Northern Songs A-C

Northern Songs “A”

Addio, Bel, Addio

Addio, bel, addio, l’armata se ne va (se ne va, se ne va)    (repeat)
E se non partissi anch’io sarebbe una vilta (repeat)

La spada e le pistole, lo schioppo l’ho con me (l’ho con me, l’ho con me)    (repeat)
Ed allo spuntar del sole io partirò da te (repeat)

Il sacco è preparato, e sull’omero mio sta (e mio sta, e mio sta)    (repeat)
Sono uomo e son soldato, viva la libertà (repeat)

Ma non ti lascia sola, ma ti lascio un figlio ancor’ (un figlio ancor’, un figlio ancor’)    (repeat)
Sarà quel che ti consola, il figlio dell’amor    (repeat)

(Other verses, with same pattern as above)

Non piangere, mio tesoro, forse ritornerò
Ma se in battaglia moro in ciel ti rivedrò

Rough translation:

Goodbye, my love, goodbye. The army is marching off. And if I don’t go with them it would be cowardice.

I have my sword, pistol and rifle with me. When the sun rises I will be leaving you.

The knapsack is ready and on my shoulder. I am a man and a soldier. Long live liberty!

But I won’t be leaving you alone; I leave you a son. It is he who will console you, our son of love.

Don’t cry, my treasure, maybe I will return.
But if I die in battle I will meet you again in heaven.

(“Goodbye, My Love, Goodbye”. Circa 1848, by Carlo Alberto Bosi, during the Italian struggle for unification. A man tells his wife he must go off to war. The army is on the march, and if he does not go along it will be an act of cowardice. Grade: D+)

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Addio Morettin Ti Lascio

Addio, morettin, ti lascio
Finit’ è la mundada (the weeding/work in the rice field is over)
Teng’un altr’amante a casa (repeat)
(repeat all)
più bellin assai di te

Più bellino e più carino
Più sincero nel far l’amore
Ci ho donato la vita e’l cuore
Per sempre l’amerò

Tu credevi che io ti amassi
E invece t’ho ingannato
Caramelle tu m’hai pagato
Caramelle tu m’hai pagato
Tu credevi che io ti amassi
E invece t’ho ingannato
Caramelle tu m’hai pagato
E vino bianco abbiam bevù (or, e il vino bianco che ò bevù)

T’ho amà per quaranta giorni
Solo per passare un’ora
E adesso ch’è giunta l’ora (arrived at) (or, e adès)
Ti lascio in libertà (or, io ti lascio e vado a cà)

La libertà l’è quella
Di non più lavorare
A cà vogliam andare
In cima del vapor (on a hazy peak)

L’amore dei Piemontesi
La g’ha poca durada
Finita la mondada
L’amor non si fa più

Io partirò, col cuor sospirerò
Ma io per te, ma io per te
Io partirò, col cuor sospirerò
Ma io per te
Morire no no no

Other version:

Italian Wikisource has another version, called Addio Lignano Addio, and it identifies Lignano probably as a reference to Veneria di Lignano, a rice field. Other sources state that Veneria di Lignano was one of the largest and most famous of the rice fields, where workers, mostly women, contracted to labor for forty days. In the Lignano version there is this additional verse:

Addio Lignano Addio
Addio giovanotti belli
Per le strade e i ponticelli
Per le strade e i ponticelli
Addio Lignano Addio
Addio giovanotti belli
Per le strade e i ponticelli
L’amor non si fa più

Rough translation:

Goodbye, my dark-haired boy, I’m leaving you. The work in the rice fields is over. I have another sweetheart at home, and he’s much more handsome than you.

More handsome and kind, and more sincere in his loving me.
I have given him my heart for life and will love him forever.

You believed that I loved you, and instead I have deceived you. You paid me with caramels and with the white wine we drank.

I loved you for forty days, just to pass the time. And now the time has come to give you your liberty.

This is liberty: to have to work no more. We want to go our homes, on the hazy peak.

The love of a Piemontese doesn’t last for long. The weeding work is over and I won’t make love with you anymore.

I am leaving, with a heart that will be sighing. But I won’t be dying for you – – no, no no.

Other version:

Goodbye, Lignano, goodbye. Goodbye handsome boys. By the streets and by the small bridges I won’t be flirting with you anymore.

(“Goodbye, Guy, I’m Leaving You” A girl dumps a guy after her seasonal contract work in the rice fields is over. “I loved you for 40 days, just to pass the time. But now your time is over.” Said to be a popular Lombard song. Grade: B.)

Note: In the above lyrics, we’ll leave “you paid me with caramels” as is, but there might be a “dirtier” meaning as well; in other words, a pun.

The website http://www.trobar.org is about the songs of the troubadours. (Also see the Wikipedia article on troubadours.) In a list of “pastorelas” (“pastoral” songs about a knight or gentleman meeting a shepherdess; for similar Italian folk songs see “La Pastora” and “La Pastora e il Lupo” in this collection), there is one called “Porquierira”, the swineherdess. The lyrics are full of both explicit and implied sexual references (since the guy is trying to seduce the girl and she seems to be well-experienced). At one point the swineherdess is talking about her cowherd lover and tells the gentleman:

“Del boyer non blasmatz, lassa!
quar jos terra fora meza,
gran temps ha, mas la gayeza
de lui. Tan be caramela,
m’esgauzish e m renovela!”

This is translated as:

“Don’t blame me for the cattleman, poor me!
for I would have been interred
long ago, without his cheerfulness!
he plays his flute so well
he makes me rejoice and renews me.”

When you look at the lyrics to all the verses, which are about sodomy as well as “normal” intercourse, it seems pretty clear that she is not just referring to the cowherd’s musical talents.

This brings us back to “Addio, Morettin, Ti Lascio”. In modern standard Italian caramel candy is “caramella”, but in some northern dialects and other romance languages it is spelled “caramela” (“caramelo” in modern Spanish”). Similarly, the word in the “Porquierira” song for a small flute, “caramela”, is spelled various ways in various dialects and languages (generally obsolete). Keep in mind that the “mondine”, the rice paddy weeders, were women from various parts of northern Italy and communicated in a sort of pidgin Italian. Therefore, it is possible that while the girl in our song who sings of being paid in caramels may not be referring to a more illicit form of payment, a double meaning may be intended.

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Allo Spontar Degli Alberi

(La Mondina; La Risaia; Amore Mio Non Piangere; Senti le Rane che Cantano)

(Istrian lyrics; see http://www.istrianet.org/istria/music/lyrics)

Amore mio non piangere
Se me ne vado via
Io lascio la risaia
Ritorno a casa mia.

Vedo laggiù tra gli alberi
La bianca mia casetta
Vedo laggiù sull’uscio           [doorway]
La mamma che mi aspetta

Mamma, Papà non piangere,
Non sono più mondina
Son ritornata a casa
A far la signorina

Mamma, papà non piangere
Se sono consumata
È stata la risaia
Che mi ha rovinata

è stata la risaia che mi ha rovinata
è stata la risaia che mi ha roviinata

(“By the Rise of Trees”. A girl comes home from contract work in the rice fields. Some verses say that from then on she will live the life of a signorina, but other verses say her health was ruined and she will die of TB. Grade: B.

Postscript:
Senti le Rane che Cantano (“Listen to the singing frogs”)

This is a version of the above, from the Lombard songs page of Italian Wikisource. It has the following additional verses.

Senti le rane che cantano
Che gusto che piacere
Lasciare la risaia
Tornare al mio paese
Lasciare la risaia
Tornare al mio paese

Non sarà più la capa
Che sveglia a la mattina
Ma là nella casetta
Mi sveglia la mammina
Ma là nella casetta
Mi sveglia la mammina

Rough translation:

Don’t cry, my love, if I go away. I’m leaving the rice field and going home.

I can see my little white cottage down there through the trees. And there on the doorstep I see mama waiting for me.

Mom and Dad, don’t cry, I am no longer a rice field worker. I’ve come home to be a young lady. [or, to be a farm girl]

Mom and Dad, don’t cry. I am wasted away. It was the rice field that was my ruin.

Postscript:

Listen to the frogs singing. What gusto, what pleasure. I am leaving the rice field and going back to my village.

No more boss getting us up early in the morning. Instead, mom will be waking me up there at home.

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Amor, Dammi Quel Fazzolettino

(Amor, Dammi Il Tuo Fazzolettino; Me Lo Dai
Quel Fazzolettino)

Amor, dammi quell fazzoletino      [3 times]
Vado alla fonte, lo voglio lavar

Te lo lavo con acqua e sapone      [3 times]
Ogni macchieta un bacino d’amor           [speck, spot]

Or,

Te lo lavo alla pietra di marmo      [3 times]
Ogni battuta è un sospiro d’amor           (each beat; or, un pensiero d’amor)

Te lo stendo su un ramo di rose      [3 times]
Il vento d’amore lo deve asciugar           [or, lo viene a asciugar]

Te lo stiro col ferro a vapore      [3 times]
Per comparire una palma di fior          [to appear as]
(or, ogni peighina è un bacino d’amor)

Te lo porto di Sabato sera      [3 times]
Di nascosto di mamma e papà

C’è chi dice l’amor non è bello      [3 times]
Certo quello l’amor non sà far

Other versions:

Te lo metto nel tuo taschino      (3 times)     (small pocket)
Ma di nascosto di mamma e papa

Rough translation:

Love, give me that handkerchief. I am going to the fountain and I want to wash it.

I wash you with soap and water. Every little speck is a kiss of love.

I wash you on a marble stone. Each beat is a sigh of love.

I hang you up on a rose branch. The wind of love comes to dry you off.

I iron you with a steam iron. So that you look like a palm of flowers.

I’ll bring you along on Saturday night, hidden from Mom and Dad.

There are those who say that love is not beautiful. Certainly they are the ones who don’t know how to make love.

I’ll put you in a small pocket, but hidden from Mama and Papa.

(“Love, Give Me that Handkerchief”. I will wash , dry and iron it with my love. Etc. Grade: B.)

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Amor Se Mi Vuoi Bene

(Strapazzata; Io Le Toccai)

*** EXPLICIT***

A lot of the words are explicitly of a sexual nature. You may want to skip to the next song. I transcribed most of the words from various You Tube recordings (could not find any to purchase on iTunes), but the lyrics are found on many websites as well.

Io le toccai i capelli,
le mi disse non son quelli,
va più giù che son più belli

Refrain:
Oh, oh, oh, oh, amor se mi vuoi bene
Più giù tu devi andar

Allora più giù, più giù, più giù
Allora più giù, più giù, più giù
Allora più giù, più giù, più giù,
più giù

(same pattern below)

Io le toccai il viso
Lei mi disse con sorriso
Vai più giù, c’è il paradiso

Io le toccai il nasino
Lei mi disse sei un cretino
Va più giù che c’è un giardino

Io le toccai la bocca
Lei mi disse non se tocca
Va più giù che c’è una grotta

Io le toccai la spalle
Lei mi disse ma che palle (or, che due palle = what balls)
Va più giù che c’è ‘na valle

Io le toccai il petto
Lei mi disse con rispetto
Va più giù che c’è un boschetto

Io le toccai la panza
Lei mi disse con creanza (politely)
Va più giù che c’è una stanza (a room)

Io le toccai il tallone (heel)
Lei mi disse sei un coglione (testicle; a blockhead)
Non conosci la posizione

Oh, oh, oh, oh, amor se mi vuoi bene
Più su tu devi andar

Allora più su, più su, più su
Allora più su, più su, più su
Allora più su, più su, più su,
più su

Io le toccai il polpaccio (calf of leg)
Lei mi disse sei un pagliaccio
Va più su che c’è un crepaccio (crevice, crevasse)

Io le toccai il ginocchio (knee)
Lei mi disse sei un finocchio (literally, a fennel; vulgar slang for “a faggot”)
Va più su se no te crocchio (Go higher or I’ll give you a smack)

Io le toccai la coscia (thigh)
Lei mi disse con angoscia
Va più su che te se immoscia (to sulk, go limp, soften?)

Io le toccai il sedere
Lei mi disse con dovere
Se vai più là me fai un piacere

Oh, oh, oh, oh, amor se mi vuoi bene
Più là tu devi andar

Allora più là, più là, più là
Allora più là, più là, più là
Allora più là, più là, più là,
più là

Io le toccai il culo
Lei mi disse tienlo duro (keep it hard)
Va più in là che vai sicuro

Io le toccai la figa (female private parts)
Lei mi disse con fatiga
Finalmente l’hai capita

Oh, oh, oh, oh, amor se mi vuoi bene
Su e giù tu devi andar

Allora su e giù, su e giù, su e giù
Allora su e giù, su e giù, su e giù
Allora su e giù, su e giù, su e giù
Su e giù

Io gliela misi dentro (I gave it to her right inside)
Lei mi disse sei un portento (here meaning “You are a prodigy”)
Vai su e giù che è un godimento (pleasure, enjoyment)

Rough Translation:

I touched her hair. She told me, “Not there. Go lower, where it’s more beautiful.”

Refrain:

Oh, oh, oh, oh, dear, if you love me, you should go lower.

Well, then, lower, lower, lower . . . (etc.)

(same pattern below)

I touched her face. She told me with a smile, “Go lower, it’s paradise.”

I touched her nose. She told me, “You’re an idiot. Go lower, there’s a garden.”

I touched her mouth. She told me, “Don’t touch that. Go lower, there’s a cave.”

I touched her shoulder. She told me, “What balls! Go lower, there’s a valley.”

I touched her breast. She told me with respect, “Go lower, there’s a thicket.”

I touched her tummy. She told me politely, “Go lower, there’s a room.”

I touched her heel. She told me, “You’re a blockhead. You don’t know the place.”

Refrain:
Oh, oh, oh, oh, My dear, if you love me,
You must go higher.

So, then, higher, higher, higher . . . (etc.)

I touched her calf. She told me, “You’re a buffoon. Go higher, there’s a crevice.”

I touched her knee. She told me, “You’re a faggot. Go higher or I’ll give you a smack.”

I touched her thigh. She told me with anguish, “Go higher before you go limp.”

I touched her backside. She told me with respect, “If you go there more, you’ll give me pleasure.”

Refrain:
Oh, oh, oh, oh, my dear, if you love me
You must go there more
(etc.)

I touched her ass. She told me, “Keep it hard. You’ll go there more if you are firm.”

I touched her pussy. She told me with weariness, “Finally, you understand.”

Refrain:
Oh, oh, oh, oh, my dear, if you love me
You must go up and down.
(etc.)

I gave it to her right inside. She told me, “You’re a genius. Go up and down for pleasure.”

(“Darling, If You Love Me . . .”. A dirty drinking song. Grade: B+.)

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Ancora Un Litro Di Quel Bon

Ancora un litro di quel bon
Ancora un litro di quel bon
Ancora un litro di quel bon
Po’ vado a casa      (or, ndemo a casa)

(repeat the first line of each verse three times, as above)

No go le ciave del porton
Pe’ndar a casa

Le go lassade in un canton          (corner)
De la scarsela                                 (pocket, purse)

Non voio café nero, no
Ma deme trapa!

Marieta, buta zo’l paiòn              (pot)
Che dormo in strada

(other verses)

Lombard:
a se son ciuc’, menem a cà          (I am drunk, take me home)
cun la careta                                  (with a wheelbarrow)

E se paròn no vuol cantar        (or, padron, padrun or patron)
Noi cantaremo

Rough translation:

Give me another liter of that good stuff, one for the road.

I can’t find the keys to the door so I can get home.

I left them in a corner of my pocket.

No, I don’t want black coffee – – give me grappa!

Marietta, throw out the pot, I’ll sleep in the street.

I am drunk. Take me home with a wheelbarrow.

And if the boss doesn’t want to sing, we will.

(“Give Us Another Liter of the Good Stuff”. A drinking song. Includes the verse “I’m drunk. Take me home in a wheelbarrow.” Grade: B.)

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Andaremo Sull’Alte Montagne

Alpine suit

Andaremo sull’alte montagne
Per sentire cantare gl’uccelli
Passerotti, merlotti e fringuelli           [chaffinch]
Passerotti, merlotti e fringuelli
Anderemo sull’alte montagne
Per sentire cantare gl’uccelli
Passerotti, merlotti e fringuelli
Tutti ucelli di qualita

Come la balla ben cilala
Come la balla ben cilala
Come la balla ben
Come la balla ben
Come la balla ben cilala

Come la balla ben cilala
Come la balla ben cilala
Come la balla ben
Come la balla ben
Come la balla ben

Rough translation:

Let’s go to the high mountains, to hear the birds sing.
Sparrows, blackbirds and chaffinches – all birds of quality.

Refrain:
How well she dances, tra la la (etc.)

(“Let’s Take a Walk in the High Mountains”. We can listen to the birdsongs. Grade: C+.)

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Aprite le Porte (Le Porte)

Aprite le porte 

che passano che passano. 

Aprite le porte
che 
passano i baldi alpin. 



Come la marcia ben 

la banda, la banda, 

come la marcia ben 

la banda degli alpin.


Come la mi piace ‘sta, 

come la mi piace ‘sta biondina 

ma anche quella morettina 

che la mi guarda dal balcon. 


Come la marcia ben 

la banda, la banda, 

come la marcia ben 

la banda degli alpin.

Rough translation:

Open the doors, the gallant Alpine soldiers are passing by.

Refrain:
How well they march, the band of Alpini

How much I like that blondie over there . . . but also that little dark-haired girl who is watching me from the balcony.

(“Open the Doors”. Come watch the handsome Alpine soldiers march by. This is a great song for a choral group; there are several examples on Youtube. Eileen Menegus Debesis [see “acknowledgments” in the Introduction] relates that her group in San Vito di Cadore sang this tune. Grade: B+.)

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Aveva Gli Occhi Neri, Neri, Neri

Aveva gli occhi neri, neri, neri
La bocca di una bimba appena nata        (or, la faccia di un bambino appena nato)
L’ho visto ieri sera e l’ho baciata             (appena = hardly)
L’ho visto ieri sera e l’ho baciata
Aveva gli occhi neri, neri, neri
La bocca di una bimba appena nata
L’ho visto ieri sera e l’ho baciata
Non ti scordar di me

Rit: Marietta qua, Marietta là
Alza la Gambetta se vuoi ballar con me
Marietta qua, Marietta là
Alza la Gambetta se vuoi ballar con me

Aveva i pantaloni neri, neri
Con una maglia tutta ricamata          (singlet; embroidered)
L’ho visto ieri sera e l’ho baciata
L’ho visto ieri sera e l’ho baciata
Aveva i pantaloni neri, neri
Con una maglia tutta ricamata
L’ho visto ieri sera e l’ho baciata
Non ti scordar di me

Rit (chorus)

Con i capelli neri, neri, neri
Ed una facia tutta profumata
L’ho visto ieri sera e l’ho baciata
L’ho visto ieri sera e l’ho baciata
Con i capelli neri, neri, neri
Ed una facia tutta profumata
L’ho visto ieri sera e l’ho baciata
Non ti scordar di me

Rit

(other versions)

La va, la va in filanda a lavorare
Per guadagnarsi il pane con sudore          (to earn bread by sweat of one’s brow)
L’ho vista ieri sera a far l’amore
(same pattern as above)

La ga la bicicletta stretta stretta
Che passa l’ortolan con la carretta           (grocer)
L’ho visto ieri sera e l’ho baciata
(same pattern as above)

Aveva i capelli d’oro fino fino
Il labbro d’un bel rosso porporino           (purple)
L’ho vista ieri sera in giardino
L’ho vista ieri sera a far l’amor

Rough translation:

She had black, black, black eyes, and the mouth of a new-born babe.
I saw her last night and kissed her. Don’t forget me.

Refrain:
Marietta here, Marietta there.
Kick up your heels if you want to dance with me.

She had black,, black, black stockings, with a singlet embroidered all over
I saw her last night and kissed her. Don’t forget me.

With hair so black, black, black, and a fragrant face
I saw her last night and kissed her. Don’t forget me.

She goes to the silk mill to work, to earn her bread by the sweat of her brow
I saw her last night to make love. Don’t forget me.

She has a bicycle that she grips, as she passes the grocer with his cart
I saw her last night and kissed her. Don’t forget me.

She had fine, fine hair of gold and beautiful red-purple lips
I saw her last night in the garden
I saw her last night to make love.

(“She had Black, Black Eyes”. A lively dance song: “Kick up your heels if you want to dance with me.” Grade: C.)

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Antipasto

The antipasto served in our house was elaborate (overwhelming) and a treat to the eye as well as the palate. It was artistically arranged by my father, Neno Mazzer. When they saw it laid out on the table, many non-Italian guests assumed that the antipasto was going to be the entire meal. It included celery, olives, cocktail onions, Italian canned tuna, pimientos (all of this and more on a Lazy Susan), pickled mushrooms, prosciutto, salami, mortadella and coppa, bread and breadsticks, and the following concoction thrown together by my father.

1 can sardines in tomato sauce (Goya is fine for this)
1 can Italian tuna
10-12 cocktail onions
1 or 2 diced pickles (combination of sweet, dill and/or kosher)
6-10 green olives with pimentos

Mix together in a bowl. (This went into the middle bowl on the Lazy Susan.)

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Northern Songs “B”

Babbo Non Vuole

(Bella Ragazza Dalla Treccia Bionda)

Bella ragazza dalla treccia bionda
Per nome vi chiamate Veneranda
Li giovani per voi fanno la ronda

Chorus: Papa non vuole, Mamma nemmeno
Come faremo per fare l’amor           (or, a fare)
Papa non vuole, Mamma nemmeno
Come faremo per fare l’amor           (How can we ever make love)

Venir se voi volete nel giardino
Voi trovarete, o bella, un tulipano           (And there you’ll find a tulip that looks as if
Che fatto par pel vostro canestrino            it grew for your wee basket)

(Chorus)

E se mi date un squardo rubacore                   (And if you send me one of your dear glances
Io, bella, proprio a voi lo voglio dare               Ah, then, my only darling, I will give you
Quel fior che tengo e che’m’ha dato amore       A flow’r that Love gave me and love enhances)

(Chorus)

Poi vi dirò che rosa in primavera                      (And I will say to you in spring’s delight, love
Non è tanto voi siete tanto cara                        There’s not a rose compares with you in sweetness
E voi avrete gusto . . . e buona sera                  And that will please your heart, and so Goodnight, love.)

(Chorus)

(other version)

Bella ragazza dalla treccia bionda
I giovani per voi fanno la ronda

Venor se vuoi volete nel giardino
Vi trovarete o bella un gelsomino

Un gelsomino a voi v’ho regalare
In pegno del mio vero e grande amore           (pledge, token)

Poi vi diro che rosa a primavera
Non è quanto voi siete tanto cara

Rough translation (first verse and refrain):

Lovely girl with the blonde tresses, they call you Venus. The boys go ‘round to look for you.

Refrain:
Papa doesn’t like it, neither does Mama. How can we ever make love?

(“Papa Does Not Approve”. Tchaikovsky overheard this folksong during his time in Italy, and it (and other Italian tunes) were themes in his Capriccio Italien. He apparently loved his time in Italy. I found the English translation above in an old book in an on-line library that I cannot remember. It is poetic but not a direct translation. Grade: A.)

>++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Bella Bimba

(La Villanella)
(Istrian lyrics, but identified as a canzone del Veneto)

Guarda che passa, la villanela
Agile snella saben danzar       (nimble)

Chorus:
O come balli bene bella bimba, bella bimba, bella bimba
O come balli bene bella bimba, bella bimba, balli ben

Danza al mattina, danza alla sera
Sempre leggera, sembra volar

Guarda quel merlo su quella pianta
Come ben canta, seza passion

Variation (a lot of this is in Venetian dialect):

Varda che passa la vilanela
Os-ce che bela, fa inamorar!           (os-ce = Hostie = heil!; i.e., caspita)

Chorus:
O come bali ben, bela bimba, bela bimba, bela bimba
O come bali ben, bela bimba, bela bimba, bali ben

Varda quel vecio sotto la scala
Os-ce che bala ch’el ga ciapà

Varda quel merlo dentro la gabbia           (or, quel marto)
Os-ce che rabbia ch’el ga ciapà!

Rough translation:

Check her out, the country girl. Agile and nimble, she knows how to dance.

Refrain:
Oh, how well you dance, you beautiful babe, you dance so well.

She dances in the morning, she dances in the evening, always nimble, as if she were flying.

Look at that blackbird in that tree. How beautifully it sings, free from passion.

Look at her passing, that country girl
Check out how beautiful she is, she makes me fall in love.

Look at that old man under the staircase. Look at how he is caught up in the dance.

Look at that blackbird in its cage. Look at the rage that grips it!

(“The Beautiful Babe”. She can really dance. Grade: B-.)

>+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Bella Ciao

(See also Mia Nonna L’è Vecchierèlla, La)

Alla mattina mi sono alzato           (or, mi son svegliata)
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
Alla mattina mi sono alzato
Io ho trovato gli invasor’                (or, e ho trovato)

O partigiano, portami via
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
O partigiano, portami via
Che mi sento di morir’

E se io muoio sulla montagna           (or, e se io muoio da partigiano)
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
E se io muoio sulla montagna
Tu mi devi seppelir’.

E tu mi devi seppelire                  (or, E seppelire la sù in montagna)
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
E tu mi devi seppelire
Sotto l’ombra di un bel fior.

E tutti quelli che passeranno          (or, E le gente che . . . )
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
E tutti quelli che passeranno
Mi diranno che bel fior.

E quest’è il fiore del partigiano
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
E quest’è il fiore del partigiano
Morto per la libertà.           (or, che si chiama libertà)

(Original version, sung by the migrant rice paddy workers in the Po Valley.)

Alla mattina, appena alzata
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
Alla mattina, appena alzata
Il risaio mi tocca a fà.           (to befall)

Tra gli insetti e le zanzare
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
Tra gli insetti e le zanzare
Duro lavor mi tocca a fà

O mamma mia! O che tormento!
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
O mamma mia! O che tormento!
Io t’invoco ogni doman’.

Rough translation:

In the morning I was awakened.
Goodbye my love, goodbye, goodbye
In the morning I was awakened, and I came across the invaders.

(same pattern below)

Oh partisan, take me outside, I feel like I’m going to die.

And if I die on the mountain, you must bury me.

And you must bury me beneath the shade of a beautiful flower.

And all those who pass by will say of me, “What a beautiful flower.”

And this is the flower of the partisan who died for liberty.

Original, rice field version:

In the morning, just awakened, it’s my lot to work in the rice fields.

Amidst the insects and the mosquitoes, hard labor is my lot.

Oh Mama Mia, Oh what torment! I implore you every day.

(“Goodbye, Love”. Not one of my favorites, but the song has a history. The most common version nowadays version is a “partisan” song from WWII. (You ain’t really heard it until you have heard the Red Army Chorus version . . . ) But it was originally about working in the rice fields, getting bitten by mosquitoes, etc. Grade: B-.)

>+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Bella Gigogin, La

According to Wikipedia, this was composed in 1858 by Paolo Giorza, inspired by songs popular in Piedmont and Lombardia. (In Piedmontese Gigogin is a dimunitive of Teresa.)

Rataplàn tambur io sento
Che mi chiama alla bandiera
Oh che gioia oh che contento
Io vado a guerreggiar.

Rataplàn non ho paura
Delle bombe e dei cannoni
Io vado alla ventura
Sarà poi quel che sarà

E la bella Gigogin col tremille lerillellera
La va a spass col sò spingìn col tremille lerillerà.

Di quindici anni facevo l’amore
Dàghela avanti un passo
Delizia del mio cuore.

A sedici anni ho preso marito
Dàghela avanti un passo
Delizia del mio cuore.

A diciassette mi sono stradìta
Dàghela avanti un passo
Delizia del mio cuor.

La vèn, la vèn, la vèn a la finestra
L’è tutta, l’è tutta, l’è tutta insipriada        (or, inzipriada)
La dìs, la dìs, la dìs che l’è malada
Per non, per non, per non mangier polenta
Bisogna, bisogna, bisogna aver pazienza
Lassàla, lassàla, lassàla maridàre
Bisogna, bisogna, bisogna aver pazienza
Lassàla, lassàla, lassàla maridàr.

Le baciai, le baciai il bel visetto,
Cium, cium, cium
La mi disse, la mi disse: oh mio diletto
Cium, cium, cium

Là più basso, là pià basso, in quel boschetto,
Cium, cium, cium,
Anderemo, anderemo a riposar

E la bella Gigogin col tremille lerillellera
La va a spass col sò spingìn col tremille lerillerà.

Rough translation:

Ratatat – I hear the drum that calls me to the flag. Oh what joy, oh what content. I’m going off to fight.

Ratatat – I’m not afraid of the bombs and cannons. I’m going off to my destiny, and what will be will be.

Refrain:
And the beautiful Gigogin, tra la la la la la la la la
Going out for a good time with her young husband, tra la la la la la la la

At age fifteen I made love.
Take a step forward for us, delight of my heart.

At age sixteen I was caught up in marriage.
Take a step forward for us, delight of my heart.

At age seventeen I am abandoned.
Take a step forward for us, delight of my heart.

She came, she came to the window, totally in a funk.
She said, she said she is not feeling well, because she didn’t eat polenta.
You need to have patience, let her get married.

I kissed her pretty face. She said to me, “Oh my beloved.”

Lower, lower, in that thicket, let’s go lie down.

(“Beautiful Terry”. Not one of my top favorites, but historical. According to Wikipedia, in the 1840s the French and the Austrians fought against each other in northern Italy, and both sides played this Italian song going into battle. It contains “hidden” references to the Prince of Savoy, urging him to get involved and take a step for independence. Grade B+.)

>+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Bella Polenta, La

(In Venetian (?) dialect)

Quando se pianta la bella polenta       (in standard: si pianta; in dialect “bela”)
La bella polenta se pianta così
Se pianta così
Oh, oh, oh, oh bella polenta così
Cia cia pon. cia cia pon, cia cia pon, cia cia pon      (or, sa sa pon; or, cia cia pun)

Quando se crese la bella polenta         (in standard: si cresce)
La bella polenta se crese così
Se pianta così, se crese così
Oh, oh, oh, oh bella polenta così
Cia cia pon. cia cia pon, cia cia pon, cia cia pon

Quando fiorise la bella polenta         (in standard: fiorizze; or, se fiore)
La bella polenta fiorise così
Se crese così, se pianta così, fiorise così
Oh, oh, oh, oh bella polenta così
Cia cia pon. cia cia pon, cia cia pon, cia cia pon

(same pattern below)

Quando se cuoze la bella polenta           (in standard: si cuoce; “is cooked”)
La bella polenta se cuoze così
Fiorise così, se crese così, se pianta così, se cuoze così
(Etc.)

Quando se (s)missia          (in standard: si mischia; “is mixed”)

Quando se taglia

Quando se gusta           (is tasted)

Quando se magna           (in standard: si mangia)

Rough translation: (And remember, the appropriate gestures accompany the
verses.)

When the beautiful polenta is planted, it is planted like this.

When the nice polenta is grown, it is grown like this.

When the fine polenta flowers, it flowers like this.

When the handsome polenta is cooked, it is cooked like this.

When the beautiful polenta is mixed, it is mixed like this.

When the beautiful polenta is cut, it is cut like this.

When the beautiful polenta is tasted, it is tasted like this.

When the beautiful polenta is eaten, it is eaten like this.

(“The Beautiful Polenta”. A simple, jolly ode to making and eating polenta. Several versions can be seen/heard on Youtube. Grade: B.)

>+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Bella Va in Cantina, La

(E lee la va in cantina)

La bella va in cantina              (or, e lee la va in cantina)
Cava èl vin, cava èl vin, cava èl vin,
La bella va in cantina
Cava èl vin col suo bel morettin

O morettino mio, non mi fa non mi fa, non mi fa
O morettino mio, non mi fa mai più lacrima.

La bella va in filanda, lavorar, lavorar, lavorar
La bella va in filanda lavorar col suo bel morettin

O morettino mio, morirai, morirai, morirai
O morettino mio, morirai con le pene nel cuor

La bella va in soffitta calcà i moi, calcà i moi, calcà i moi (moi = molle in standard It.)
La bella va in soffitta calcà i moi col suo bel morettin (press the bedsprings)

La bella va in stanzetta, fà sù’l lett, fà sù’l lett, fà sù’l lett
La bella va in stanzetta fà sù’l let pel suo bel morettin

La bella va in giardino, coglie fior, coglie fior, coglie fior
La bella va in giardino, coglie fior col suo bel morettin.

E le la va in campagna, pir la fen, pir la fen, pir la fen (pir=forca? fen=fieno?)
E le la va in campagna, pir la fen col suo bel morettin (or, pirla ‘l fè)

La bella va a Milan . . . .

Rough translation:

The beauty went to the cellar to draw some wine.
The beauty went to the cellar to draw some wine with her dark-haired guy.

Refrain:
Oh my love, don’t make me, don’t make me shed more tears.

The beauty went to the silk milk to work.
The beauty went to the silk milk to work, with her dark-haired guy.

Refrain;
Oh my love, you will die, you will die with a heart full of pain.

The beauty went to the attic to press the springs [of the bed]
The beauty went to the attic to press the springs with her dark-haired guy.

The beauty went to her room to go to bed.
The beauty went to her room to go to bed with her dark-haired guy.

The beauty went to the garden to gather flowers.
The beauty went to the garden to gather flowers with her dark-haired guy.

The beauty went out to the country to pitch the hay.
The beauty went to the country to pitch the hay with her dark-haired guy.

The beauty went to Milan . . .

(“The Beauty Goes to the Wine Cellar”. And to the garden, to the silk factory, etc., along with her boyfriend. But the choruses hint that she doesn’t quite trust his sincerity. Thanks very much to Terry De Lucia for patiently explaining some of the standard Italian and to Alberto, who kindly translated some of the “dialect” in his email. Grade: A.)

>+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Bevè Bevè Compare

Bevè bevè compare se no ve mazzerò           (or, mazzèghe)
Piuttost che me mazzèghe mi tuto l’beverò.
E’ntant che l’beverà noi cantarem la bum-ba-ba
La bum-ba-ba, la bum-ba-ba
Mi ho bevuto tuto e non m’ha fato mal.
L’acqua fa male, il vino fa cantare
Questa è la regola che insegnano gli sguisseri,
Alzano il gomito e vuotano il bicchier.
L’acqua fa male, il vino fa cantare.

Bevevano i nostri padri? Sì
Bevevano i nostri madri? Sì
E noi che figli siamo, beviam beviam beviamo
E noi che figli siamo beviam beviam beviam
Del bianco Moscatello, del nero Marzemin
Se ne avessi un boticello ne vorrei veder la fin.
Se ne avessi un boticello ne vorrei veder la fin.

Rough translation:

Drink, drink, old buddy, until you almost drown.
Or else I’ll drown by drinking it all.
And while we drink we sing bum-ba-ba
Bum-ba-ba, bum-ba-ba.
I have drunk it all and nothing bad has happened.
Water makes you sick; wine makes you sing.
That’s the rule that the sguisseri teach us.
Raise your elbow and empty the glass.
Water makes you sick; wine makes you sing.

Did our fathers drink? Yes!
Did our mothers drink? Yes!
And we who are their children, we drink, we drink, we drink.
And we who are their children, we drink, we drink, we drink.
We drink white Moscatello and red Marzemin
If we still have a bottle we won’t call it a day.
If we still have a bottle we won’t call it a day.

(‘”Drink Up, Old Friend”. Our mothers drank, our fathers drank, and we kids keep up the tradition. Grade: C.)

>+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Bionda, Bella Bionda

(Istrian lyrics) (Also see the postscript, E Me Sun Chi in Filanda)

Introductory verses:

E mi son chi in filanda
Speti che’l vegna sera
Che’l me moros al vegna
Per compagnarmi a casa
Per compagnarmi a casa
Farem un bel sognetto
Un sognettin d’amor

Refrain:
Bionda, bella bionda, O biondinella d’amor
Bionda, bella bionda, O biondinella d’amor

E ti colla barchetta
E mi col timonello (rudder)
Andrem pian, pian bel, bello
Andrem pian, pian bel, bello
E ti colla barchetta
E mi col timonello
Andrem pian, pian bel, bello
In sulla riva del mare.

Refrain:
Bionda, bella bionda, O biondinella d’amor
Bionda, bella bionda, O biondinella d’amor

Then, main song:

Quando ero piccina, piccina
Mio papa mi portava giocar (or, portava girar)
Mi diceva Marietta vien grande
Mi diceva Marietta vien grande
Quando ero piccina, piccina
Mio papa mi portava giocar
Mi diceva Marietta vien grande
Che ti voglio maritar

Bionda, bella bionda, O biondinella d’amor
Bionda, bella bionda, O biondinella d’amor

Grandicella io sono venuta
Al età di sedici anni
Ho una figlia che chiama già mamma
Ho una figlia che chiama già mamma
Grandicella io sono venuta
Al età di sedici anni
Ho una figlia che chiama già mamma
Ma non mai conosciuta il papa.

Bionda, bella bionda, O biondinella d’amor
Bionda, bella bionda, O biondinella d’amor

Rough translation:

Introductory verses:

And here I am in the silk mill waiting for evening to come,
For my sweetheart to take me home.
There we will dream a beautiful dream, a little dream of love.

Refrain:
Blonde, beautiful blonde, oh little blonde of love.

And you with the boat and me with the rudder will go along slowly and gracefully,
Along the shore of the sea.

The main song:

When I was little my father took me to play.
He said, “Marietta, you’re getting grown-up, I’d like to see you married.”

Refrain

I got really grown-up, at the age of sixteen.
I have a daughter that already calls, “Mama”. But she’s never met her Dad.

(“Beautiful Blonde”. Marietta is all grown up (16), with a kid, but the father has skipped out. Grade: A.)

Postscript:

Here are two other versions, each in a different Lomabard dialect, from Italian Wikisource. The subject matter is somewhat different from the above, but they are all sung to the same Bionda, Bella Bionda tune, with the same refrain.

E Me Sun Chi in Filanda

Version 1:

E me sun chi in filanda
Spetti che èl vegna sera
Che èl mè muruus èl végna
Che èl mè muruus èl végna
E me sun chi in filanda
Spetti che èl vegna sera
Che èl mè muruus èl végna
Accompagnarmi a cà

Accompagnarmi a casa
Accompagnarmi a letto
A far quel sonneletto (a nap or reverie)
A far quel sonneletto
Accompagnarmi a casa
Accompagnarmi a letto
A far quel sonneletto
Che mi consola il cuor

Refrain:
Bionda bella bionda
O biondinella d’amor
Bionda bella bionda
O biondinella d’amor

(same pattern below)

E mi con la barchetta
E tu col timonello (and you with the rudder)
‘ndarem pian pian bel bello
in sulla riva del mar

Version 2:

E mi sont chi in filanda
E spèti che ven sira,
Ch’el mè moros el vegna
Ch’el mè moros el vegna
E mi sont chi in filanda
E spèti che ven sira,
Ch’el mè moros el vegna
Per compagnarmi a cà

Refrain:
Bionda bella bionda
O biondinella d’amor
Bionda bella bionda
O biondinella d’amor

(Same pattern below)

Per compagnarmi a casa
Per compagnarmi a letto
Per fare un bel sognetto
E poi per fare all’amor

E mi con la barchetta
E ti col timoncello
Andrem pian pian bel bello
Là in su la riva del mar

Là in su la riva del mare
C’era una fontanella
Con l’acqua fresca e bella
La mi rinfresca il cuor

La mi rinfresca il cuore
La mi rinfresca in vita
Oi mamma son tradita
Tradita nell’amor

Tradita nell’amore
Tradita negli amanti
Ne ho già ingannati tanti
Ingannerò anche te

Rough translation of the last three verses (since the others are variations of those already translated in Bionda, Bella Bionda above):

There along the shore of the sea was a little fountain with water fresh and fine that would refresh my heart.

It refreshed my heart, it refreshed my life. Oh mother, I am betrayed, betrayed in love.

Betrayed in love, betrayed by my lovers. They have deceived me so much, and so will you.

(“And I am here in the spinning mill”. There are many Italian folksongs about work in the spinning mills, or silk factories. This one (both versions) soon goes off course, with verses about the ups and downs of love. On a personal note, many northern Italians, including some of my relatives, immigrated to New Jersey to work in the silk mills (in Paterson and Clifton) and woolen mills (in Passaic and Clifton). Back in Italy, they or their elders had experience in those industries. Also, many of the factory owners in the US were German, and the Italians in the north were familiar with the German language, having been under Austrian rule. Grade: B+)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Bionda di Voghera, La

In Lombard. As sung by L’allegra Compagnia. Compare with Scior Sindich, El and Figlia del Borghese, La.

La bella bionda di Voghera
Mundaris la se ne va (went out to work in the fields)
Quand la sent el sun d’la ciocca (ciocca = campana)
Sotto l’ombra la se ne va
Quand la sent el sun d’la ciocca
Sotto l’ombra la se ne va

Passa l’uno e passa l’altro
Passa un soldàa s’innamorò
La ghi getto le braccia al collo
E un bacino d’amor gli dò
La ghi getto le braccia al collo
E un bacino d’amor gli dò

E dopo pochi mesi
La bella bionda la va a cà
La va a cà de la so mama
Mamma mia mi sun malàa
La va a cà de la so mama
Mamma mia mi sun malàa

E se ti te set malada
Va in letto va a dormir
Che duman mattin bunura
Io dal medico l’andrò a dir
Che duman mattin bunura
Io dal medico l’andrò a dir

E ch’al senta signor medico
E ch’al senta sta ragion (here, “sta ragion” means “this story”)
Gh’hoo la bionda in lett malada
Che la vol la soddisfazion (here, this means she wants to be cured)
Gh’hoo la bionda in lett malada
Che la vol la soddisfazion

La soddisfazion l’è quella
Di tener la bionda in cà
E di non lasciarla fuori
A far l’amore con i soldàa
E di non lasciarla fuori
A far l’amore con i soldàa

I soldàa son giovanotti
Che l’amor non lo san far
Lor prometton di sposarti
Poi ti lasciano in libertà
Lor prometton di sposarti
Poi ti lasciano in libertà

Dopo nove mesi
È nato un bel bambin
Che g’ha somiglia tutto
A quel giovino soldatin
Che g’ha somiglia tutto
A quel giovino soldatin

Additional/alternative verses:

Al me diga signor medico
Al me diga la verità
A gh’ho ‘na fiola a lett malada
No so minga che mal la gh’ha (I don’t know at all what disease she has)
A gh’ho ‘na fiola a lett malada
No so minga che mal la gh’ha

La gh’ha ‘l male dell’amore
Si confonde nel parlar
E d’in cò a nove mesi
La sua figlia la guarirà
E d’in cò a nove mesi
La sua figlia la guarirà

Rough translation:

The pretty blonde of Voghera went out to work in the fields. When she heard the sound of the bell she went under the shade.

One passed by and then another. And then came the soldier whom she was in love with. She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a little kiss of love.

And after a few months the pretty blonde went home, to the home of her mother and said, “Mama, I am ill.”

“Well, if you’re ill, go to bed to sleep. Early tomorrow morning I’ll go to the doctor to tell him.”

“Listen to me, Doctor, hear my story. I have a blonde sick in bed who wants to be cured.”

“Here is the cure: Keep your blonde at home and don’t let her out to make love with the soldiers.”

“The soldiers are young and don’t know how to make love. They promise to marry you and then let you go.”

After nine months a beautiful baby was born who looked just like the young soldier.

Additional/alternative verses:

“Tell me, doctor, tell me the truth. I’ve got a daughter sick in bed and I don’t know what disease she has.”

“She has love trouble. I am perplexed as to how to say this, but nine months from today she will be cured.”

(“The Blond of Voghera”. Voghera is a town in Lombardy, in the province of Pavia. Note the common theme with El Scior Sindich and La Figlia del Borghese: the young woman suffers the consequences and the blame for fooling around outside the house. In the last verse here, in response to the mother’s worries about the daughter’s misterious illness, the doctor puts it diplomatically: “Your daughter has love trouble. I am perplexed as to how to say this but nine months from today she will be cured.” Grade: B.)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Biondina in Gondoleta, La

(One of the most famous Venetian songs, composed in late 1700s or early 1800s by Johan Simon Mayr (1763-1845) with lyrics (in Venetian dialect) by Antonio Lamberti (1757-1832), in honor of a Venetian noblewoman Marina Querini Benzon.) (These lyrics are from http://www.recmusic.org.)

La biondina in gondoleta
L’altra sera g’ho menà:
Dal piacer la povereta              (pronounced as “piaser”)
La s’ha in bota indormenzà.
La dormiva su sto brazzo,
Mi ogni tanto la svegiava
Ma la barca che ninava            (lulled to sleep; see ninnare)
La tornava a indormenzar.

Gera in cielo mezza sconta
Fra le nuvole la luna
Gera in calma la laguna
Gera il vento bonazzà.
Una solo bavasela
Sventola va i so’ cavelli
E faceva che dai veli
Sconto el ento fusse più.

Contemplando fisso fisso
Le fatezze del mio ben
Quel viseto cussi slisso
Quela boca e quel ben sen;
Me sentiva drento in peto
Una smania, un missiamento
Una spezie de contento
Che no so come spiegar!

M’ho stufà po’, finalmente,
De sto tanto so’ dormir
E g’ho fato da insolente
No m’ho avuto da pentir;
Perchè, oh Dio, che bele cosse
Che g’ho ditto, e che g’ho fato!
No, mai più tanto beato
Ai mii zorni no son stà.

Rough translation:

The other evening I led the young blonde onto the gondola. The poor girl liked it so much that she fell asleep. She slept in my arms. I tried to awaken her every once in a while but the rocking of the boat lulled her back to sleep.

The moon in the sky was half-hidden by the clouds. The lagoon was tranquil and the wind was calm. Only a breeze fluttered through her hair and lifted the veils from her breast.

Intently contemplating the features of my love, that darling little face, that mouth, and that beautiful bosom, I felt in my heart a desire, a confusion, a kind of contentment that I don’t know how to explain.

I finally grew weary of her sleeping so, and so I did something insolent, but I had no regrets. Because, oh God, what beautiful things I said . . . and did! No, I will never be as supremely happy as long as I live.

(“The Blonde Girl in the Gondola”. Grade: B.)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Bora di Trieste, La

(El Tram de Opcina; La Nova Bora)

(See also Gh’è Tante Signorine, which has the same structure, tune and similar chorus)

E come la bora che viene che va che vien che va
Le belle putelle a spasso le va le va le va
E come la bora che viene che va,
Le belle putelle a spasso le va

(alternate version of chorus)

E come la bora che vien e che va
I dixi che’l mondo se ga ribaltà
E come la bora che vien e che va
I dixi che’l mondo se ga ribaltà

E anche il tram de Opcina xe nato disgrazià              (or e’ nato)
Vignindo zo per Scorcola ‘na casa el ga ribaltà        [venendo giù da Corzola comme a casa ribalta]
E bona de Dio che iera giorno de lavor
E drento no ghe iera che’l povero frenador           (drento = dentro)

E anche il tram de Servola xe nato disgrazià
Corendo in galeria in piazza el xe sbrissà
Drento ghe iera diverso personal
Che se ga ribaltado e se ga fato mal

E anche ‘ste mulete tute mate pe’l’ capèl,
le zerca ca compagnarse a qualche bel putel
ma co le ‘riva a casa se senti un gran bordel
e pare, mare e fia copa i zimisi col martel!

[?E anche è una forbici che pronto per rugal
Intenti di mu rutini che me la forza qua
La mula la se macchina e pronto per rugal
Una cagatri al altra Avanti per la qua?]

(“The North Wind of Trieste”. The Bora sweeps down from Austria, to Trieste, Venice and thereabouts, at certain times of the year. You can see scenes on YouTube about how fierce it can get. This drinking song is about the cold north wind, and the girls who are as flighty as the wind. One verse is about a tram car that runs into a whorehouse. Luckily it was on a workday, so only the poor brakeman was inside. (I still can’t figure out what that means . . .) Grade: A-.)

#######################################

Soups and Stews

Grandpa Charlie Bertolotti’s Minestrone from Ferno

The Bertolotti side of my family is Lombard, from Ferno, near Milan. Minestrone is an old standard, with many variations. I guess the only special feature in this one is that my grandfather would drop a whole, peeled medium onion into the soup. There must have been a reason, but I do not know it, except that when the soup was served the kids competed to first spot (and get) the onion. Here, I have changed the recipe to include chopped onion. Also, a tip from the master soup-maker, my father-in-law Bill Tiefenbacher: chop the veggies up small.

Ingredients (for 6 or more servings):

1 lb. large dry limas (or other favorite beans) – rinse & soak them overnight
1 medium onion (chopped) and 1 small onion (peeled but whole)
1/8 lb. salt pork, minced (can substitute with butter or margarine)
4 carrots, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 lb. chopped spinach
½ head shredded cabbage
1 ½ cups canned tomatoes
1 ½ tspn salt
8 bouillon cubes (favorite flavor)
¼ cup red wine (optional)
12 cups water (more, if needed); use the water from the beans as part of this

½ lb. noodles or ½ cup rice (optional)

Directions:

Sauté the chopped onion until golden brown in the minced salt pork (or the butter or margarine). Add the beans and water, bouillon cubes, salt, and vegetables, including the whole onion. Add the wine, if desired. Cook until desired consistency, usually, about 50 minutes, with another 10 minutes if you want to then add in the noodles or rice.

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Northern Songs “C”

Camerée Porta ‘n Mezz Liter

(In Lombard, as sung by Gruppo di Canto Popolare Donna Lombarda. There are other versions on YouTube, with additional verses, by Coro Montegaleto and Coro Monte Pasubio)

Camerée porta ‘n mezz liter
Camerée porta ‘n mezz liter
Camerée porta ‘n mezz liter
Pagherò, pagherò, pagherò

Gira la baracca gira gira
Fuori mezza lira fuori mezza lira (or, foeura)
Gira la baracca gira gira
Fuori mezza lira per pagar

Come farò
(Come farò) (or, patapin, patapon)
Se non ce n’ho
(Se non ce n’ho)
Al mio ritorno
Al mio ritorno
Come farò
(Come farò)
Se non ce n’ho
(Se non ce n’ho)
Al mio ritorno
Ti pagherò pagherò

Camerée porta ‘n mezz liter
Camerée porta ‘n mezz liter
Camerée porta ‘n mezz liter
Pagherò, pagherò, pagherò

Gira la baracca gira gira
Fuori mezza lira fuori mezza lira
Gira la baracca gira gira
Fuori mezza lira per pagar

Another verse, found on it.wikisource.org:

Se l’è on liter mej ammò (If this liter is even better)
Se l’è on liter mej ammò
Se l’è on liter mej ammò
Pagherò, pagherò, pagherò

(“Waiter, Bring a Half-Liter”. But who is going to pay for it? Another Lombard drinking song. Grade: B.)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Campagnola, La

(O Mia Rosina)

O mia Rosina, tu mi piase tanto           (in standard Italian, mi piace tanto)
Come il mare piase alle sirene.
Se non ti vedo io piangio tanto
Che non mi scorre il sangue nelle vene.

Chorus:
Meglio sarebbe che non ti avessi amato;
Sapevo il credo ed ora l’ho scordato
Pur non sapendo più l’Ave Maria.
Come potrò salvar l’anima mia?

Cara Rosina mi hai ridotto male
Andavo a messa e non so dove sia.
Sapevo le parole del messale
Ed ora non so più l’Ave Maria.

(repeat chorus)

Rough translation:

Oh my Rosina, I care for you so much, as much as the sea likes the mermaids. If I don’t see you, I cry so much that the blood doesn’t run through my veins.

Refrain:
It would have been better had I not loved you. I used to know the Apostles’ Creed and now I have forgotten it. And I no longer even know the Hail Mary. How can I save my soul?

Dear Rosina, you have reduced me to a poor state. I went to Mass and didn’t know where I was. I knew the words of the missal and now I no longer know the Hail Mary.

(“The Country Girl”. She has the poor guy so love-struck that he’s even forgotten the Creed and the Hail Mary. How can his soul be saved? Grade: A.)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Canti dei Battipali

Pile-drivers by Giovanni Grevembroch, public domain, via Wikipedia Commons
Pile-drivers by Giovanni Grevembroch, public domain, via Wikipedia Commons

Anonymous. The first is a work song by Venetian piledrivers, as sung by some of them on the album Folklore Musicale Italiano, vol. 1, collected by Alan Lomax et al.

Oh issa oh issa eh (issare = to hoist or to heave)
Ma isselo in alto oh
E in alto bene oh
Poiché conviene oh
Te dago el segno eh
Ma se la de segno
Per sto lavoro oh
Che noi laviamo oh
Ma è cominciato eh (It has started, but with holy help we’ll finish it.)
Ma serio oh li oh
Li fineremo eh (pronounced “feniremo”)
Ma col santo aiuto oh
Poi dimandemo eh
Ma vago i madri oh
Sei tanto bela eh
Cara innocente oh

Here is an alternative version from Italian Wikisource:

Oh issa eh
E issalo in alto oh
E in alto bene eh
Poiché conviene oh
Per ‘sto lavoto eh
Che noi l’abbiamo oh
Ma incominciamo eh
Me se Dio vuole oh
Lo fineremo eh
Ma col santo aiuto oh
Viva San Marco eh
Repubblicano oh
Quello che tiene eh
L’arma alla mano oh
Ma per distruggere eh
El turco cane oh
Fede di Cristo eh
La sé cristiana oh
Quella dei turchi eh
La sé pagana oh
E spiegaremo eh
Bandiera rossa oh
Bandiera rossa eh
È segno di sangue oh
E spiegaremo oh
Bandiera bianca oh
Bandiera bianca eh
È segno di pase oh
E spiegaremo eh
Bandiera nera oh
Bandiera nera eh
È segno di morte oh

Here is another work song sung by the Venetian piledrivers in the lagoon, from Tropic of Venice by Margaret Doody (University of Pennsylvania, 2007).

E po lasèlo, e, e, . . . e!
Lasèlo andare, o, o . . . o!
A baso a fondi, e, e . . . e!
A fondi del mare, o, o . . . o!
E va a ritrovare, e, e . . . e!
I suoi compagni, o, o . . . o!
Dele caverne, e, e . . . e!
Orende scure, o, o . . . o!
Dele caverne, e, e . . . e!
Orende grote, o, o . . . o!

My rough translation:

And let it go a bit
Let it go
Down to the depths
To the depths of the sea
It goes to meet again
All its companions
Of the caverns
Frightful and gloomy
Of the caverns
Frightful and grotesque

(Come to think of it, who would know pile-driving better than the Venetians? The last song sympathizes with the logs driven into the mud, to support the buildings. To my imagination, parts of the first two songs may have been chanted by the rowers of Venetian ships going into battle against the Turks at Lepanto and elsewhere. I have not heard the last two songs, but for the first one, Grade: B.)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Canto del Cucù, Al

(é Ritornato Maggio)

(first, the version sung by D.P. in “Il Meglio del Folk”)

L’inverno l’è passato
L’Aprile non c’è più
È ritornato Maggio
Col canto del cucù      (repeat the verse)

Chorus:
Cu-cù, cu-cù, l’Aprile non c’è più
È ritornato Maggio col canto del cu-cù X2
Cu-cù, cu-cù, cu-cù

L’inverno l’è passato
La neve non c’è più
È ritornato il sole
Al canto del cucù

(Chorus, with “la neve” instead of “l’Aprile”)      X2

Then, a version from http://www.filastrocche.it:

L’inverno se n’è andato,
L’Aprile non c’è più;
E ritornato Maggio
Al canto del cucù

Chorus:
Cu-cù. Cu-cù, l’Aprile non c’è più
E ritornato Maggio al canto del cu-cù.

Lassù per le montagne
La neve non c’è più
Comincia a fare il nido
Il povero cucù

(Chorus)

La bella alla finestra
La guarda in su e in giù
L’aspetta il fidanzato
Al canto del cucù-

(Chorus)

Ti ho pur sempre detto
Che Maggio ha la virtù
Di far sentir l’amore
Al canto del cucù.

(Chorus)

Then, in the dialect of Friuli Venezia Giulia:

L’inverno xè passado,
April no torna più
E magio xè tornado
Al canto del cucù.

Chorus:
Cucù. Cucù
April no torna più
E magio xè tornado
Al canto del cucù.

La bela a la finestra
La varda su e giù
La speta el fidanzato
Al canto del cucù.

Chorus:
Cucù, cucù
La varda su e giù
La speta el fidanzato
Al canto del cucù.

Rough translation:

Winter is over and April has gone. May has returned with the song of the cuckoo.

Winter is over and the snow is gone. The sun has returned with the song of the cuckoo.

Alternate version:

Winter has gone away and April is over. May has returned with the song of the cuckoo.

Up there on the mountain there is no more snow. The poor cuckoo has begun to build its nest.

The girl at the window is looking up and down. She waits for her sweetheart at the song of the cuckoo.

I have always told you that May has the virtue of of making you feel like making love at the song of the cuckoo.

(“The Song of the Cuckoo”. May is back and April is gone for good. Hurray!. Grade: B-.)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Carrozze Son Già Preparate, Le

(Nel Giardino Tu Sei La Mia Rosa; A Quindic’anni Facevo l’Amore; Prima Notte, La)

This song is sung with various different themes and motifs throughout northern Italy, variously dealing with newlyweds, or a murder, or being forced into a nunnery. The first version here is as sung by the Veronese group El Paiar, and it can be found on Youtube.

Church altar

Le carrozze son già preparate
E i cavalli son pronti a partir
Dimmi (oi) bella se tu vuoi venir
A far un viaggio di nozze con me

Inviteremo amici e parenti
Suoneremo coi noi strumenti (or, nostri strumenti)
Suoneremo coi noi strumenti
(e) la sposina faremo danzar

E la via la compagnia (or, appena via)
Lui l’abbraccia e le disse (or, lui la bacia)
Lui l’abbraccia e le disse
Questa notte tu dormi con me

A mezzanotte mi sono svegliata
Mi trovai con mio amore abbracciata
Mi trovai con mio amore abbracciata
Mi stringeva più forte al sul cuor

Alla mattina mi sono svegliata (or, mi alzo alle nove)
Mi trovai color del limone (or, colla faccia color del limone)
Mi lavai con acqua e sapone
Per sentire coi baci d’amor (or, per vestire)

Nel giardino tu sei la mia rosa
Nella casa tu sei la mia sposa (or, nel lettino, or, nel destino)
Nel baciarti io sento la scossa
È la scossa più forte nel cuor (or, una scossa che viene dal cuor)

Rough translation:

The carriages are already prepared,
The horses are ready to go,
Tell me, my love, if you want to come
And take a honeymoon trip with me.

We will invite the friends and relatives,
We will play our instruments
We will play our instruments
And make the bride dance.

And when the company went away
He hugged her and said,
He hugged her and said,
“Tonight you will sleep with me.”

At midnight I was awakened
I found myself embraced with my love
I found myself embraced with my love
And it strongly tugged at my heart.

In the morning when I woke up
My face was the color of a lemon
I washed it with soap and water
So that I could feel your kisses of love.

In the garden you are my rose.
In the house you are my wife.
In kissing you I feel a shock
A strong shock in my heart.

The book Senti le Rane che Cantano: Canzoni e Vissuti Popolare della Risaia by Franco Castelli, Emilio Jona and Alberto Lovatto (Donzelli Editore, Rome, 2005) has verses that delve deeper into the details of the honeymoon:

Le carrozze son già preparate
I cavalli son pronti a partire
Dimmi, oi bello, se tu vuoi venire,
Noi fra tre ore a Venezia –
Noi fra tre ore a Venezia, sarem.

Quando è stata in quella stanzella,
Si è buttata a letto piangendo
Dimmi, oi bello, che triste momento
Che dei dolore ne soffre –
Che dei dolore ne soffre, per me.

Che vergogna seconda mattina
A pasarmi con l’olio e limone
A lavarmi con l’acqua e sapone
Per comparire una palma
Per comparire una palma, d’un fior.
Per comparire una palma, d’un fior.

Alla mattina mi alzo alle nove
Con una faccia color d’un limone
E mi lavo con acqua e sapone
Per comparire una giovine d’amor.

Additional verses from that book:

Appena entrata nella stanzetta
La si getta sul letto piagendo
Mamma mia è giunto il momento
Di soffrire quei tristi dolor

Fai la brava mia cara sposina
Fai la brava per un solo momento
Ti farò più felice e contenta
E di dolori ne soffrirai più

A quindici anni facevo l’amore
A sedici anni avevo il marito
A diciassette avevo già un figlio
Che mi amava da mamma d’amor.

Rough translation: (And note that in the first verse here, the woman seems to be taking the lead, inviting the guy to travel with her. The later verses revert to the bride being nervous about the honeymoon.)

The carriages are already prepared,
The horses are ready to go,
Tell me, my love, if you want to come
We are three hours from Venice.
We are three hours from Venice.

When she was in the room
She threw herself onto the bed, crying,
“Tell me, dear of that sad moment,
And of the suffering from pain,
And of the suffering from pain, for me.”

What shyness on the second morning,
Rubbing me with oil and lemon,
Washing me with soap and water
To see a handful,
To see a handful of flowers.

In the morning I get up at nine
With a face the color of a lemon,
And I wash with soap and water,
To see a young man of love.

Additional verses from that book:

As soon as she entered the room
She flung herself on the bed, crying,
“Mamma mia, the time has come
To suffer those sad sorrows.”

Be brave, my dear bride,
Be brave for just a moment
I’ll make you happier and content
And you will not suffer pain anymore.

At age fifteen I made love
At age sixteen I was married
At seventeen I had a son
Whom I love as a mother of love.

Next, there is this darker version, found on http://www.inilossum.it, identified there as a song of the Alpine soldiers:

Le carrozze son già preparate,
I cavalli son pronti a partire
Dimmi ohi bella, se vuoi tu venire
Per questa sera a passeggio
A passeggio con me.

Madre mia, chi era mio padre?
Figlia mia, tuo padre è già morto!
Tu sei figlia di un uomo sepolto
Che col pugnale lo feci,
lo feci morir.

Madre mia, perché l’hai ucciso?
Figlia mia, perché mi tradiva!
Mi rubava l’anello dal dito
E un’altra donna voleva,
voleva sposar.

Rough translation:

The carriages are already prepared,
The horses are ready to go,
Tell me, my love, if you want to come
This evening for a walk,
A walk with me.

Mother, who was my father?
My daughter, your father is already dead!
You are the daughter of a buried man.
I did it with a dagger.
I killed him.

Mother, why did you kill him?
My daughter, because he betrayed me!
He stole the ring from my finger,
And he wanted another woman,
He wanted to marry her.

The following versions of this song have the motif of a girl being forced by her parents to become a nun because of her fooling around with the boys. Some of these verses are almost identical to those in La Domenica Andando alla Messa but the motif is common in other songs such as La Monachella.

The first version is identified, on http://www.wikitesti.com, as a Milanese song.

Le carrozze son già preparate,
I cavalli son pronti a partire.
Bella bionda, vorresti venire
Questa sera, questa sera ai passeggi con me?
Questa sera, questa sera ai passeggi con me?

Ai passeggi ci sono già stata,
accompagnata dai miei amatori;
se ne accorsero i miei genitori,
monichella, monichella mi fecero far
monichella, monichella mi fecero far.

Monichella mi sono già fatta,
mi han rinchiuso tra muri e cancelli
mi han tagliato i miei biondi capelli
m’han tagliato, m’han tagliato le mie beltà,
m’han tagliato, m’han tagliato le mie beltà.

Giovinotti, piangete, piangete,
che perduta avete la Lena,
così cara e sì pura e sì bella
in un convento, in un convento rinchiusa lei sta,
in un convento, in un convento rinchiusa lei sta.

Rough translation:

The carriages are already prepared,
The horses are ready to go,
Beautiful blonde, would you come
This evening, to stroll with me?
This evening for a walk with me?

I have already been on walks,
Accompanied by my lovers;
My parents noticed that,
And they made me become a novice nun,
They made me become a nun.

I have already become a young nun.
Thay have confined me behind walls and gates.
They have cut my blond hair,
They have cut my beauty,
They have cut my beauty.

Young men, weep, weep,
For you have lost Lena,
So dear and so pure and so beautiful,
In a convent, she is locked up in a convent,
In a convent, she is locked up in a convent.

Finally, there is a similar version sung by Gruppo Padano di Piadena:

Le carrozze son già preparate,
I cavalli son pronti a partire.
Bella bionda, vorresti venire
Questa sera, questa sera ai passeggi con me
Questa sera, questa sera ai passeggi con me.

Questa sera non posso venire
Ho mio padre in letto ammalato
Mio fratello l’è via a soldato
E questa sera non posso
E questa sera non posso venir.

M’han rinchiusa tra questi cancelli
Mi han tagliato i miei biondi capelli
Mi han tagliato i miei biondi capelli
E m’han tagliato la mia
E m’han tagliato la mia beltà

Mi han vestita d’un abito nero
Con le maniche che copron le mani
Mi han rinchiusa tra questi tiranni
O Dio mio abbiate
O Dio mio abbiate pietà
O Dio mio abbiate pietà

Tutte le feste andavo alla messa
Accompagnata dai miei amatori
Se ne accorsero i miei genitori
E monichella mi fecer
E monichella mi fecero far.

Monichella da giorni son fatta
Mi han rinchiusa tra quattro cancelli
Mi han tagliato i biondi capelli
E m’han tagliato
E m’han tagliato la mia beltà.

Rough translation:

The carriages are already prepared,
The horses are ready to go,
Beautiful blonde, would you come
This evening, to stroll with me,
This evening for a walk with me.

Tonight I cannot come.
I have my father sick in bed,
And my brother is going away as a soldier.
And this evening I cannot
And this evening I cannot come.

They have confined me within these gates,
They have cut my blonde hair
They have cut my blonde hair
And they have cut my
And they have cut my beauty.

They have dressed me in a black habit
With sleeves that cover the hands
They have locked me up with these tyrants
Oh my God, have,
Oh my God, have pity
Oh my God, have pity.

On all the feast days I went to Mass
Accompanied by my lovers
My parents noticed that
And made me a novice
And made me become a young nun.

I have been a novice for days,
They have confined me within four gates,
They have cut my blonde hair.
And they have cut,
And they have cut my beauty.

(“The Carriages Are Already Prepared”. As we see, the various versions have different stories but the book Senti le Rane che Cantano states that this was probably “born as a wedding song” and (quoting a person named Conati) that it is “a kind of accelerated course in sexual education imparted by the community on the day of the ceremony.” I think this is correct. The other themes seem to be lifted from other songs and seem a bit out of place with the image of carriages (note the plural, in all versions) being prepared. That seems to make most sense for a wedding procession rather than for taking a girl to a convent or for a mother and daughter talking about a departed father. Grade: B.)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Caserio

(Also see the postscript, Ai 24 Ma di Settembre)

Il sedici di agosto           (or, il quindici)
Sul far della mattina
Il boia avea disposto
L’orrenda ghigliottina
Mentre Caserio dormiva ancor
Senza pensare al triste orror           (or, e non pensava)

Entran nella prigione
Direttore e prefetto
Con voce d’emozione
Svegliano il giovinetto
Disse svegliandosi “Che cosa c’è?”           (or, Alzati, dicono)
“E’ giunta l’ora: alzati in piè.”

Udita la notizia
Ei si vestì all’istante
Veduta la giustizia
Cambiò tutto il sembiante.
Gli chieser prima di andare a morir
Dite se avete qualcosa da dir.

Così disse al prefetto           (or, Rispose il giovinetto)
“Allor ch’io morto sia
prego questo biglietto
datelo a mamma mia.
Posso fidarmi che lei lo avrà
Mi raccomando, per carità.

Altro non ho da dire
Schiudetemi le porte
Finito è il mio soffrire
Via datemi la morte.           (or, su instead of via)
E tu, mia madre, dai fine al duol
E datti pace del tuo figliol.”

Poi con precauzione           (or, allor)
Dal boia fu legato
E in piazza di Lione               (i.e., Lyon)
Fu dunque trasportato           (or, tosto instead of dunque)
E spinto a forza, il capo entrò
Nella mannaia che lo troncò.

Spettacolo di gioia
La Francia manifesta                (or, Francia lo manifesta)
Gridando “Viva il boia
Che gli tagliò la testa”
Gente tiranna e senza cuor
Che sprezza e ride l’altrui dolor.

(provided by Riccardo Venturi)

Other verses:

(Roman dialect)
Povero figlio mio
Sei stato sfortunato
Er sedici de agosto
Sei stato giustiziato
Mentre Caserio sta sempre là . . .
Fiaccola ardente di libertà
Mentre Caserio sta sempre là . . .
Fiaccola ardente di libertà

Rough translation:

The sixteenth of August. In the cool of the morning the executioner had set up the hideous guillotine, while Caserio slept on, without a thought about the sad horror.

The director and prefect entered the prison and with a voice full of emotion roused the young man who, being awakened, said, “What’s going on?” “The hour has come. Get on your feet.”

Hearing this, he dressed himself quickly. Seeing the judge he changed his whole countenance. He was asked, “Before you go to your death, speak up if you have something to say.”

He replied to the prefect like this: “After I am dead please give this note to my mother. Can I rely on you that she will get it? Please do this, for goodness sake.”

“I have nothing else to say. Open the doors for me. My suffering is over. Come now, give me death.” And you, my mother, put an end to your grief and give yourself the peace of your son.

Then with caution he was tied to the executioner and was then transported to the square in Lyon. And with great force the blade severed his head.

France expresses a show of joy, shouting. “Long live the executioner who cut off his head!” Despotic people and without heart, who distain and laugh at others’ pain.

Roman dialect verse:

My poor son, you’ve been unlucky. The 16th of August – you have been executed. While Caserio is always there . . . a flaming torch of freedom.

(“Caserio” is the last name of Sante Geronimo Caserio, an assassin of a French President. So, this song memorializes a terrorist . . . It is about his last morning, before facing the guillotine. Grade B-.)

Postscript to Caserio:

Ai 24 Ma di Settembre

Anonymous. Another song about the guillotine.

Ai ventiquattro ma di settembre
Alle sette ma di mattina
In piazza d’armi la ghigliottina
Due teste si videro cader

Grida il popolo
Ma questa l’è un’ingiustizia!
Saranno stati due assassini
Ma no, sono due prodi garibaldini (brave)
Che per l’Italia dovettero morir!

Rough translation:

On the 24th of September, at seven in the morning in the plaza of the army two heads were seen to fall by the guillotine.

The people cried, “This is an injustice!” “They must have been two assassins.” “No, they were two brave partisans who had to die for Italy!”

(“The 24th of September”. The text was found on http://www.ildeposito.org, an archive of protest songs. According to that site, “[T]he execution narrated in the text is that of Giuseppe Monti and Gaetano Tognetti, two followers of Garibaldi who were arrested and condemned to death following the defeat of Garibaldi at Mentana (November 3, 1867) by the French army that had been sent by Napoleon III to defend the pope.” I have not heard this song so it is not graded.)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Chiesetta Alpina

Cousin Carlo

(Ricorderai il Bel Alpin)

C’è una chiesa alpina dove già rintocca una campana
Nel vederla così in alto pare in cielo, e più lontana . . .
Col suono par che dica a un cuor,
Nel dolce vespro mattutin,
Alla chiesetta tutta in fior,
Ritornerai mio bell’alpin . . .

S’ode un suono ma non è più la campana della chiesetta
è il silenzio della sera che pian pian suona la trombetta . . .
Più piano come in un sospir,
Fra breve non si sente più,
Ma al bruno alpino par d’udir,                 [hear]
La campanella sua di laggiu . . . .

Rosellina che col gregge vai sui monti di buon mattino,             [flock]
E con ansia e fede aspetti che ritorni il tuo bell’alpino            [desire, anxiousness]
Se pur lontano il bruno alpin,
A te soltanto penserà
E un dì vedrai che a te vicin,
Felice ancor ritornerà. . .

Ed un giorno assai più forte suona a festa la campanella,
è tornato il bruno alpin e Rosellina si fa più bella.
è bianca e pura come in fior,
Che il sole di maggio sboccerà               [to blossom]
E la campana con amor,
Per quelle non se tornerà

Rough translation:

There is an alpine church where a bell once tolled. Seeing it so high it seemed in the sky, and even farther . . . with a sound that seemed to talk to the heart in the sweet vespers and matins. Come back, my fine alpine soldier, to the little church all in flower.

We hear a sound but it is no longer the bell of the little church. It is the silence of the evening in which the bugler plays softly. . . Softer than a sigh and then soon no longer heard. But the dark-haired Alpino seems to hear the little bell of the church down there.

Rosellina you go with your flock up on the mountains early in the morning, and with anxiousness and faith you await the return of your beloved Alpino, while far away the dark Alpino thinks only of you. And one day you will see that happily he will return to your side.

And one day the bell tolls even stronger than before, rejoicing. The dark-haired alpine soldier has returned and Rosellina becomes more beautiful. She is white and pure as if in flower that the sun will blossom in May. And the bell tolls with love, for those who will not return.

(“The Alpine Chapel”. Rosellina awaits the return of her Alpine soldier. Grade: B.)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ciodo de Fero Vecio, El

(or, Un) (also called Mechimecomica or Quattro Ciodi)

A Venetian children’s song, as sung by L’allegra Compagnia

El ciodo del ferro vecio (or, un ciodo de fero vecio; or, quattro ciodi)
De la mecanica, de la mecanica (or, l’è la mecanica)
El ciodo del ferro vecio
De la mecanica de precision

Refrain:
Oi bela mechime comica
Mechime comica mechime comica
Oi bela mechime comica
Mechime comica mechi meca (or, mecò)
[repeat]

The groups sings some other verses (indecipherable to me) to another tune, maybe mixing in a different song.

Additional verse sung by other groups:

Oi bionda no te mi comodi
No te mi comodi, no te mi comodi
Oi bionda no te mi comodi
No te mi comodi no propri no (or, propio no!)

Rough translation:
The parts I can make out (since the spelling is mostly in Venetian) seem to sort of mean the following.

An old iron nail is what mechanics consists of. [I think the emphasis is on “old”.]
Precision mechanics

The refrain seems to be tongue-twister or nonsense words.

Additional verse:

Hey, Blondie, you don’t suit me
You don’t suit me at all!

Here are some other verses found on several websites:

Quattro fili mal engropadi l’è la eletronica
(? Four badly-installed wires is what electronics consists of. ?)

Quattro tubi mal enfisadi l’è la idraulica
(? Four pipes all tangled up is what plumbing consists of. ?)

Quattro rotoli de carta igienica l’è la cessistica
(? Four rolls of toilet paper is what maintaining a lavatory consists of. ?)

(“The Old Iron Nail”. There are versions in too many dialects to include here. For example. “fero” can be “ferro”, “vecio” can be “vecchio” or “vegio”, and so on. Grade: C+.)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Come Porti i Capelli Bella Bionda

(from at least as far back as the 1880s)

(First, lyrics song by the Fonola band)

Come porti i capelli bella bionda
Tu li porti alla bella marinara
Tu li porti come l’onda
Come l’onda in mezzo al mar
(repeat)

Chorus:
In mezzo al mar ci stan camin che fumano      (3X)
Saranno la mia bella che si consumano (or, saranno la miai bella chi si sconsumano)

Come porti i capelli bella bionda
Tu li porti alla bella ? citarrina ?                (?? = chitarrina, or little guitar ??)
Tu li porti alla mattina
Quando vai a passeggiar
(repeat)

(Chorus)
(but “In mezzo al prà . . . “)

(Next, lyrics found on http://www.lyricsmania.com; see also http://www.testiecanzoni.it)

(Chorus 1:)
Come porti i capelli bella bionda
Tu li porti alla bella marinara
Tu li porti come l’onda
Tu li porti come l’onda
Ma come porti i capelli bella bionda
Tu li porti alla bella marinara
Tu li porti come l’onda
Come l’onda in mezzo al mar.

A guardi, io non ho una regola fissa perchè
Io nasco castano chiaro
Ma perchè i miei capelli sono castano chiaro,
Però sotto le ascelle sono testa di moro                (armpits)
E più giù sono rossa
Eh io preferirei diversamente
Cioè preferirei,
Sotto le ascelle rossa e più giù la testa del moro.

(Chorus 2:)
Là in mezzo al mar ci stan camin che fumano      (3X)
Saran della mia bella che si consumano

A sì guardi come prodotti, come eh,
Ehm come si chiama quello che si usa per accendere il gas,
O santo cielo, non mi ricordo più, come si chiama, a sì zolfo,           (sulphur)
Io prendo lo zolfo poi vado da mio parrucchiere, dal Gino e               (barber)
Mi faccio massaggiare tutta la cute e anche sotto.                           (cute = skin)

(repeat Chorus 1)

A guardi, cioè, dipende molto anche dalle serate,                (serate = evenings)
Dall’abito che ne so, per esempio,
Ma che ne so, io poi cosa ne so,
Scusi perchè continua a farmi tutte queste domande,
Io cosa ne so, beh guardi
Allora io vado dal mio coiffeur
E poi mi faccio tante . . .

(repeat Chorus 2)

Beh, guardi, eh, cioè come prodotti
Io faccio un giorno si e un giorno no
Faccio i colpi di sole e le mechès,
Ogni nove mesi faccio la placenta
E poi bevo un bicchierino di balsamo
Cosi mi si gonfiano tutte le scapole.          (pump up one’s shoulders?)

(repeat Chorus 1)

Oh-o-o, guardi, senta, scusi eh, oh un giorno la Gina
M’aveva . . . il mio parrucchiere Gina ehm, mi appena fatto el la permanente,
Io lo chiamo il Gino, però lo chiamo coiffeur
Perchè lui è di Punta Raisi,
Sono uscita, è venuto un monsone
Ho preso tanta di quell’acqua che io pianto
La mia portinaia m’ha preso a schiaffi.           (concierge gave me a slap)

(repeat Chorus 2)

A senta, no guardi . . .
Allora io faccio delle applicazioni di ortiche, no,         (ortiche = nettles?)
Poi così per stimolare il lbulbo,
A me non è successo niente ma al Gino
Li si è gonfiato il bulbo,
Pensi li han dovuto cambiare la lampo.           (change in a flash)

(repeat Chorus 1)

(repeat Chorus 2)

A senta, scusi eh signor marinaio,
Ma signor marinaio mi scusi,
Ma cosa fa, ma desso se ne va,
Mi fa un sacco di domande
E poi se ne va, signor marinaio,
Mezzo marinaio, venga mainaio,
Le faccio vedere il bulbo, marinaio,
Senta, senta signor marinaio, ciao, ciao, ciao . . .

Rough Translation:

How nicely you wear your hair, beautiful blonde. You wear it nautical style. You wear it wavy, like a wave in the middle of the sea.

Refrain:
In the middle of the sea there is a chimney that smokes.
That will be my darling, who is wasting away.

How nicely you wear your hair, beautiful blonde. You wear it like a little guitarist. You wear it like that in the morning when you go to take a stroll.

Refrain:
In the middle of the meadow there is a chimney that smokes.
That will be my darling, who is wasting away.

(“How Well You Wear Your Wavy Hair, Blonde Beauty”. Unfortunately, the girlfriend goes up in smoke at the crematorium. Grade: B.)

#################################

Spinach and Egg Soup

I think this came from my father’s side of the family, who came from the Venice-Friuli area (Pordenone and Treviso). My mother made it when we had bread going stale.

Ingredients (for 6 servings):

2 lbs. spinach, chopped up
1 onion, chopped
12 cups chicken or vegetable broth
12 eggs
Enough bread (such as Italian bread; stale is fine) for 6 bowls, broken into chunks
Salt, pepper and other seasonings, to taste

Serve with grated cheese if desired

Directions:

Bring the broth to a boil, and then add the onion and spinach for just a minute or two. Season as desired. Meanwhile, line the bottom of 6 soup bowls with the chunks of bread. Just before the broth and veggies are done, put two raw eggs in each bowl. Then pour the broth into the bowls. Top with grated cheese, if desired, and serve.

A variation would be Spinach Soup with Rice. Boil 1 cup of rice in the chicken or vegetable broth (or 10 bouillon cubes with 12 cups water). When it is almost done (usually around 15 minutes) add the chopped-up spinach and onion (sautéed onion would be even better), and seasoning. When almost done, you can drop in raw eggs and/or top with grated cheese, as desired.

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