2012-03-24

愛曲(5) Kilkelly 的留守老爸

1845年開始持續多年的大饑荒(The Great Famine)是愛爾蘭近代歷史最悲慘的一頁。那時,愛爾蘭仍屬英國統治,一窮二白,人民極度依賴馬鈴薯維生。一種名為blight的疫病侵襲,幾乎把當地的馬鈴薯收成徹底毀掉。據估計,那幾年間,至少一百萬愛爾蘭人死於病患飢荒,另一百萬離鄉別井到外地謀生。

後來,雖說最困難的時期已過,人民生活仍然艱苦,年輕人視離國打工為唯一出路。到二十世紀初,愛爾蘭人口僅餘四百多萬,較大饑荒發生前減少一半。Kilkelly(一個愛爾蘭小鎮)歌中故事就是以這時代背景譜成。

作曲人的祖輩當時是留守家園的老爸,目不識丁,靠當地校長代他寫信給身在遠方的兒子John(和Michael),一則略述故鄉及家人近況,再則表達思念兒子,期望有日重聚之情。歌曲包含5封家書,寫於1860-1892。最後一封由已回鄉的Michael寫給飄洋到新世界美國謀生一去不返的John,告知他老爸離開了。

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 60, my dear and loving son John
Your good friend the schoolmaster Pat McNamara's so good
as to write these words down.
Your brothers have all gone to find work in England,
the house is so empty and sad
The crop of potatoes is sorely infected,
a third to a half of them bad.
And your sister Brigid and Patrick O'Donnell
are going to be married in June.
Your mother says not to work on the railroad
and be sure to come on home soon.

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 70, dear and loving son John
Hello to your Mrs and to your 4 children,
may they grow healthy and strong.
Michael has got in a wee bit of trouble,
I guess that he never will learn.
Because of the dampness there's no turf to speak of
and now we have nothing to burn.
And Brigid is happy, you named a child for her
and now she's got six of her own.
You say you found work, but you don't say
what kind or when you will be coming home.

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 80, dear Michael and John, my sons
I'm sorry to give you the very sad news
that your dear old mother has gone.
We buried her down at the church in Kilkelly,
your brothers and Brigid were there.
You don't have to worry, she died very quickly,
remember her in your prayers.
And it's so good to hear that Michael's returning,
with money he's sure to buy land
For the crop has been poor and the people
are selling at any price that they can.

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 90, my dear and loving son John
I guess that I must be close on to eighty,
it's thirty years since you're gone.
Because of all of the money you send me,
I'm still living out on my own.
Michael has built himself a fine house
and Brigid's daughters have grown.
Thank you for sending your family picture,
they're lovely young women and men.
You say that you might even come for a visit,
what joy to see you again.

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 92, my dear brother John
I'm sorry that I didn't write sooner to tell you that father passed on.
He was living with Brigid, she says he was cheerful
and healthy right down to the end.
Ah, you should have seen him play with
the grandchildren of Pat McNamara, your friend.
And we buried him alongside of mother,
down at the Kilkelly churchyard.
He was a strong and a feisty old man,
considering his life was so hard.
And it's funny the way he kept talking about you,
he called for you in the end.
Oh, why don't you think about coming to visit,
we'd all love to see you again.


Kilkelly - Mick Molone, Jimmy Keane, Robbie O'Connell


Kilkelly - Rowena Taheny


Kilkelly - Rowena Taheny (with lyrics)


愛爾蘭 Kilkelly鎮。1860年。
我親愛的兒子約翰:
你的好朋友Pat McNamara校長,
他好心幫我寫了這封信。
你的兄弟都去英格蘭找工作了,
現在,屋子空蕩蕩的,讓人神傷。
地裡的土豆遭受很強的蟲害襲擊,
三分之一甚至一半都壞掉了。
你的妹妹Bridget 將於六月份和Patrick O'Donnell結婚。
你的媽媽說不久就不再去鐵路上上班了,
她確信這次真的是要待家裡了。

愛爾蘭 Kilkelly鎮。1870年。
我親愛的兒子約翰:
向你的妻子和四個孩子問好,
祝願他們健康,祝願他們壯實。
Michael(約翰的兄弟)有點小小的麻煩,
我想他沒有從以前的經驗中汲取教訓。
因為氣候太潮濕的緣故,這裡沒了乾草,
現在我們沒得可燒的東西了。
Bridget很高興你給她的孩子取名,
儘管她已經有了六個孩子。
你說你剛找到一份工作,
但是沒說是什麼樣的工作,
也沒說你什麼時候回家。

愛爾蘭 Kilkelly鎮。1880年。
我親愛的兒子約翰:
我很抱歉要告訴你一個非常悲傷的消息,
你親愛的媽媽走了。
我們把她葬在了Kilkelly鎮的教堂邊,
你的兄弟們和Bridget那天都在。
你不要太憂慮,她走得很快,
你做禱告的時候不要忘記媽媽。
還有一件想必你聽了高興的事,
Michael掙了一些錢回來了,
而且真的買了一塊地。
因為地裡的收成實在糟糕,人們都在賣地,
只要給點底錢,他們幾乎都會賣。

愛爾蘭 Kilkelly鎮。1890年。
我親愛的兒子約翰:
我馬上就要八十歲了,
而你已經走了整整三十年。
正是因為你寄來的所有的錢,
我才能活到這個年齡,幾乎超出了我的命數。
Michael已經給自己蓋了所很好的房子,
Bridget的小妮子們長得都很喜人。
謝謝吾兒你寄來的你的全家福,
他們是些非常可愛的年輕男女。
你說你甚至有可能回來看望我們,
能再次見到你,這是多麼讓人高興的事。

愛爾蘭 Kilkelly鎮。1892年。
我親愛的兄弟約翰:
抱歉我沒有及時寫信給你,
告訴你父親去世的事。
他一直和Brigid生活在一起,
她說,父親愉快而健康,直到壽終正寢。
而且,你真應該看看他和你的朋友
Pat McNamara的孫輩們玩耍時的樣子。
我們把他葬在了媽媽旁邊,
就是在咱們Kilkelly鎮教堂的墓地裡。
他是個很堅強的倔老頭,
因為生活是如此的艱辛。
他總是提起你,而他提起你的時候總是很有趣,
臨走的時候還在叫你的名字。
為什麼不考慮一下回來看看我們,
我們都真心盼著再見到你。


(中譯歌詞出處:告诉我什么才叫做人生:Kilkelly Ireland(歌词)。譯文雖有多處值得商榷,但大都不損原意。唯一值得指出的誤譯在第一封信的最後兩句,正確意思應是你娘叫你不要到鐵路打工,並盼你儘早回鄉)