Us and them – Tuesday 4th September 2012 – Musica in Classe

Tuesday 28th August |  2130 Italian time |2030 UK time |1230 SL time |Italian Mood, Second Life (IM me for a TP if you get lost!)

Lezioni di inglese su testi di canzoni famose Lesson n. 24 – Pink Floyd

Us and Them – Pink Floyd

Simply an amazing song.  I enjoyed looking at this song facts page where ‘ordinary people’ discuss its meaning.  I particularly liked the content and imagery in this comment from Linus of Istanbul:
It’s actually not entirely about war.. There is more to Pink Floyd than just putting words in. Syd once said that he liked songs that meant one thing when it’s read, but also had another, much deeper meaning within. Pink Floyd followed that rule in their songs, and Us and Them is one of them. Look at the words, you’ll see a song about war. But inside, like the caramel inside a chocolate, is the real stuff: It tells you of the abandoned loneliness of “Us” and the people who are one with the system: “Them.” The conformists and the non-conformists make the central theme of Us and Them.
Not mentioning the “Battle of Words” part which fits perfectly with the argument of the Wicked Witch of the West and the Good Witch of the North. This album is such a treat for mankind.

– Linus, Istanbul, Turkey

And later on, Drew agrees:
I think that Linus and Elysia have it right. This song is layered. I’m sure not even the Floyd themselves would want to pigeon hole this one. “Us and Them” is such a great piece of art it can be applied to explain almost anything regarding opposites. differences in opinion, separation, empathy, misunderstanding, conflict of many kinds, etc. I believe the “us and them” theme is relevant on all levels in this world. ie. From the kiddies at school, black culture, white culture, Christianity, Islam, big corporations, factory workers, up & down, with & without, opinion & no opinion. The look of “the other”. Difference in opinion. Other minds. Us and well……them. Were not gonna have the same opinions. We were all given minds. You are you, I am me. This blog on “song facts” represents the difference in opinions perfectly. Us and them. Many people are dead set on labeling this song as a war song. It’s certainly not us that is labeling it, its them. You dig? Who knows which is which and who is who? – Drew, Grand Rapids, MI

If the mood takes you, feel free to come along representing either ‘Us’ or ‘Them’.. and we can have a battle of words to decide if we agree with you!

( I am in two minds . I want to be ‘us’, but as your teacher perhaps I need to be ‘them’ …!)

Although the album version is very long, (over 7 minutes) don’t worry … we will just do the verses!  I do not have time to learn how to play the saxophone for the lovely instrumental breaks sadly ….

Anyway, here are the words, accompanied by Loris’ wonderful translation.  Grazie Loris!

Pink Floyd: Us and Them

Us and Them
And after all we’re only ordinary men
Noi e loro
Eppure dopo tutto siamo solo uomini comuni

Me and you
God only knows it’s not what we would choose to do
Io e te
Dio solo sa non è quello che sceglieremmo di fare

“Forward,” he cried, from the rear
And the front rank died.
The General sat, and the lines on the map
Moved from side to side.

“Avanti”, gridava, dalle retrovie
E la prima linea moriva.
Il generale sedeva e le linee sulla mappa
Correvano da parte a parte

Black and Blue
And who knows which is which and who is who.
Nero e blu
Chissà cosa è cosa e chi è chi.

Up and Down
And in the end it’s only ‘round and ‘round ,and ‘round
Su e giù
Ma alla fine è solo attorno, attorno e attorno

“Haven’t you heard? it’s a battle of words”
The poster bearer cried.
“Listen son”, said the man with the gun,
“There’s room for you inside”

“Non avete sentito? È una disputa a parole
Gridava il latore della notizia
“Ascolta ragazzo”, diceva l’uomo con la pistola
C’è posto per te dentro

Down and Out
It can’t be helped but there’s a lot of it about.
Senza un soldo
È inevitabile ma ce n’è un sacco di così attorno

With, without
And who’ll deny it’s what the fighting’s all about
Con, senza
E chi negherà che il combattimento non sia per quello

Out of the way, it’s a busy day,
I’ve got things on my mind.
For want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died.
Fuori dai piedi, è una giornata indaffarata,
Ho un sacco di cose per la testa.
Per mancanza dei soldi per pagare il te e una fetta
Il vecchio moriva.

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