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The Pop Revolution

 

流行音樂革命

 

Even if the word “pop” disappears from the English vocabulary, the influence of pop will remain. Pop has become part of British—and American—history.

 

“流行音樂”這個詞即使從詞匯中消失,它的影響將仍然存在。流行音樂已經成為英國——以及美國——歷史的一個組成部分。

 

There has always been a close cultural link, or tie, between Britain and English—speaking America, not only in literature but also in the popular arts, especially music. Before the Second World War the Americans exported jazz and the blues. During the 1950s they exported rock ’n’ roll, and star singers like Elvis Presley were idolized by young Britons and Americans alike.

 

在英國和說英語的美國之間,不僅在文學方面,而且在流行藝術,特別是音樂方面,一直有著密切的接觸或聯系。第二次世界大戰前,美國的爵士音樂和布魯士樂曾流傳到國外。在五十年代,他們又輸出了搖滾樂。像普雷斯利這樣的歌星,在英美兩國同樣受到年輕人的崇拜。

 

Then in the early 1960s a new sound was heard, very different from anything which had so far come from the American side of the Atlantic. This was the Liverpool, or Merseyside, “beat”. Situated on the River Mersey in the north—eastern corner of the industrial Black Country, Liverpool was not a place which anyone visited for fun. Until the 1960s it was known only as one of Britain’s largest ports. Then, almost overnight, it became world famous as the birthplace of the new pop culture which, in a few years, swept across Britain and America, and across most of the countries of the western world.

 

後來,在六十年代初期,人們聽到一種新的聲音。它和過去從大西洋彼岸的美國傳來的聲音很不相同。這是利物浦或默西塞德郡的“節拍”。利物浦位于工業區黑鄉東北角和默西河畔,並不是一個游覽勝地。在19世紀60年代以前,利物浦都只不過是以英國最大的港口而被人們所熟知,但是,一夜之間,利物浦以新流行文化的搖籃而世界聞名,這股流行文化風在短短的幾年內,橫掃英美,在西方世界的大多數國家流行起來。

 

The people responsible for the pop revolution were four Liverpool boys who joined together in a group and called themselves The Beatles. They played in small clubs in the back streets of the city. Unlike the famous solo stars who had their songs written for them, the Beatles wrote their own words and music. They had a close personal relationship with their audience, and they expected them to join in and dance to the “beat” of the music. Audience participation is an essential characteristic of pop culture.

 

發動通俗音樂這場革命的人是利物浦的四名男青年。他們組成一個小組,自稱為“披頭士樂隊。”他們穿街走巷,在城市的小俱樂部里演奏。有名的獨唱歌星們有別人為他們創作歌曲。披頭士樂隊卻和他們不同,自己寫詞譜曲。他們與聽眾之間有密切的直接聯系,他們歡迎聽眾參加進來,和他們一起隨著音樂的節拍起舞。聽眾參加是通俗文化的一個基本特點。

 

Some pop groups, in particular the Rolling Stones, did more than just entertain. They wrote words which were deliberately intended to shock. They represented the anger and bitterness of youth struggling for freedom against authority, and for this reason they were regarded by some people as the personification of the “permissive society”.

 

有些流行音樂團體,特別是滾石樂隊,並不只提供娛樂。他們寫的歌詞,經過精心推敲,有意使人震驚。這些歌詞表達了為爭取自由,與傳統權威進行斗爭的廣大青年的憤怒和怨恨。因此有些人認為他們是“放縱社會”的化身。

 

The Beatles, on the other hand, finally won the affection—and admiration—of people of all ages and social backgrounds. As they developed, their songs became more serious. They wrote not only of love, but of death and old age and poverty and daily life. They were respected by many intellectuals and by some serious musicians. Largely thanks to the Beatles, pop music has grown into an immense and profitable industry.

 

另一方面,披頭士樂隊最終還是贏得了不同年齡、不同社會經歷的人們的喜愛和贊賞。隨著樂隊的發展他們的歌曲變得更加嚴肅。他們不僅寫愛情,也寫死亡、老年、貧窮和日常生活。他們獲得許多知識分子和一些嚴肅的音樂家們的尊敬。流行音樂成為一支龐大的、有利可圖的行業,主要應歸功于披頭士樂隊。

 

The influence of British pop in America was immense. American pop groups soon became as famous as British groups. Both British and Americans are experimenting with new ideas, and pop is developing and changing, and merging with modern folk music.

 

英國的流行音樂對美國的影響很大。美國的流行音樂團體很快也像英國流行樂隊那樣有名。英美兩國人民都在不斷地試驗著各種新的思想,因而流行音樂也在不斷地發展、變化,而且日益與現代音樂結合起來。

 

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