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zH yh Don McLean: Vincent (Starry Night) per Montse Frisach • Mirador de les arts,

En una càpsula del temps que hi ha enterrada sota l’edifici del Museu van Gogh d’Àmsterdam, hi ha un joc de pinzells de l’artista i una partitura de la cançó Vincent (Starry Night), del cantautor nord-americà Don McLean.

El cert és que el primer cop que vaig pensar en la sèrie Bonus Track, la primera de les cançons que em va venir al cap per incloure a la llista va ser aquesta balada dolça i sensible que McLean va publicar el 1972 com a homenatge al seu admirat Vincent Van Gogh. És una cançó que inicia una llista de temes musicals que parlen d’artistes visuals, que anirem desglossant setmanalment.

Vincent van Gogh, La nit estelada, 1889. MoMA, Nova York.

La cançó Starry Night deu la seva popularitat a una melodia senzilla però profunda que discorre serenament en la inconfusible veu de l’autor d’American Pie, l’altre gran èxit de la carrera de McLean. El cantant la va escriure el 1970 en un moment de crisi personal, als 25 anys, mentre llegia una biografia del pintor. McLean, que s’adreça directament al pintor, s’identifica amb la lluita de Van Gogh per recuperar el seny i la serenitat, cosa que fa a través de la bellesa i dels colors de la seva pintura.

En aquell moment, ingressat al manicomi de Saint-Paul de Mausole, van Gogh no podia sortir de nit.

Sense esbossos, sense haver copiat res abans, Van Gogh va pintar La Nit estelada des de la memòria perquè en aquell moment, ingressat al manicomi de Saint-Paul de Mausole, a Saint Rémy, no podia sortir de l’edifici per la nit. La cançó té el poder de transportar-nos a la cel·la de Van Gogh, que mira la lluna plena i els estels a través dels barrots de la finestra, des del seu confinament nocturn.

 

 

Vincent (Starry Night)

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul

Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free

They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of china blue

Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free

They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night

You took your life, as lovers often do
But I could’ve told you Vincent
This world was never meant for
One as beautiful as you

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frame-less heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget

Like the strangers that you’ve met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
The silver thorn of bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

Now I think I know
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free

They would not listen, they’re not listening still
Perhaps they never will