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english-lady

Hay canciones que cuentan historias. Canciones que hablan de ti y de mi. Canciones que descubren emociones ocultas. Canciones de artista. Hay canciones que no son canciones, sino sonidos. Y canciones que no cuentan ni expresan nada

Ahora que hablamos tanto de letras, es un buen momento para recordar “A lady of a certain age”, un monumento de canción. Una de esas obras que hacen de la sencillez  virtud. Majestuosa.  Parece  rescatada de la la tradición de los trovadores ingleses. También podría haber surgido de la pluma inspirada de Lordy Byron u  Oscar Wilde, el más cínico de los escritores británicos, que hizo de la borderia un arte. Una canción que recuerda a la época victoriana, y que define perfectamente la idiosincrasia de un país, o al menos parte de ella. “A lady of a certain age” habla de esas señoras inglesas que toman té en la Costa Azul, de una era que ya pasó, de cómo tu marido te abandona para escapar a Marsella, o de esperar a que un joven te invite a una bebida. En línea con otras letras sublimes, “Like a Rolling Stone” de Bob Dylan o el tango “Margot” de Gardel que aquí popularizó Malevaje, “A lady of a certain age” reproduce una imagen de abandono amoroso, amantes despechados y  ricos herederos venidos a menos.

Un gran aplauso para Neil Hannon de The Divine Comedy, uno de los mejores letristas pop de las últimas décadas. De hecho hay que mencionar que en febrero de 2007 fue galardonado con el James Joyce Award otorgado por la Literary and Historical Society de la Universidad de Dublin  por «su excepcional contribución a la música moderna».

Back in the day you had been part of the smart set
You’d holidayed with kings, dined out with starlets
From London to New York, Cap Ferrat to Capri
In perfume by Chanel and clothes by Givenchy
You sipped camparis with David and Peter
At Noel’s parties by Lake Geneva
Scaling the dizzy heights of high society
Armed only with a cheque-book and a family tree

You chased the sun around the Cote d’Azur
Until the light of youth became obscured
And left you on your own and in the shade
An English lady of a certain age
And if a nice young man would buy you a drink
You’d say with a conspiratorial wink
“You wouldn’t think that I was seventy”
And he’d say, “no, you couldn’t be!”

You had to marry someone very very rich
So that you might be kept in the style to which
You had all of your life been accustomed to
But that the socialists had taxed away from you
You gave him children, a girl and a boy
To keep your sanity a nanny was employed
And when the time came they were sent away
Well that was simply what you did in those days

You chased the sun around the Cote d’Azur
Until the light of youth became obscured
And left you on your own and in the shade
An English lady of a certain age
And if a nice young man would buy you a drink
You’d say with a conspiratorial wink
“You wouldn’t think that I was seventy”
And he’d say, “no, you couldn’t be!”

Your son’s in stocks and bonds and lives back in Surrey
Flies down once in a while and leaves in a hurry
Your daughter never finished her finishing school
Married a strange young man of whom you don’t approve
Your husband’s hollow heart gave out one Christmas Day
He left the villa to his mistress in Marseilles
And so you come here to escape your little flat
Hoping someone will fill your glass and let you chat about how

You chased the sun around the Cote d’Azur
Until the light of youth became obscured
And left you on your own and in the shade
An English lady of a certain age
And if a nice young man would buy you a drink
You’d say with a conspiratorial wink
“You wouldn’t think that I was seventy”
And he’d say, “no, you couldn’t be!”

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