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昨日的报纸,昨日的故事

今天下午脑海中浮现出了过去听过的一首歌的旋律,我感觉比较简单,应该可以用口琴吹出来。但由于时间长了,一些细节我记不住,所以就想把这首歌找出来听一听。

我记得这是我买的某一张英文名曲合辑 CD 里的一首曲子,但怎么也想不起来是哪一首了,于是只好一首一首的找。终于被我找到,是 Ralph McTell 唱的 Streets of London

听了几遍这首歌,看了歌词,我立刻就被吸引了。之前从随身听里整张专辑的听,那是英语水平也不大行,所以没有关注歌词。这次听了歌词的内容,没想到歌词居然写的这么有内涵。歌词如下:


Have you seen the old man
In the closed-down market
Kicking up the paper,
with his worn out shoes?
In his eyes you see no pride
And held loosely at his side
Yesterday's paper telling yesterday's news

So how can you tell me you're lonely,
And say for you that the sun don't shine?
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
I'll show you something to make you change your mind

Have you seen the old girl
Who walks the streets of London
Dirt in her hair and her clothes in rags?
She's no time for talking,
She just keeps right on walking
Carrying her home in two carrier bags.

Chorus

In the all night cafe
At a quarter past eleven,
Same old man is sitting there on his own
Looking at the world
Over the rim of his tea-cup,
Each tea last an hour
Then he wanders home alone

Chorus

And have you seen the old man
Outside the seaman's mission
Memory fading with
The medal ribbons that he wears.
In our winter city,
The rain cries a little pity
For one more forgotten hero
And a world that doesn't care

Chorus

里面给我印象最深刻的有这么几句:

  1. Yesterday’s paper telling yesterday’s news
  2. She just keeps right on walking Carrying her home in two carrier bags
  3. Same old man is sitting there on his own Looking at the world
  4. In our winter city, The rain cries a little pity. For one more forgotten hero, And a world that doesn’t care
  5. And say for you that the sun don’t shine
  6. I’ll show you something to make you change your mind

这几句词尤其让我感到震撼的感觉,前四句分别来自四段主歌,每段主歌都算是讲了一个人的境况。故事描写的感觉我没法很好的表述,总体上是描述了一种与世界格格不入的一群人,给人带来的这种悲伤、孤独、麻木、失落、无奈等情绪。后两句来自副歌,给我的感觉比较特别,我没办法描述,只是比较喜欢,虽然这两句并没有前四句给我的震撼大。

我从 YouTube 上找了一些这首歌的视频,其中一个是 1986 年的现场演出,原来这首歌已经很老了。令一个视频是 BBC 制作的喜剧,放在这里:

视频里讲的是 Ralph McTell 在演唱会里唱完了 Streets of London 这首歌,观众欢呼完了后,Ralph 说要唱下一首,结果观众都非常惊讶、愤怒,在 Ralph 介绍下一首歌并开始演唱后,一直在台下喊“Streets of London!”、“他在干什么?”、“这是什么玩意?”、“不”……最后弄的 Ralph 很无奈,只好把歌曲转到了 Streets of London 这首歌,地下的观众才继续高兴了起来。

我并不是美国 60~80 年代的乡村、流行音乐迷,因此对于 Streets of London 这首歌的流行程度并不了解。不过作为 Ralph 的成名作,这首歌必定是广为流传的。我也不知道这个搞笑视频里描述的场景有没有真实的出现过,不过一旦出现了,不知道歌曲的演唱者是该高兴还是悲伤。我同时想起了台湾综艺节目里面有人说笑话,说是黄安靠《新鸳鸯蝴蝶梦》这首歌“一招鲜,吃遍天”,去哪个节目中演唱都是这一首。而我确实也不知道黄安有其它的什么著名歌曲。

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