STORMALONG JOHN

Illustrazione di Greg Newbold

Sea shanty in memoria del marinaio Stormie cioè il marinaio per eccellenza, secondo  A.L.Lloyd Stormalong era “the blusterous old skipper who stands his ground alongside Davy Jones and Mother Carey among the mythological personages of the sea. Some took him to be an embodiment of the wind, others believed he was a natural man…” ( Folk Song In England, 1967 ).
D’altro canto Alfred Bulltop Stormalong è un leggendario eroe americano del mare dalle proporzioni gigantesche e dalle imprese prodigiose, protagonista di molti racconti per bambini. E’ Stormalong “an able sailor, bold and true” e il suo funerale una sorta di ultimo addio alla gloriosa era dei grandi velieri, sconfitti sul finire dell’Ottocento dai battelli a vapore.

E’ classificata da Stan Hugill come la più vecchia nella serie della “Stormalong family” (Mister Stormalong, Stormy Along, John, Stormalong, Boys, Stormy, Way Stormalong John, Walk Me Along, Johnny Storm and Blow and Yankee John, Stormalong), un gruppo di halyard shanties; questa in particolare era un canto di origine afro-americane per il lavoro alle pompe o come canto all’argano.

ASCOLTA Jon Bartlett

ASCOLTA Assassin’s Creed per Black Flag In Game Soundtrack


Oh, poor old Stormy’s dead and gone
Stormalong boys! Stormalong John!
Oh, poor old Stormy’s dead and gone
Ah-ha, come along get along
Stormyalong John!
I dug his grave with a silver spade
I lower’d him down with a golden chain
I carried him away to Montego (Mobile) Bay
tradotto da Cattia Salto
Povero vecchio Stormy è morto stecchito Stormalong ragazzi! Stormalong John! Vieni avanti
Stormyalong John!
Ho scavato la sua fossa con una spada d’argento
l’ho calato giù con una catena d’oro
e l’ho portato via da Montego Bay

Una versione più estesa è riportata in “American Sea Songs and Chanteys,” di Frank Shay, 1948
Old Stormy’s gone, that good old man,
To my way hay, Stormalong, John!
Oh, poor old Stormy’s dead and gone,
To my aye, aye, aye, aye, Mister Stormalong!
We dug his grave with a silver spade,
His shroud of the finest silk was made.
We lowered him with a silver chain,
Our eyes all dim with more than rain.
An able sailor, bold and true,
A good old bosun to his crew.
He’s moored at last, and furled his sail,
No danger now from wreck or gale.
I wish I was old Stormy’s son,
I’d build me a ship of a thousand ton (1).
I’d fill her up with New England rum,
And all my shellbacks they would have some.
I’d sail this wide world ‘round and ‘round,
With plenty of money I would be found.
Old Stormy’s dead and gone to rest,
To my way hay, Stormalong, John!
Of all the sailors he was the best,
To my aye, aye, aye, aye, Mister Stormalong!
NOTE
1) secondo John Sampson si tratta di John Willis armatore londinese che costruì il Cutty Sark; il padre John Willis potrebbe essere il nostro Stormalong; così scrive nel suo  “The Seven Seas Shanty Book” (1926) “I have heard that the prototype of this noble shanty was old John Willis, a famous early Victorian ship master and owner, whose son was the John Willis known as Old White Hat and who will be remembered chiefly as the owner of the famous Cutty Sark.”
FONTI
http://shantiesfromthesevenseas.blogspot.it/2011/11/23-mister-stormalong.html
http://shantiesfromthesevenseas.blogspot.it/2011/11/24-stormy-along-john.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=39676
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/stormalong.html
http://ingeb.org/songs/ostormys.html
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/sea-shanty/Stormalong.htm

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