Árni Þórarinsson se souvient de cet air

Arni Thorarinsson à Villeneuve Lez Avignon, CdB, 2016


Écrivain islandais Arnie Thorarinsson est aussi journaliste ; ses romans sont traduit chez Métailié. En ce dimanche matin Árni se souvient de cet air...


« Maman, c’est quoi ça ? » ai-je demandé à ma mère en éteignant la radio.
« Je ne sais pas » a-t-elle répondu tout en se mettant à écouter.

"Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
A-Wop bop a loo bop a lop ba ba!"

La voix criarde, le piano puissant et le rythme entraînant avaient toute notre attention. Et ma mère, qui savait tout, n’avait aucune idée de la langue qui était chantée. Mais le cri continuait :

"I got a gal, named Sue, she knows just what to do
I got a gal, named Sue, she knows just what to do
She rock to the East, she rock to the West
She is the gal that I love best

Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti, ooh
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Wop bop a loo bop a lop bom bom!"

C’était en 1956 sans doute, et j’avais six ans. C'est ainsi que s'est faite mon initiation au monde sauvage et fou du rock n’roll. C’était une révolte. C’était une bombe jetée dans les sociétés bourgeoises occidentales conservatrices. Même si j’étais à peine un adolescent, je percevais le tremblement de terre social, en particulier à travers la condamnation et la résistance des plus vieilles générations. Mes parents n’en faisaient pas partie, parce que quand j’avais 10 ans ils m’ont amené à un concert de rock à Reykjavik, où un groupe anglais jouait le puissant hymne rock de Little Richard.

"I got a gal, named Daisy, she almost drive me crazy
Got a gal, named Daisy, she almost drive me crazy
She knows how to love me, yes indeed,
Boy you don't know what she do to me."

Et lorsque, quelques années plus tard, les Beatles et d'autres groupes anglais ont enregistré les chansons de leurs homologues américains, j'ai rejoint la révolution et je suis devenu un mauvais batteur dans un groupe de beat musique.

"Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti."

Il n’y a rien de comparable à l’anarchie de l’original de Little Richard. Plus tard j’ai découvert que Tutti Frutti était considéré comme « le son de la naissance du rock n’roll ». Elvis est vite devenu trop sentimental, un peu trop « fils à sa maman », les chansons de Chuck Berry étaient brillantes et osées, le chant de Jerry Lew Lewis était rauque et furieux, mais Little Richard était vraiment, comme il se qualifiait lui-même, l’architecte. Et c’est seulement aujourd’hui, en écrivant ceci, que je réalise que les paroles de Little Richard traitent de l’homosexualité ou au moins de sexe anal, mais qu'elles ont été censurées pour coller avec les standards bourgeois « normaux » :

"Tutti Frutti, good booty
If it don't fit, don't force it
You can grease it, make it easy."

J’imagine qu’au milieu des années 50 le monde n’était pas prêt pour ce genre de révolution !

"Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!"







It's sunday morning and the Icelandic writer Arnie Thorarinsson talk about his musical memory...


"A-wop bop a loo bop a lop bom bom!"

"Mama, what is this?" I asked my mother and turned up the radio.

"I don't know," she replied but also started to listen.

"Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
A-Wop bop a loo bop a lop ba ba!"

The screaming voice, the stomping piano and the driving beat got our undivided attention. And my mother, who knew everything, had no idea what language was being sung. But then the screaming continued:

"I got a gal, named Sue, she knows just what to do
I got a gal, named Sue, she knows just what to do
She rock to the East, she rock to the West
She is the gal that I love best

Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti, ooh
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Wop bop a loo bop a lop bom bom!"

It was probably 1956 and I was six years old. And such was my indroduction to the wild and crazy world of rock'n'roll."

"I got a gal, named Daisy, she almost drives me crazy
Got a gal, named Daisy, she almost drives me crazy
She knows how to love me, yes indeed
Boy you don't know what she do to me."

This was a rebellion. This was a bomb thrown into conservative western bourgeois societies. Even though I was not even a teenager yet, I felt the social earthquake, not least in the condemnation and resistance of the older generations. My parents were excluded though, because when I was ten they took me to a rock'n'roll concert in Reykjavík, where a British band played Little Richard's powerful rock anthem:
"I got a gal, named Daisy, she almost drive me crazy
Got a gal, named Daisy, she almost drive me crazy
She knows how to love me, yes indeed,
Boy you don't know what she do to me."

And when, a few years later, the The Beatles and other British rock bands recorded the songs of their American counterparts, I swiftly joined the revolution and became a bad drummer in a beat group. 

"Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti
Tutti frutti, oh rutti."

Nothing compares to the anarchy of Little Richard's original. Much later I discovered that Tutti Frutti was considered "the sound of the birth of rock'nroll". Elvis soon became too sentimental, too much of a "Mama's Boy", Chuck Berry's songs were brilliant and risky, Jerry Lee Lewis' singing was edgy and angry, but Little Richard was truly, as he put it himself, the architect. And it was only today, as I write this, that I found out that Little Richard's lyrics were written about homosexual or, at least anal, sex, but were censored to fit "normal" bourgeois standards:

"Tutti Frutti, good booty
If it don't fit, don't force it
You can grease it, make it easy."

I guess that in the mid 1950's the world was not ready for that kind of revolution!

"Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!"



Commentaires