Learn Italian in Song: Centro di Gravita’ Permanente

by Franco Battiato – This song seems to be largely nonsense, but when I first heard it, it occurred to me that the chorus expresses something many people feel – unfortunately. Though the song is by Battiato, who is shown in the video here, musically I much prefer the Neri per Caso cover.

Centro di Gravita’  Permanente

Permanent Center of Gravity

Una vecchia bretone con un cappello e un ombrello An old Breton [woman] with a hat and an umbrella
di carta di riso e canna di bambu` of rice paper and bamboo cane
capitani coraggiosi Captains courageous
furbi contrabbandieri macedoni Clever Macedonian smugglers
gesuiti euclidei Euclidean Jesuits
vestiti come dei bonzi per entrare a corte Dressed like Buddhist monks to go to the court
degli imperatori della dinastia dei Ming. of the Emperors of the Ming dynasty.
ritornello: refrain:
Cerco un centro di gravita` permanente I’m seeking a permanent center of gravity
che non mi faccia mai cambiare idea That won’t make me ever change my mind
sulle cose sulla gente About things, about people
avrei bisogno di… I would need…
Over and over again. [surely you don’t need me to translate this line!]
Per le strade di Pechino erano giorni di maggio On the streets of Peking there were days of May
tra noi si scherzava a raccogliere ortiche We joked among ourselves gathering nettles
non sopporto i cori russi la musica finto rock I can’t stand Russian choruses, fake rock music,
la new wave italiana il free jazz punk inglese the Italian New Wave, free jazz, English punk
neanche la nera africana. nor even the black African.
(ritornello) (refrain)
if you find this useful and want more, let me know!

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