and too clear
That Johanna’s not here
The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face
Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place.
Now, little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously
He brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously
And when bringing her name up
He speaks of a farewell kiss to me
He’s sure got a lotta gall to be so useless and all
Muttering small talk at the wall while I’m in the hall
Oh, how can I explain ?
It’s so hard to get on
And these visions of Johanna they kept me up past the dawn.
Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues
You can tell by the way she smiles
See the primitive wallflower frieze
When the jelly-faced women all sneeze
Hear the one with the mustache say, “Jeeze
I can’t find my knees.”
Oh, jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule
But these visions of Johanna, they make it all seem so cruel.
The peddler now speaks to the countess who’s pretending to care for him
Saying, “Name me someone that’s not a parasite and I’ll go out and say a prayer for him.”
But like Louise always says
“Ya can’t look at much, can ya man.”
As she, herself prepares for him
And Madonna, she still has not showed
We see this empty cage now corrode
Where her cape of the stage once had flowed
The fiddler, he now steps to the road
He writes everything’s been returned which was owed
On the back of the fish truck that loads
While my conscience explodes
The harmonicas play the skeleton keys and the rain
And these visions of Johanna are now all that remain.
Compositors: Bob Dylan / Dylan Bob
Lletra de Visions of Johanna © Bob Dylan Music Co.

Mr. Tambourine man

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Though I know that evenin’s empire has returned into sand,
Vanished from my hand,
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping.
My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet,
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming.

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin’ ship,
My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip,
My toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels
To be wanderin’.
I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way,
I promise to go under it.

Though you might hear laughin’, spinnin’, swingin’ madly across the sun,
It’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escapin’ on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facin’.
And if you hear vague traces of skippin’ reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time, it’s just a ragged clown behind,
I wouldn’t pay it any mind, it’s just a shadow you’re
Seein’ that he’s chasing.
Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

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