sexta-feira, julho 02, 2010

Get Lucky

Para quem não sabe, este é o título do último álbum de Mark Knopfler... o meu guru da guitarra (eléctrica ou acústica).

Neste post vou tentar fazer uma crítica a cada uma das músicas que compõem este "Get Lucky".

Para além das influências da própria vivência de Mark Knopfler, notam-se alguns contornos de cariz mais histórico neste álbum.


Border Reiver


Border Reivers foram saqueadores que actuavam ao longo da fronteira anglo-escocesa entre os séculos XIII e XVI. Entre eles estavam escoceses e ingleses. Percorriam toda a fronteira e não tinham em linha de conta a nacionalidade das suas vítimas. Tiveram o seu auge nos últimos cem anos da sua existência, durante a dinastia Tudor, na Inglaterra.

Álbion (Ἀλβιών), palavra hoje em dia somente utilizada na literatura, é o nome celta ou pré-celta da Inglaterra. Na sua origem estaria o facto das suas falésias serem brancas, ou a Albion, filho de Neptuno.

Nesta música existe ainda uma faceta autobiográfica de Mark Knopfler, mais concretamente dos tempos em que apanhava boleia de camionistas para as suas deslocações.

A introdução melodiosa da flauta transversal dá o tom para todo o álbum. Vê-se claramente mais um regresso de Mark Knopfler às origens celtas. Não se deixe enganar pela calma relaxante da introdução. Segue-se um ritmo bem compassado que nos faz querer dançar em volta de uma fogueira. Os instrumentos acústicos estão em predominância e assim continuarão pelo resto do álbum.

Southern bound from Glasgow town
she's shining in the sun
my Scotstoun lassie
on a border run
We're whistling down the hillsides
and tearing up the climbs
I'm just a thiever stealing time
in the Border Reiver

Three hundred thousand on the clock
and plenty more to go
Crash box and lever
- she needs the heel and toe
She's not too cold in winter
but she cooks me in the heat
I'm a six-foot driver but you can't adjust the seat
in the Border Reiver

'Sure as the Sunrise'
that's what they say about the Albion
'Sure as the Sunrise', that's what they say
about the Albion and she's an Albion
She's an Albion

The Ministry don't worry me
my paperwork's alright
They can't touch me
I got my sleep last night
It's knocking out a living wage
in 1969
I'm just a thiever stealing time
in the Border Reiver

Hard Shoulder

Às vezes temos de chorar no ombro de alguém... este pensamento é transmitido pelo compasso que nos induz num estado "saudosista". O pior é quando o ombro em que queremos chorar é demasiado duro. Um bom slow para se dançar acompanhado.

I've got latches for windows, handles for doors
Grinders and scrapers and sanders for floors
Rake for the gravel, chains for the snow
Always got the shovel - you never know
I never thought you'd go

Man's broken down
Man's broken down on the slip road
Got a slipped load
And it's a hard shoulder to cry on

Hacksaws and hammers, brushes and mop
Then I've got the ladders up on the top
If something needs doing, I always say
You want it done the proper way
I need you to stay

Give me a minute we'll be going again
Sound as a pound, right as rain
- right as rain
And it's a hard shoulder to cry on
- to cry on

You Can't Beat The House

O ritmo faz lembrar as músicas do álbum "Wag the Dog". Tanto a letra como a melodia remetem-nos para os antigos Western Saloons. O piano, para além da guitarra de Mark Knopfler, é o instrumento predominante.

You can't fool a fooler
I can tell
when a john got jazzed
by a jezebel

You can't beat the house
You can't beat the house
Tell the man somebody
You can't beat the house

When these horn dogs
get lucky with dough
they'll blow it on the roosters
and the girls of Smokey Row

You want to buy you a dance
don't buy it in here
It's all skin games and jelly roll
red-eye and beer
They're all as mean as rat snakes
all got knives in their boots
Even the piano player, man,
he don't care who he shoots

See that little homewrecker
in the backroom
She'll pick your pocket
with her pet raccoon

Before Gas and TV

Mais uma letra e música saudosista, que apela aos tempos inocentes em que a ausência de "modernices" nos faziam viver os momentos simples com maior intensidade.

Before gas and TV
before people had cars
we'd sit round the fires
pass around a guitar
remembering songs
When my daddy was home
he'd play along
on the spoons and a comb

We'd go with the flow
When the weather was fine
sometimes we'd go
collecting scrap iron
Then we'd sit round the fires
pass a bottle of wine
and the tales of the road
since time out of mind

If heaven's like this
well, that's okay with me
where the living is fine
and living is free
If heaven's like this
well, then here's where I'll be
on the edge of the field
on the edge of the world
before gas and TV

Monteleone

Existe uma tradição na cidade de Nova Iorque que consiste na criação artesanal de guitarras por parte de descendentes de italianos. Um desses artesãos chama-se John Monteleone. Mark conheceu este artesão e, segundo o seu relato, foi como ter conhecido Antonio Stradivari (o famoso construtor de violinos). John Monteleone disse-lhe esta frase acerca da sua arte: "Os cinzéis chamam-me! Está na altura de fazer serrim!" (The chisels are calling, it's time to make sawdust). Mark apercebeu-se que John Monteleone sentia necessidade de trabalhar na sua arte. E isso foi inspirador ao ponto de Mark fazer uma música de propósito para este artista.

Uma boa introdução com acompanhamento clássico. Segue o traço "chill out" deste álbum e leva-nos pé ante pé a caminho dos nossos sonhos.

The chisels are calling
It's time to make sawdust
Steely reminders of things left to do
Monteleone, a mandolin's waiting for you

My finger planes working
Gentle persuasion
I bend to the wood and I coax it to sing
Monteleone, your new one and only will ring

The rain on the window, the snow on the gravel
the seasons go by to the songs in the wood
Too quick or too careless it all could unravel
It so easily could

The chisels are calling
It's back for an encore
Back to the shavings that cover the floor
Monteleone, they're calling for more
Monteleone, they're calling for more

Cleaning My Gun

Uma música folk/country mais ao estilo de álbuns anteriores, como "Sailing to Philadelphia" ou "The Ragpicker's Dream". Uma guitarra sabiamente distorcida é a linha melódica dominante ao longo desta faixa.

I keep a weather eye on the horizon, my back to the wall
I like to know who's coming through the door, that's all
It's the old army training kicking in
I'm not complaining, it's the world we live in

Blarney and Malarkey, they're a devious firm
They'll take you to the cleaners or let you burn
The help is breaking dishes in the kitchen - thanks a lot
We hired the worst dishwasher this place ever got
Come in below the radar, they want to spoil our fun
In the meantime I'm cleaning my gun

Remember it got so cold ice froze up the tank
We lit a fire beneath her just so she would crank
I keep a weather eye on the horizon, tap the stormglass now and then
I've got a case of Old Damnation for when you get here, my friend
We can have ourselves a party before they come
In the meantime I'm cleaning my gun

We had women and a mirror ball, we had a dee jay
used to eat pretty much all that came his way
Ever since the goons came in and took apart the place
I keep a tyre iron in the corner, just in case

I gave you a magic bullet on a little chain
to keep you safe from the chilly winds and out of the rain
We're gonna might need bullets should we get stuck
Any which way, we're going to need a little luck
You can still get gas in Heaven, and a drink in Kingdom Come
In the meantime I'm cleaning my gun

The Car Was The One

Alguns apontamentos clássicos embalam o ouvinte ao longo da música. E embalar é o termo para descrever o espírito geral da composição.

In summer '63 I was staying alive
hanging at the races, hoping to drive
When they were done with the weekend and loading the cars
I couldn't get a pass so I went to the bar

I'm up in the corner nursing a beer
who should come laughing and joking in here
but Bobby Brown, the winner of the sports car race
with some friends and a girl, man, she lit up the place

Bobby was a wild boy - one summer
he knocked down a motel wall with a hammer
He'd do anything - one night for a bet
he raced through the cornfields in a Corvette

I thought it's got to be a thrill to be like that
with the beautiful girl and be king of the track
But the truth is when all was said and done
it was his Cobra I wanted - the car was the one
It was his Cobra I wanted - the car was the one
The car was the one - the car was the one

Remembrance Day

Um apontamento original para Mark Knopfler: um coro de crianças participa nesta faixa. O "Remembrance Day" é um feriado da Commonwealth (11 de Novembro) para comemorar os sacrifícios efectuados por membros das forças armadas e civis em tempos de guerra.

On your maypole green
see the winding morris men
Angry Alfie, Bill and Ken
waving hankies, sticks and boots
- all the earth and roots

Standing at the crease
the batsman takes a look around
The boys are fielding on home ground
The steeple sharp against the blue
- when I think of you

Sam and Andy, Jack and John
Charlie, Martin, Jamie, Ron
Harry, Stephen, Will and Don
Matthew, Michael - on and on

We will remember them
remember them, remember them
We will remember them
remember them, remember them

Time has slipped away
The summer sky to autumn yields
A haze of smoke across the fields
Let's up and fight another round
and walk the stubbled ground

When November brings
the poppies on Remembrance Day
when the vicar comes to say
'May God bless them, every one
Lest we forget our sons'

Get Lucky

As personagens que Mark Knopfler inventa são, por vezes, terra a terra. Não sei se foi a crise que o inspirou, mas Mark Knopfler fala de alguém que vagueia pelo mundo sem rumo certo, executando vários tipos de trabalho que apenas lhe dão o dinheiro suficiente para ir vivendo. No entanto, a alegria de viver consegue-se na esperança de que um dia talvez tenhamos sorte, principalmente se aproveitarmos as oportunidades que a vida nos dá. A flauta transversal é o instrumento principal, criando uma atmosfera bucólica, indispensável a todo o enquadramento musical.

I'm better with my muscles
than I am with my mouth
I'll work the fairgrounds in the summer
or go pick fruit down south
And when I feel them chilly winds
where the weather goes I'll follow
Pack up my travelling things
go with the swallows
And I might get lucky now and then - you win some
I might get lucky now and then - you win some

I wake up every morning
keep an eye on what I spent
Got to think about eating
got to think about paying the rent
I always think it's funny -
gets me every time
The one about happiness and money -
tell it to the bread line
But you might get lucky now and then - you win some
You might get lucky now and then - yeah, you win some

Now I'm rambling through this meadow
happy as a man can be
Think I'll just lay me down
under this old tree
On and on we go
through this old world a' shuffling
If you've got a truffle dog
you can go truffling
And you might get lucky now and then - you win some
You might get lucky now and then - yeah, you win some

So Far From the Clyde

A letra é algo negra e a música fez-me, estranhamente, recordar Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, num dueto com Kylie Minogue: "Where The Wild Roses Grow".

They had a last supper
the day of the beaching
She's a dead ship sailing
- skeleton crew
The galley is empty
the stove pots are cooling
with what's left of a stew

Her time is approaching
The captain moves over
The hangman steps in
to do what he's paid for
With the wind and the tide
she goes proud ahead steaming
and he drives her hard into the shore

so far from the Clyde
together we'd ride
we did ride

As if to a wave
from her bows to her rudder
bravely she rises
to meet with the land
Under their feet
they all feel her keel shudder
A shallow sea washes their hands

Later the captain
shakes hands with the hangman
and climbs slowly down
to the oily wet ground
Goes bowed to the car
that has come here to take him
through the graveyard and back to the town

They pull out her cables
and hack off her hatches
Too poor to be wasteful
with pity or time
They swarm on her carcass
with torches and axes
Like a whale on the bloody shoreline

Stripped of her pillars
her stays and her stanchions
When there's only her bones
on the wet, poisoned land
steel ropes will drag her
with winches and engines
‘til there's only a stain on the sand

Piper To The End

Mais uma canção nostálgica para encerrar este disco. Foi composta a pensar num tio de Mark, tocador de gaita de foles do primeiro batalhão do Royal Highland Regiment. Morreu em terreno de combate, durante a segunda guerra mundial, acompanhado da sua gaita de foles.

When I leave this world behind me
to another I will go
And if there are no pipes in heaven
I'll be going down below
If friends in time be severed
someday we will meet again
I'll return to leave you never
be a piper to the end

This has been a day to die for
Now the day is almost done
Up above, a quiet seabird
turns to face the setting sun
Now the evening dove is calling
and all the hills are burning red
And before the night comes falling
clouds are lined with golden thread

We watched the fires together
shared our quarters for a while
walked the dusty roads together
came so many miles

This has been a day to die on
Now the day is almost done
Here the pipes will lay beside me
silent with the battle drum
If friends in time be severed
someday we will meet again
I'll return to leave you never
be a piper to the end

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