Seven Drunken Nights:英语中的“喝醉酒”,为什么既是 Drunken 又是 Drunk?


爱尔兰的传统文化中喜欢绿色,在节日庆典时,很多人都会身着绿色的上衣或帽子;另外,很多爱尔兰人都以能喝酒、酒量大为荣。

和中文不同,英语文化中没有用“绿帽子”象征 Adultery 的比喻。但有一首著名的传统爱尔兰民歌 Seven Drunken Nights,讲述的是一个关于“绿帽子”的故事,同时也讽刺了酗酒的醉鬼。


七个夜晚的故事


Seven Drunken Nights 这个标题的含义是:七个喝醉了酒的夜晚;歌词采用叙事体裁,和很多爱尔兰传统歌曲一样,是一个长篇笑话。

这首歌讲的是:有一位先生,一周七天每天都要在酒馆中喝得大醉,很晚才回到家中。

每次回到家中时,都遇到妻子和别的男人在一起;虽然每天都发现了证据,而且这些证据越来越明显,但由于这位先生醉得神智不清,总是被妻子几句话轻易地搪塞过去。

星期一晚上,这位先生看到院子中拴着一匹马,问妻子是怎么回事;妻子回答说,你别犯傻了,你看到的不是马,是妈妈送给我的母猪;这位先生很纳闷,自己见过这么多母猪,今天头一次碰到背上有鞍子的。

星期二,发现了屋中门后挂着一件大衣,被妻子解释为、是妈妈送来的毯子,这位先生再次感到纳闷:毯子上怎么会缝着好多扣子呢?

之后几天,陆续发现了椅子上的烟斗,床下的鞋子,甚至看到床上自己枕头上面有人,但仍然被妻子逐一搪塞过去,说这是妈妈送来的小男孩;这位先生仍然醉得无法争辩追问、只是继续纳闷:小男孩的嘴上怎么会长着胡子呢?


“少儿不宜”


Seven Drunken Nights 这首歌曲,据说最初是从一首苏格兰民歌改编而来的。虽然在爱尔兰文化中广为传唱,但曾一度被认为是伤风败俗、内容不健康的Bawdy song.

直到1967年,“The Dubliners 都柏林人乐队”演唱的版本,在爱尔兰和英国都登上了排行榜,Seven Drunken Nights 才开始在舞台上公开演唱,但大多只会唱到 Friday 这天。

Seven Drunken Nights:英语中的“喝醉酒”,为什么既是 Drunken 又是 Drunk?

今天,很多主打爱尔兰文化的酒吧中,都能听到 Seven Drunken Nights 这首歌,被顾客和驻唱乐队视为保留曲目。



Lyrics 歌词


院子中拴着一匹马

As I went home on Monday night as drunk as drunk could be

I saw a horse outside the door where my old horse should be

Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me

Who owns that horse outside the door where my old horse should be?


Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly old fool, still you can not see:

That's a lovely sow that me mother sent to me;

Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more

But a saddle on a sow sure I never saw before


屋中门后挂着一件大衣

And as I went home on Tuesday night as drunk as drunk could be

I saw a coat behind the door where my old coat should be

Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me

Who owns that coat behind the door where my old coat should be


Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly old fool, still you can not see:

That's a woollen blanket that me mother sent to me;

Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more

But buttons in a blanket sure I never saw before


椅子上的烟斗

And as I went home on Wednesday night as drunk as drunk could be

I saw a pipe up on the chair where my old pipe should be

Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me

Who owns that pipe up on the chair where my old pipe should be


Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly old fool, still you can not see:

That's a lovely tin whistle that me mother sent to me;

Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more

But tobacco in a tin whistle sure I never saw before


床下的鞋子

And as I went home on Thursday night as drunk as drunk could be

I saw two boots beneath the bed where my old boots should be

Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me

Who owns them boots beneath the bed where my old boots should be


Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly old fool, still you can not see:

They're two lovely Geranium pots me mother sent to me;

Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more

But laces in Geranium pots I never saw before


枕头上面有人

And as I went home on Friday night as drunk as drunk could be

I saw a head upon the bed where my old head should be

Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me

Who owns that head upon the bed where my old head should be


Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly old fool, still you can not see:

That's a baby boy that me mother sent to me;

Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more

But a baby boy with his whiskers on sure I never saw before


Drunk & Drunken


和很多民歌一样,Seven Drunken Nights 的歌词,包含不少在Formal grammar中会被认为不正确的用法,例如,在me mother, me wife中、用宾格me 代替所有格my,在tell后面加上了多余的介词、说成tell to me.

但 Seven Drunken Nights 这个歌曲标题,却严格地遵守了Drunken和Drunk 这两个形容词的语法差异。

在表示“醉酒”时,Drunk 和Drunken在含义上没有什么区别,但两者在语法功能上却有着明显的差异,揭示了英语形容词的一个系统性原理。

严格来说,Drunk 在句子中主要用作表语,也就是用在 Be 动词后面,例如,(As) drunk as a lord; 还有:She was too drunk to remember anything about the party.

与之不同的是,Drunken 只能用作定语,在名词前面作为修饰。例如:A drunken driver; Drunken singing 等等。


形容词的系统原理


英语中的形容词,大多数都是既可以用做表语、也可用做定语;但有一些形容词,则仅限于担任其中的一种功能,例如 Alive 和 Aware 就只能作表语,不能做定语。

这种表语和定语的区分,是形容词的一种系统性原理,在很多“Learner’s Dictionary学习词典”中都会标注出来;我使用的牛津高阶词典中,就是把通常作表语的 Drunk标注为 [ not usually before noun ],把仅限于做定语的 Drunken 标注为 [ only before noun ]。

这些标注是非常重要的语法信息、对使用英语有很大的实质帮助,在查字典时值得特别留意。


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最后编辑于:2022/2/21 拔丝英语网

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