The Hill(La Collina) the poem/song which introduces the subject of Spoon River by E. L. Master gives a description of the Spoon River Cemetery and the people now resting there. It was translated by Fernanda Pivano and was freely adapted into a song by Fabrizio De André in the album Non al denaro, non all’amore né al cielo (1971) . He chose nine out of the 244 poems and turned them into songs. The main themes of these poems are envy (invidia – A Madman, A Judge, A Blaspheme and A Sick- hearted) and science (A Doctor, A Chemist, An Optician). A part from The Player Jones, the characters have no names – unlike (a differenza )E. L. Master’s characters – as they must represent stereotyped human behaviours (comportammenti) which can exists in every time and everywhere.
Dove sono Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom e Charley,
l’abulico, l’atletico, il buffone, l’ubriacone, il rissoso?
Tutti, tutti, dormono sulla collina