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Northern Songs D-F


Northern Songs “D”
Da Milan Fin a Turin

(Da Trieste Fin A Zara; Amor Amor Amor e La
Rosa è Un Bel Fior)

Da Milan fin a Turin
La portava in biroccin
Amore, amore, amor, amore, amore, amor
Da Torino a Moncale´ (Moncale’ is Piedmontese for Moncalieri)
La ligiera marcia a pè
Amore amore amor e la rosa l’è un bel fior.

(Same pattern as above:)

Se la rosa l’è un bel fior
Il garòfano è meglio ancor
Amore, amore amor, tu sei sempre nel mio cuor.

Col calore nel tuo amor
È sbocciata ********* fior
È sbocciata nel mio cuor

Trieste version:

Da Trieste fin a Zara, go impegnà la mia chitara (pawned)
Amor, amor amor amor amor amor
Da Trieste fin a Zara, go impegnà la mia chitara
Amor, amor amor chè Trieste xe un bel fior

(Iero in campagna col primo amore, oh, che bel fior
Iero in campagna col primo amore, oh, che bel fior, viva l’amor!)

De Trieste fin Duino, go impegnado il mandolino

De Trieste fin a Pola, go impegnà la mia zivola

Rough translation:

He took her from Milan to Torino in a horse cart.
Amore, amore, amor, amore, amore, amor
From Torino to Moncale’ she lightly went on foot.
Love, love, love, and the rose is a beautiful flower.

(same pattern as above):

If the rose is a beautiful flower, the carnation is even better.
Love, love, love, you are always in my heart.

With ardour in your heart the ****** flower has bloomed.
It has blossomed in my heart.

Trieste version:

From Trieste to Zara I pawned my guitar
Amor, amor amor amor amor amor
From Trieste to Zara I pawned my guitar
Love, love, love, and Trieste is a beautiful flower.

(same pattern below):

I was in the countryside with my first love, oh what a beautiful flower.
I was in the countryside with my first love, oh what a beautiful flower. Long live love!

From Trieste to Duino I pawned by mandolin.

From Trieste to Pola I pawned my zivola.

(“From Milan to Turin”. That far, she gets to ride in a horse cart. But after Turin she has to go on foot. Grade: B+.)

Dammi un Riccio dei Tuoi Capelli

(I Tuoi Capelli Son Ricci e Belli)

Enzo version:

Dammi un riccio dei tuoi capelli
Che li tengo che li tengo per memoria
A la fine de la vittoria
Tuoi capelli tuoi capelli bacerò

E tru la lera lera lera, tru la lera lera lera
Tru la lera lera lera, tru la la

I tuoi capelli son ricci e belli
Son legati son legati con fili d’oro
Tu sei la ??? del mio cuore
Sì per sempre, sì per sempre t’amerò


Alternative words (with a slightly different melody):

Oh, dammi un riccio dei tuoi capelli
Che io li tengo per tua memoria
Quando sarò sul campo, della vittoria
I tuoi capelli sì sì li bacerò

Another version, as sung by Orietta Berta:

O dammi un riccio dei tuoi capelli
Che io li serba per tua memoria
Quando sarò sul campo, sul campo della vittoria
I tuoi capelli sì sì li bacerò

Te do un riccio dei miei capelli (or, écco ti un riccio)
Che tu li serva per la mia memoria
Quando sarai sul campo, sul campo della vittoria
I miei capelli fortuna porteràn

I tuoi capelli son ricci e belli
Sono legati con fili d’oro
Angelo del cuor mio per te io muoio
Angelo del cuor mio per te io morirò.

Another verse:

Addio, addio biondina cara
Adesso parto e vado a militare
Stai pur tranquilla se tu saprai amare
Il tuo Gigetto sì sì ti sposerò

Another version, in another dialect (possibly from Salento), with the tune more beautiful than the military “marching” versions above:

Damme Nnu Ricciu

Damme la manu, de sutta lu cippune
E tie de calandra, e ieu de calandrune X2

E damme nnu ricciu, e de li toi capelli
Son ricciu e son belli, m’han fatto innamorare X2

E damme la manu, e stringimela forte
E finu alla morte, e nu me abbandonare X2

Rough translation:

Give me a lock of your hair so I’ll have it as a remembrance. At the final victory I will kiss your hair.

Your hair is curly and beautiful. Your lock is bound up with a golden thread. You are the ******** of my heart. Yes, I will always, always love you.

Alternative words and verses:

When I am on the field of victory I will kiss your hair.

I’ll give you a lock of my hair, which will serve you as a remembrance of me. When you are on the field, on the field of victory, my hair will bring you good luck.

Your hair is curly and beautiful. Your lock is bound up with a golden thread. Angel of my heart I die for you. Angel of my heart for you I will die.

Goodbye, goodbye dear blondie
Now I will depart and go into the army
Stay calm, if you would know love
Yes, yes your Gigetto will marry you

The Salento version:

Give me your hand under the grapevine
You, like a female skylark and me like a male one

And give me a lock of your hair
Which is curly and beautiful and has made me fall in love with you

And give me your hand and hold mine tight
And don’t forsake me until death

The wind comes and makes your hair seem
Like curls of gold and silver
You don’t know how much I love you

(“Give Me a Lock of Your Curly Hair”. To keep as a memory while I am at war. Grade: C.)

Di Qua, Di Là del Piave

(Dopo Aver Mangiato e Ben Bevuto)

(One version can be found on website

(Repeat each line, throughout.)

Di qua, di là del Piave, ci sta un’osteria           (or, del ponte)
Là c’è da bere e da mangiare ed un buon letto da riposar

E dopo aver mangiato, mangiato e ben bevuto
Oi bella mora, se vuoi venire, quest è l’ora di far l’amor           (or, di far dormir)

Ma si che vegnaria, per una volta sola           (or, Se si)
Però ti prego lasciami stare, che son figlia da maritar           (or, lasciami sola)

Se sei da maritare, dovevi dirlo prima
Sei sempre stata coi vecchi alpini, non sei figlia da maritar.

E dopo nove mesi è nato un bel bambino
Sputava il latte, beveva il vino, l’era figlio d’un vecio alpin.           (or, vecchio)

Another verse, from website

Di qua, di là dal ponte, ci sta una bella mora
Tutte le sere resta sola, la resta sola a far l’amor

Rough translation:

Here, beyond the Piave, there is an inn. There they provide drinks and food and a good bed for a rest.

And after having eaten, eaten and drunk well, “Hey, you dark-haired beauty, if you want to come, this is this time to go to sleep.”

Well, if I were to come it would for one time only, but please leave me alone, as I am of marriageable age.

If you are to be married, you should have said that before. You’ve always been with the Alpine soldiers – you are no marriageable maiden.

And after nine months a beautiful baby was born. He spit out the milk and drank the wine, the son of an Alpine soldier.

Additional verse:

Here, beyond the bridge, there is a beautiful dark-haired woman. Every night she remains alone, waiting to make love.

(Here, Beyond the Piave River”. There is an inn where you can get drinks, a good meal and maybe a pretty girl. Grade B-.)

Domenica Andando Alla Messa, La

La domenica andando alla messa
(Ac)compagnata dai miei amatori           (or, dal mio amatore)
Mi sorpresero i miei genitori           (or, il mio genitore)
Monachella mi fecero andar
Ohi sì sì, ohi no no
Monachella mi fecero andar

Dimmi che m’ami, sono innocente           (or, se m’ami)
Come il sol che risplende sul mar
Voglio dare un addio all’amor,           (or, dare l’addio)
Ohi sì sì, ohi no no
Voglio dare un addio all’amor

M’han rinchiusa fre sette cancelli           (barred gate)
M’han tagliato i miei biondi capelli
Voi lo sà eran ricci eran belli           (or, Lo sapete, or, Voi sapete)
Giovanotti piangete per me
Ohi sì sì, ohi no no
Giovanotti piangete per me


Voi mi avete rinchiusa in convento
Ma il mio cuor correrà come il vento
Per posarsi sul fiore innocente
Che avete strappato al mio cuor        (torn)
Ohi sì sì, ohi no no
Che avete strappato al mio cuor


Notte e giorno io prego il Signore
Ma non posso scordare il mio amore
Era puro era bello e sincero
Ora prega e piangere per me
Ohi sì sì, ohi no no
Ora prega e piangere per me

Genitori piantate dei fiori
Ma lasciateli crescere al sole
Non privateli mai dell’amore
Se volete vederli a fiorir
Ohi sì sì, ohi no no
Se volete vederli a fiorir


Rough translation:

Going to Mass on Sunday, accompanied by my boyfriends, I surprised my parents and they made me go to become a novice. Oh, yes, yes. Oh no, no. They made me go become a novice.

Tell me that you love me, I am innocent like the sun that shines on the sea. I want to say a goodbye to love. Oh yes, yes. Oh no, no. I want to say a goodbye to love.

(same pattern below.)

They have closed me up within seven gates. They have cut off my blond hair. You know that it was curly and beautiful. Young friends, cry for me.

You have confined me to a convent but my heart will run like the wind. For alighting on an innocent flower you have torn away at my heart.

Night and day I pray to the Lord but I cannot forget my beloved. He was pure and fine and innocent, and now he prays and cries for me.

Parents, plant the flowers, but let them grow in the sun. Never deprive them of love if you want to see them flower.

(“Walking to Mass on Sunday”. A girl has too many boyfriends, so her folks put her in a nunnery. When they cut off her blond, curly hair she asks the other young folks to cry with her. Some of the same lyrics are found in Carrozze Son Già Preparate, Le. Grade: A.)


Donna Lombarda

There are many versions. The events on which this song is based took place in the 570s (!) and the earliest versions date from soon after, thus making it one of the oldest Italian folk songs that survive. Note that the melody for each version is different.

Lyrics for the Francesco de Gregori & Giovanna Marini version:

Amami me che sono re. Non posso amarti tengo marì    (2X)
Tuo marito fallo morire t’insegnerò come devi far    (2X)
Vai nell’orto del tuo buon padre, taglia la testa di un serpentin    (1X)
Prima la tagli e poi la schiacci e poi la metti dentro nel vin (1X)
Ritorna a casa il marì dai campi Donna Lombarda oh che gran sé    (2X)        (thirst)
Bevilo bianco bevilo nero bevilo pure come vuoi tu    (2X)
Cos’è sto vino così giallino sarà l’avanzo di ieri ser    (2X)
Ma un bambino di pochi mesi sta nella culla e vuole parlar   (2X)
O caro padre non ber quel vino Donna Lombarda l’avvelenò    (2X)
Bevilo tu o Donna Lombarda tu lo berrai e poi morirai    (1X)
E per l’amore del Re di Spagna io lo berrò e poi morirò    (1X)
La prima goccia che lei beveva lei malediva il suo bambin    (1X)
Seconda goccia che lei beveva lei malediva il suo marì    (1X)

Another version:

O Donna Lombarda, vieni via con me
Verrei volentieri ma c’è il mio marì
Donna Lombarda fai l’amor con me e lascia il tuo marì

Se c’è il tuo marito lo farem morì
Vai giù nell’orto c’è un bel serpentin
Donna Lombarda fai l’amor con me e lascia il tuo marì

Vai giù nell’orto c’è un bel serpentin
Prendi il suo veleno e mettilo nel vin
Donna Lombarda fai l’amor con me e lascia il tuo marì

Torna a casa il marito vuol da bere il vin
La Donna Lombarda glielo serve ben
Donna Lombarda fai l’amor con me e lascia il tuo marì

Il bambino in culla dice al suo papà
No non ber quel vino ti farà morir
Donna Lombarda fai l’amor con me e lascia il tuo marì

O Donna Lombarda hai avvelenato il vin
Con la punta della sua spada la fece morir
Donna Lombarda fai l’amor con me e lascia il tuo marì

Version found on

O donna donna, donna lombarda
Se vuoi venire al ballo con me.        (repeat these two lines; same pattern below)

Si, si che al ballo lo vegnerla
Ma ho paura del mio marì.

Quel tuo marì l’è vecchio e brutto
Farem di tutto per farlo morir.

Prendi il bicchiere scendi in cantina
Riemplio di vino poi mettici il velen.

Next, version (said here to be a northern song originally, but says that this version is from South Central Italy):

Donna lombarda donna lombarda
Donna lombarda
Donna lombarda amème mì
Amème mì

Cos vot che t’ama che g’ho ‘l marito
Cos vot che t’ama
Che g’ho ‘l marito che lui mi vuol ben
che lui mi vuol ben

Vot ca t’insegna a farlo morire
Vot ca t’insegna
A farlo morire t’insegnerò mì
t’insegnerò mì

Va ad cò dell’orto del tuo buon padre
Va ad cò dell’orto
Del tuo buon padre, là c’è un serpentin
là c’è un serpentin

Taglia la testa a quel serpentin
Taglia la testa
Di quel serpentino poi pestala ben
poi pestala ben

E poi mettila nella botticella
E poi mettila
Nella botticella del vin pusè bon
Del vin pusè bon

Vien cà ‘l marito tutto assediato
Vien cà ‘l marito
Tutto assediato va a trar del vin
Da quel pusè bon

Traghilà quel bianco traghilà quel nero
Traghilà quel bianco
Traghilà quel nero da quel pusè bon
da quel pusè bon

Donna lombarda cos’ ha quel vino
Donna lombarda
Cos’ ha quel vino che l’è intorbiolì
che l’è intorbiolì

L’è stato il tuono dell’altra notte
L’è stato il tuono
Dell’altra notte che l’ha intorbiolì
che l’ha intorbiolì

Ma un bambino di pochi anni
Ma un bambino
Di pochi anni lù l’ha palesà
lù l’ha palesà

O mio buon padre non bere quel vino
O mio buon padre
Non bere quel vino che l’è avvelenà
che l’è avvelenà

Sol per l’amore del re di Francia
Sol per l’amore
Del re di Francia io lo beverò
Io lo beverò

Ogni goccino che lei beveva
Ogni goccino
Che lei beveva addio marì
Ciao marì

La s’intendeva da farla agli altri
La s’intendeva
Da farla agli altri la s’l’ è fatta a lè
la s’l’ è fatta a lè.

Piemontese version:

O di-me ‘n po’, dona Lombarda, lo to marì duv’è- lo andà?

Lo me marì l’è andà a cassa, chi sa quand ch’a venirà!

Vos-tu venì, dona Lombarda, vos-tu venì a spass cun mi?

Certo sì che j’anderia, ma l’ai paura del mi marì.

O di-me ‘n po’, dona Lombarda, ame-me mi, ame-me mi.

O cum’i vole ma ch’i fassa, ch’i lo ‘l marì, ch’i l’o marì?

O di-me ‘n po’, dona Lombarda, vos-tu ch’i t’mustra a fèlo murì?

Va ‘nt el giardin de la tua mama, ant un bissun j’è un serpentin.

Pia la testa del serpentin, pist-la, pist-la, but-la ant el vin.

‘L to marì venirà a caza cun tanta sei, cun tanta sei.

Pia na buta e dà-je da bèive, pia-ne n’autra e bèiv-la ti.

Lo so marì l’è rivà a caza cun tanta sei, cun tanta sei.

O dì-me ‘n po’, dona Lombarda, del vin tirà n’a j’è-lo nen?

Andè là ‘nt la cherdenseta, a i n’à j’è un bel sanin.

Una fieta de quìndes ani a’l l’à avertì, a ‘l l’à avertì:

Beivì pa pi, me caro padre, ch’a v’ fa murì, ch’a v’ fa murì.

O dì-me ‘n po’, dona Lombarda, o bèiv-lo ti, o bèiv-lo ti.

O cum’i vole mai ch’i fassa, ch’i l’ò nen sei, ch’i l’ò nen sei?

Ma per l’amur d’custa spadinha t’lo beiverei, t’lo beiverei.

La prima gussa ch’a n’à beivu-ne, dona Lombarda cambia colur.

A due gusse ch’a n’à beivu-ne, le mie maznà v’arcumand a vui!

Tuscan version:

Donna Lombarda di Lombardia
Vogliami ben vogliami ben

Coma farìa a volerti bene
Ch’io l’ho il marì, ch’io l’ho il marì

Se ci hai marito fallo morire fallo morire
Ti insegnerò ti insegnerò

Ne vai all’orto del signor padre
Che c’è un serpè, che c’è un serpè

Prendi la testa di quel serpente
Pestala ben pestala ben

E quando bene l’avrai pestata la sera torna
Ti chiede da ber ti chiede da ber

Quale tu vuoi quale tu vuoi
Quel bianco o quel ner quel bianco o quel ner

Dammi di quella dammi di quello
Che fa buono a me che fa buono a me

E quando era per metterlo a la bocca
Rispose un bambino
Di nove me’, di nove me’
Babbo non lo ber che c’è il velen.

Another version in an unknown (to me) dialect:

Donna Lombarda, Donna Lombarda
Vurì vegnì a fa’ un bal cun mi? (repeat second line; same pattern below)

Certo, Signore, ghè vegnarìa
Ma gh’ho paùra dal me marì!

Vostro marito, ci penso io
Ci penso io a farlo morir.

Prendi la testa d’un serpentino
Rudusl ‘in puar e mett’ l in dal vein.

E’l vegna acà, ‘l marì dalla cassa
Dammi da bere, ca me g’ho seedd.

E salta so’l fiulin da la coina:
Papà vebal nò, ch’ i’t vòn fè murì!

Donna Lombarda, Donna Lombarda
Beveval vù al vostar von vein.

Il primo sorso, ca lù’ l gh’ha dato
Donna Lombarda si sente svenir.

Secondo sorso, ca lù gh’ha dato
Donna Lombarda si sente morir.

Il terzo sorso, ca lù’l gh’ha dato,
Donna Lombarda se ne morì.

Rough translation (All the versions here are fairly similar so for now I am only translating the first version above.):

“Love me, I am a king.” “I cannot love you, I have a husband.”
“You should kill your husband and I will teach you how you should do it.
Go to the garden of your father and cut off the head of a serpent.
First cut it off, then crush it and then put it into the wine.”
The husband returned from the fields. “Donna Lombarda, oh how thirsty I am.”
“Drink the white, drink the red, drink as much as you want.”
“Why is this wine so yellowish?” “It is leftover from last night.”
But a baby a few months old is in the cradle and wants to speak.
“Oh dear father, don’t drink that wine. Donna Lombarda has poisoned it.”
“You drink it, Donna Lombarda. You will drink it and then you will die.”
“And for the love of the King of Spain I will drink it and die.”
With her first sip she cursed her baby.
With the second sip she cursed her husband.

(“Lombard Woman”. In the various versions of the song she tries to poison her husband; in real life she tried to poison her lover (after she helped to kill her husband by sword a few years earlier, with good reason). A baby a few months old (or a few weeks, or a few years, in other versions) warns the father in time, and the Lombard Woman drinks the poison for the love of the King of Spain, or the King of France in another version, although neither country even existed at the time Rosamund, the real Donna Lombarda, lived. Grade: A.)


Dormi Mia Bella Dormi


Dormi mia bella, dormi, dormi e fai la nanna
E quando sarai mamma non dormirai così           (or, Che quando)

Dormi mia bella, dormi, e buon riposo
Che quando avrai lo sposo non dormirai così

Tutti gli amante passan(o), ma tu non passi mai;
Ti voglio bene assai, voglio dormir con te.

Rough translation:

Sleep, my darling, sleep, sleep and go hushabye,
And when you’re a mother, you will not sleep like this.

Sleep, my lovely, sleep and have a good rest,
For when you have a husband you will not sleep like this.

All the lovers go away, but you never go.
I love you very much and I want to sleep with you.

(“Sleep, My Love, Sleep”. A lullaby, although one of the verses here is a love song. Grade: B.)


Dosolina, La

(First, lyrics found on

La dosolina la va di sopra e la si mette a tavolino
Solo per scrivere na letterina e per mandarla a Napolitan
Napolitano l’è nda a Bologna a sercarse l’amorosa,          (i.e., cercare)
La Dosolina, povera tosa Napolitano l’abbandonò.           (tosa = girl, lass)
Ma se ti trovo sola soletta un bel bacio te daria,
Ma se to trovo in compagnia, te l’ho giurato t’ammazzerò        (I’ve sworn)

(Next, lyrics sung by Fonola Band)

La Dosolina la va di sopra e la si mette a tavolino
Solo per scrivere na letterina e per mandarla a Napolitan.   (2X)

Napolitano l’è anda a Bologna a sercarse l’amorosa
La Dosolina, povera tosa Napolitano l’abbandonò   (2X)

La Dosolina abbabdonata ??alla si mette a la finale ??

E la sua mamma mandar chiamare Napolitano il traditor   (2X)

?? E ca ?? Bologna che ?? torna in paese dai gintan è scortato ??      (escorted?)
Se tu voi essere da me amato mio caro amore ?? in paese andiam ??   (2X)

?? Vo t’ho ?? lasciato perchè m’han detto ?? è tenevia ?? amoroso
E per la rabbia tu ho abbabdonata ma se lo vuoi ti sposerò (  2X)

Se io ti trovo sola soletta un vel baso te daria (?vaso?)
Ma se to trovo in compagnia, io te lo giuro t’ammazzerò    (2X)

Rough translation (first version only):

Dosolina went upstairs and sat at a desk
Just to write a little note and send it to the Neapolitan.
The Neapolitan went to Bologna to look for a girlfriend.
Dosolina, the poor girl, was abandoned by the Neapolitan.
If I find you all alone I’ll give you a sweet kiss.
But if I find you keeping company, I’ve sworn to you that I’ll murder you.

(“The Girl Dosolina” is abandoned by her man from Naples. Dosolina (and her mother) vow revenge. Grade C+.)


Dove Sei Stato, Mio Bell’ Alpino

Dove sè stato, mio bell’ Alpino
Dove sè stato, mio bell’ Alpino
Dove sè stato, mio bell’ Alpino che ti ga cambia colore?
Dove sè stato, mio bell’ Alpino che ti ga cambia colore?

(Same pattern as above:)

L’è stata l’aria del Trentino
Che m’ha fat cambia color!

L’è stata l’aria dell’Ortigara
Che m’ha fat cambia color!

Sul Monte Nero c’e una tormenta
Che m’ha fat cambia color!

La sul Pasubio c’e un barilotto

Sul Monte Grappa c’e un bombarda

È stato il fumo della mitraglia

Ma i tuoi colori ritorneranno
Questa sera a far l’amore.

Rough Lyrics:

Where have you been, my handsome Alpine soldier?
Where have you been, my handsome Alpine soldier, that your color has changed?

It was the air of Trentino that made me change color.

It was the air of Ortigara that made me change color.

It was a blizzard on Monte Nero that made me change color.

There is a keg on Pasubio that made me change color.

There was a bombardment on Monte Grappa that made me change color.

It was the smoke of machine-guns that made me change color.

But your colors will return this evening making love.

(“Where Have You Been, My Fine Alpine Soldier?) His face is pale from all his battles, but making love tonight will restore him. Grade: B.)


Dove Ti Vett, O Mariettina

Dove ti vett, O Mariettina      (3 volte)      (or, te vett)
Inscì bonora in mezzo al praà?        (or, Si bonoro in mezzo al prà)

(The choral group then repeats lines one and two, once)

Mio me ne vò in campagnola      (3 volte)      (or, Io me ne vado in . . .)
Campagnola a lavorar

Se la rosada là se alza      (3 volte) (or rusada or, in standard, rugiada = dew)
La te bagnerà el scossàa (or scoussaa or scussà = skirt)

È scossarin l’ho già bagnato      (3 volte)   (or, El scossarin l’è già) (Or scosalin, scoussarin
Stamattina in mezzo al prà (scossarin, etc. means apron)

Other versions:

Prologo: E se tu fossi una regina

E se tu fossi una regina     (3 volte)
Ti verria a incoronar

E invece sei una contadina      (3 volte)      (instead)
Vai nei campi a lavorar

Se la rosa va la se alza      (3 volte)
La se bagne la scussa

3 versions (dialects) found on

1. (called La Rugiada)

Dov’e qu’at vè O Mariettina (3X)
Stamattina en mez al prà?

A vag a far la campagnola (3X)
A vag an campagna a lavorar.

Sa savez ch’at sé tuta sola (3X)
A t’agnirei a ‘compagnar.

E la rugiada la si alza (3X)
Lo scossalin l’è già bagnà.

Lo scosssalin l’è già bagnato (3X)
Stamattina in mezzo al prà.

Dove te vett, O Mariettina (3X)
Insci bun’òra in mezz’ai pràa?

Mo voo a fa la camplagneùla (3X)
In campagna a lavorà.

Se ti te fusset propri soùla (3X)
Te vegnarissi a compagnà

Ma la rusada a la vegn sura . . . (3X)
La te bagnerà el scoussaa!

El scoussarin l’ho già bagnato (3X)
Stamattina in mezz al pràa!

3. (This seems to be a translation into “nearly” standard Italian)

Dove vai O Mariettina (3X)
Così presto in mezzo al prà?

Vado a far la campagnola (3X)
Vado in campagna a lavoràr.

Se tu fossi pròprio sola (3X)
Ti verei a ‘compagnàr.

Ma la rugiada ormai si alza (3X)
E la ti bagna lo scosal.

Lo scossalin l’ho già bagnato (3X)
Stamattina in mezzo al pra!

Then, another version, according to

Dove te vett, o Mariettina (3X)
‘nsci bun’ura in mezz’ al prà?

Mi me ne vo’ in campagnola (3X)
In campagnola a lavorà.

Se la rusada la se alza (3X)
La te bagneraa el scussà.

El scossarin l’ho già bagnato (3X)
Stamattina in mezz’ al prà!

Rough translation:

Where are you going, oh Mariettina, so early in the morning in the middle of the meadow?

I’m going to be a peasant woman, working out in the countryside.

But now the dew rises, and you will wet your skirt.

But my apron already got wet, this morning in the middle of the meadow.

Additional verse (found in some of the above versions):

If you were quite alone, I would come and keep you company.

Other version (as above):

And if you were a queen, I would want to crown you.

But instead you are a farm girl, so go to the fields to work.

(“Where Are You Going, Mariettina?”. Is she up to something or other out in the meadows? This includes the verses, “If you were a queen you should be crowned. But if instead you are a peasant girl, go out to the fields to work.” Grade: B+.)


Grandma Catina’s Lentil & Salamini Stew

This recipe comes from my grandmother Catherine (“Catina”) Zanotti Bertolotti, who was a Cadorin from San Vido di Cadore, up in the Alps. This is included in the soup section because although it can be eaten “as is”, as a stew, usually when this is done we remove the salamini sausages and serve them separately, with polenta. Then we add more water, if needed, to the lentils to make a nicely-flavored lentil soup.

We called these sausages “salamini” or “musette”, but nowadays you can find something like them (usually not quite as good) in Italian food stores often labeled as “cotecchino”. They usually are pre-cooked, but they should be boiled anyway (pierce the skin all over with a fork), to get rid of a lot of the fat. In fact, try to find less fatty ones to start with.


1 box/bag of dried lentils
1 or 2 salamini/musette/cotecchini
1 medium or large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 clove garlic
2 tbs. chopped parsley
2 qts water or broth (in addition to the water used for “cooking” the salamini)
½ cup canned tomatoes, or ½ can tomato paste (optional)
Black pepper to taste (there already should be plenty of salt from the salamini, but you can add more if desired)
½ cup red or white wine (optional)


Follow the directions on the box for the lentils as to whether they need to be pre-soaked.

The salamini probably will be pre-cooked (check label), but boil them anyway, with the skins pierced all over with a fork, for about a half-hour. When done, discard the water, but first save some of the fat floating on top.

Sauté the onion, carrots, celery and garlic in the fat reserved from the salamini pot, adding olive oil or butter if there is not enough fat, until the onions are a bit translucent. Then add the wine, if desired, and black pepper, and cook for another minute.

Transfer the sautéed vegetables (and any remaining liquid) to a soup pot. (Or do the whole process in a Le Creuset or similar pot suitable for both sautéing and boiling.) Add the 2 quarts of water or broth and bring to a boil. Then add the lentils, parsley, salamini and tomatoes (if you are using tomatoes).

Cook/simmer for about 1 hour, adding water if necessary.

Again, make it less watery if you want a stew; add more water or broth if you want a soup. The salamini can be taken out and served separately with polenta (or rice).

Northern Songs “E”

È Arrivato il Magnan

O belle donne che ci il magnano      (locksmith, coppersmith)
Che vien giù de la montagna
Dalla montagna a la città
O donne, O donne, il magnano arrivà
(repeat last two lines)

E salta fuori una spuzzota        (wife/spouse??)
“Venga qui che la se rotta.”
Si ha bisogno ?? ghe sun chi mi ??
A giusti pignate e padèlle ?? manichi ??     (pots and pans)
(repeat last two lines)

E se la ??vürche ?? ghe giusti ??füra??    (husband??; is out??)
Ogni ??ciodele ?? è la muneda           (?? meaning moneta, or coin ??)
Ma se la ??vürche ?? ghe giusti in cà
Pignate e padèlle a mi la mustrarà
(repeat last two lines)

Però il marito che dietro l’uscio         (behind the door)
Ha sentito e visto tutto
E salta füra col ??battipan ??        (a rolling pin? bat?)
E pin, pun e pan su la testa del magnan
(repeat last two lines)

Ora il magnano che tutto pesto         (all bruised and battered)
Èl scappadia lesto lesto        (he ran away swiftly)
?? A per soppure ?? i pantalòn’
si copri di dietro col grande pignatòn.       (he covered his behind with a big
kettle or cauldron)

Rough translation:

Oh pretty ladies, the tinker has come down from the mountain.
From the mountain to the town.
Oh ladies, oh ladies, the tinker has come.

And a young wife jumped out, saying,
“Come here, it is broken. I want you to ???take care of my pots and pans.”

“If your husband is out, ########
But if he’s at home, just bring out your pots and pans.”

But the husband was behind the door and he saw and heard everything.
He jumped out with a rolling pin and beat on the head of the tinker,
Bim, bam, bang!

The tinker was all bruised and battered and he ran away quickly.
And with a big hole in his pants, he covered his behind with a kettle.

(“The Coppersmith” or “The Tinker”. A long ballad that (like the other ballads here) may get tedious if you don’t understand all the words, but it is about a randy traveling coppersmith (pot repairman) who gets beaten up by a jealous husband. Grade: B.)


Donne Donne gh’è Chì el Magnano

This Lombard version is found on Italian Wikisource.

Donne donne gh’è chi el magnano (“stagnatore” in standard Italian)
Che’l gh’ha voeuja de lavorà (voglio di lavorare)
E se gh’avì quajcoss de fa giustà
Tosann gh’è chí el magnan (tosann = ragazze/girls)
Che’l gh’ha voeuja de lavorà

Salta foeura ona sposotta
Cont in man ‘na pignatta rotta (broken pot)
E se me la giustii propi de galantòmm
Mí sí ve la daría de nascost del mè omm

El marito apos a l’uscio
El gh’aveva sentito tutto
El salta foeura cont on tarèll in man (rolling pin)
E pirn e pum e parn su la crapa del magnan (crapa = testa)

El magnano el dis nagotta (he did not say anything)
E ‘l va via con la crapa rotta
Senza ciamà dottór né avocatt
El s’è stagnàa la crapa al post di so pignatt (he sealed up his head instead of his pots)

Senza ciamà dottór né avocatt
El s’è stagnàa la crapa al post di so pignatt

Rough Translation:

Ladies, ladies, the tinker is here, and he want to go to work.
And if you have something that needs fixing, girls, here is the tinker who wants to go to work.

A young wife jumped out with a broken pot in hand,
Saying, “And if you fix me up properly, like a gentleman,
I’ll give you something to see hidden from my husband.”

The husband was behind the door and heard everything.
He jumped out with a rolling pin in his hand and it was bing, bang, boom on the head of the tinker.

The tinker did not say anything, and went away with a broken head.
Without calling a doctor or a lawyer,
He sealed up his head instead of his pots.

(“Ladies, ladies, the tinker is here”. The story is very similar to the one above. Grade: B.)

E la Notte Quasi Scura

E la notte, e la notte quasi scura
E le nuvole coprian la luna
Che delizia, che delizia e che fortuna
Quando io sono, quando io sono vicino a te

Infra l’aura, infra l’aura si sentiva
L’armonia di tutti gli angeli
Sventolavano, sventolavano i biondi capelli
Che le coprivano, che le coprivano il petto e il cuor

S’addormenta, s’addormenta tra le mie braccia
E d’un tratto si risvegliava
Le sue pene, le sue pene mi raccontava
E poi tornavasi, e poi tornavasi addormentà

Rough translation:

And the night, and the night was almost dark
And the clouds covered the moon.
What delight, what delight and what good fortune,
When I am, when I am close to you.

In her aura, in her aura
The harmony of the angels can be heard.
Her blond hair was fluttering
So that it covered, so that it covered her breast and her heart.

She fell asleep, she fell asleep in my arms
And suddenly awoke
Telling me of her sorrows,
And then went back, and then went back to sleep.

(“The Almost-Dark Night”. In your aura I can hear the harmony of the angels. A beautiful tune. Grade: A.)

E Mi La Donna Bionda La Vori No

(in Milanese)

E mi la donna bionda la vori no       (in standard: non la voglio, no)
tuu i prêt ghe fan la ronda
la donna bionda la vori no       (or, tutti i omen ghe fan la ronda)

(the following one verse is in standard Italian)

La donna bionda non lo voglio, no
La donna bionda non lo vogio, no
(perchè ha?) gli occhi di vagabonda
la donna bionda non lo voglio, no

E mi la donna nera la vorimi no
(la donna nera non è sincera)

La donna mora l’è traditora

La donna rossa
Se te tuca te da la scossa      (or, tucca)

E mi la donna granda la vori no      (or, voeuri or vöri)
(la camina la par’ na stanga)      (a pole?)

E mi la donna riccia la vori no
Suta ai ricci la ga i capricci

E mi la donna picula la vori no
La camina la par’ na chichera     (teacup? Like chechetta?)

E mi la donna grassa la vori no
Tutta quanta la te sconquassa      (crash, destroy, ruin)

E mi la donna seca la vori no
E la pesa com’è na bisteca

E mi la donna bella la vorii, sì
La ga i oci che par na stella

Rough translation:

I don’t want a blonde woman, they’re all quick to run around.

I don’t want a blonde woman, they have wandering eyes.

And I don’t want a black-haired woman, they are not sincere.

And I don’t want a dark-skinned woman, they are traitors.

I don’t want a redhead, they will shock you.

And I don’t want a big woman, when she walks she looks like a pole.

And I don’t want a lady with curls, the more curls the more capricious.

And I don’t want a small woman. They walk like little girls.

And I don’t want a fat one, they will crush you.

And I don’t want a dried-up woman, ???with a rag like a steak???

I really want a beautiful woman, with eyes like the stars!

(“And I Don’t Want the Blonde”. Or the brunette. Or the redhead. Etc. This makes a good drinking song. Grade: B+.)

E Picchia Picchia la Porticella

E picchia picchia la porticella
L’è la mia bella la mi viene aprir      (repeat)      (or, Che la mia bella)

E con la mano apri la porta        (or, Con una mano)
E con la bocca la mi da un bacin      (due volte)      (or, boca)ī
(repeat each verse)

Mi ha dato un bacio si tanto forte        (or, E quel bacino fu tanto forte)
Che la mia mamma la mi ha sentì        (or, gà sentì)

Che cosa hai fatto fighiola mia
Che tutto il mondo parla mal di tè

E lascia pure che il mondo èl diga (or, che il mondo parla)
Io voglio amare chi mi ama mè

Io voglio amare quel giovanotto
Che ha fa sett’anni di prigion per me (or, che ha sofferto la prigion per me)

L’ha fat sett’anni e sette mesi
E sette giorni di prigion per me

Other version:

E la prigione gli è tanto scura (or, l’è tanto scura)
Mi fa paura la mi fa morir. (or, mi fa paura e mi fa tremar)

Rough translation:

Knock, knock on the door.
My darling comes to open it for me.

With your hand you open the door,
And with your mouth you give me a little kiss.

I have given you a kiss so strong
That my mother has heard me.

What a thing you have done my daughter,
Everyone will speak bad of you.

Let the world say what it wants,
I want to love he who loves me.

I want to love that young man
Who went to prison for seven years for me.

He spent seven years and seven months
And seven days in prison for me.

Other version:

And the prision was so dark
I was afraid it would kill me.

(“Knock on the Door”. A woman declares her love for the young man who has gone to prison for her. What did they do? Grade: B.)

Era Nato Poveretto

Era nato poveretto
Senza casa e senza tetto
Ha venduto i suoi calzoni
Per un piatto di maccheroni

After each verse:
La la la la, la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la
La la la la, la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la

Era nato in quel di Napoli
Lo tenente era di Sassari
E si davan dei Lapponi
Per un piatto di maccheroni

Un gran piatto d’insalata
Quattro uova e una frittata
E sessantasei vagoni
Tutti pieni di maccheroni

Se vuoi vincere la guerra
Sia per mare sia per terra
Fa in maniera che i cannoni
Siano pieni di maccheroni.

Rough translation:

He was born poor, without a house and without a roof.
He has sold his pants for a plate of macaroni.

He was born there in Naples, and the lieutenant was from Sassari.
[? And they were given to the Lapps?] for a plate of macaroni.

A big plate of salad, four eggs and a frittata,
And sixty-six wagons, all full of macaroni.

If you want to win the war, whether by land or by sea,
Make sure that the cannons are fillled with macaroni.

(“He Was Born Poor”. A soldier sells his pants (hopefully his second pair) for a plate of macaroni. He says that if you want to win the war, fill the cannons with macaroni. Grade: A-.)


Era Sera (d’un Giorno di Festa)

As sung by L’allegra Compagnia on Canti Popolari Italiani, Vol. 5 and by Coro ai Preat on Youtube.

Era sera, era sera d’un giorno di festa
La mia bella mi stava accanto
Mi diceva, mi diceva “Io t’amo tanto,
sì te lo giuro, sì te lo giuro davanti ai tuoi piè”.

I suoi occhi, i suoi occhi son neri son belli
I suoi capelli sono di oro
Per te vivo, per te vivo e per te mòro,
sì te lo giuro, sì te lo giuro davanti ai tuoi piè.

Dammi un riccio, dammi un riccio dei tuoi capelli
Che li serbo per la tua memoria
Là sul campo, là sul campo della vittoria
I tuoi capelli, i tuoi capelli li voglio baciar.

Rough translation:

It was the evening of a festival day and my sweetheart was beside me. She said to me, “I love you so much. Yes, I swear it to you at your feet.”

Your eyes are black and beautiful and your hair is of gold. I live for you and I die for you. Yes, I swear that to you at your feet.

Give me a lock of your hair, which I will keep as a memory of you. There on the field of victory I will want to kiss it.

(“It Was the Evening (of a Festival Day)”. And it ended with a pledge of love. The melody is similar to that of È la Notte Quasi Scuro, and the lyrics in the last two verses are similar to those in Dammi un Riccio di Tuoi Capelli. Grade: C.)


Evviva Evviva Il Reggimento

(Il Reggimento; Sul Cappello Che Noi Portiamo)

Cappello alpino col lunga penna nera

Cappello alpino col lunga penna nera

Sul cappello, sul cappello che noi portiamo
C’e una lunga c’e una lunga penna nera
Che a noi serve, che a noi serve da bandiera
Su pei monti su pei monti a guerreggiar

Su pei monti, su pei monti che noi saremo
Coglieremo, coglieremo le stelle alpine
Per portarle, per portarle a le bambine      (or, per donarle)
Farle pianger, farle pianger e sospirar

Su pei monti, su pei monti che noi andremo
Pianteremo, pianteremo l’accampamento
Brinderemo, brinderemo al regimento
Viva il Corpo, viva il Corpo degli Alpin! Oilalà

Evviva evviva il reggimento
Evviva evviva il Corpo degli Alpin         (or, il Sesto degli Alpin, etc.)

Other verses:

Torneremo, torneremo a le nostre case
Porteremo, poteremo le stelle alpine
Per donarle, per donarle a le bambine
Torneremo, torneremo a far l’amor. Oilalà!

Pianteremo, pianteremo le stelle alpine
Su i capelli, su i capelli de le bambine
?? Pianteremo, pianteremo?? le belle ??alie??
Le canzone, le canzone del Corpo Alpin         (or, Sesto Alpin, etc.)

Rough translation:

On the hat, on the hat that we wear there is a long black feather.
It serves as our flag, when we fight in the mountains.

On the mountains, on the mountains where we will be we will gather the edelweiss,
To take them to the babes, to make them cry and sigh.

On the mountains, on the mountains where we will go we will pitch camp.
And we’ll drink a toast to the regiment. Long live the Alpine Corps!

Long live the regiment, and long live the Alpine Corps.

Other verses:

We will return, we will return to our homes, bringing edelweiss,
To give them to the babes. We will return to make love.

We will plant the edelweiss on the hats of the babes.
We will plant in their beautiful ears the songs of the Alpine Corps.

(“Long Live the Regiment”. This is the song of the Alpine soldiers, who wear a black feather in their hats. My grandfather Anselmo Mazzer was one in WWI. Most of the verses are about making love (gathering edelweiss for the girls down in the valley below) not war. Grade: B+.)



This, like the lentils and salamini dish, is halfway between a soup and a stew. There is not so much liquid as in a soup, but we ate it with a spoon and sopped up the “gravy” with bread, more like with soup than with stew.

I believe that our family’s tripa was considered the best one around. Okay, maybe it was the only one around; not too many folks made it. But when the word was out that we had a batch prepared, the fans (relatives and neighbors) lined up for it. Making the tripa was a joint effort by Mom and Dad, but I believe that the dish is based on a recipe from Dad’s part of Italy, the Veneto. So the tripe is not covered with a tomato-based sauce, as found in many Italian restaurants. And it happens to taste much better than restaurant fare – – the tripe almost melts in your mouth. And, once you get beyond the idea that you are eating tripe, the combination of tripe, vegetable stew and good bread (or polenta) is out of this world.

The raw tripe (usually) comes frozen, and the resulting dish can also be frozen.


2-3 lbs. tripe*
Small piece of butter
Small piece of salt pork
1 onion, chopped up fine
1 carrot, chopped up small
1 stalk of celery, chopped up small
A few tbsps of chopped parsley
1 small-ish can of tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ green pepper, chopped up (optional)
Water or chicken broth, as needed
¼ cup white wine (optional)

Serve with grated cheese, as desired

* This recipe is for 2-3 lbs. of tripa. However, we usually made 10 lbs. at a time. Just increase the amount of vegetables, etc. proportionately. The larger amount may have to be cooked a bit longer than as specified below.


If you can get fresh tripe, have the butcher cut it into ¼ inch slabs. (And ask the butcher’s advice as to cleaning it.)

However, we usually got it frozen, in a box. If frozen, put the tripe under cold water and cut it into small pieces – – I prefer the pieces small, no more than 1 inch long. (In this case, too, it may be easier to first cut the block of tripe into ¼ inch slabs.)

Next, wash the tripe in boiling water for a while, then rinse in cold water until clean. Drain off the water.

Put a small piece of butter and small piece of salt pork in a pot. (A pot like a Le Creuset would be ideal.) Sauté the onion, carrot and celery until the onion starts to get golden.

Add the clean tripe and sauté it a bit, until it browns a little.

Add the wine (if using it), tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper.

When the liquid evaporates and the tripe starts to dry up, add a little hot water or hot broth while cooking. Keep doing this as necessary. (When done, there should be a fair amount of liquid, but the dish should not be soupy.)

Cook for about 3 hours. If you are using the green pepper, add it ½ hour before the dish is done.

Serve with grated cheese. You can sop up the liquid with good bread, or serve this dish with polenta.

Northern Songs “F”

Fameja Dei Gobon, La

(In this Friulian (?) dialect, “la” is pronounced like “ya”.)

A leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru là.

El gobo Gideone la Rosina chiede in sposa
Con la goba bianca e rosa
Con la goba bianca e rosa
El gobo Gideone la Rosina chiede in sposa
Ce la goba moesina la fameja dei gobon.

Gobo so pare, gobo so mare
Goba la fja de so sorela (or, la fija de so sorea)
Gera gobo anca quela
Gera goba anca quela.
Gobo so pare, gobo so mare
Goba la fja de so sorela
Gera gobo anca quela
La fameja dei gobon.

A leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru là.

El di del matrimonio g’era anca i sonadori
Co la goba anca lori
Co la goba anca lori.
Celebrava el matrimonio el canonico Don Piero (or, e celebra le nozze)
Co la goba fata a pero (or, co ‘a goba)
La fameja dei gobon.

(repeat chorus)

A leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru là.

E dopo nove mesi xe nato un bel bambino (or, un bel puteo)
Anca lu col so gobino (or, co a goba anca queo)
Anca lu col so gobino
Ci diedero una balia co tre gobe longhe un metro        (wet nurse)
Do davante e una di dietro       (2 in front and 1 behind)
La fameja dei gobon.

(repeat chorus)

A leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru leru là.

E quando che fu morto ci fecero la cassa        (coffin) (or,..che xè morti han fatto una gran. . .)
Con el buso par la gobassa        (with a hole for the hump)
Con el buso par la gobassa (or, che a que lato era gobassa)
E dopo cento anni venner fuori i vermicelli
Co la goba pure quelli
La fameja dei gobon.

(repeat chorus)


Alternate initial verse, found on

Un gobo e ‘na goba a l’età de novant’anni
per por fine ai loro affani (to put an end to their troubles)
si decisero a sposar.

Rough translation:

The hunchback Gideone asked Rosina to marry,
With her red and white hump, with her red and white hump.
The hunchback Gideone asked Rosina to marry,
She was a ?????? hunchback, in the hunchback family.

The father was a hunchback, the mother was a hunchback,
So was the daughter of his sister
They were all hunchbacks, the hunchback family.

On the wedding day the musicians were there, hunchbacks just like them.
The priest Don Piero celebrated the matrimony, with a pear-shaped hump.
The hunchback family.

And after nine months a beautiful baby was born, also with a little hump.
[?they hired?] a wetnurse with three long humps,
Two in front and one in the back. The hunchback family.

And when the man died they made the coffin with a hole for the hump.
And after a hundred years the worms came out,
With humps like them, the hunchback family.

Alternate initial verse:

Two hunchbacks at the age of ninety decided to marry,
To put an end to their troubles . . .

(“The Family of Hunchbacks”. A crude (to my taste) but humorous old song about a family of hunchbacks. When they have a wedding, the priest has a hunchback. When they die, the worms in their coffins have hunchbacks, etc. Grade: B. It is a standard at dances.)


Figlia d’un Pastore, La

La vien giù da la montagna ‘compagnata da un signore
È la figlia d’un pastore appassionata per fare l’amor
(repeat second line)

La se passa la vestina ricamata tutta di seta
Le scarpette di rosette per ballare con quel signor
(repeat second line)

(Here is another song, called “E La Vien Giù” with some of the same words, song by Coro I Castellani Della Valle. Note that there is a third, more popular folksong also called “La Vien Giù da la Montagna” with quite different words, about a francese and a cortese.)

E la vien giù da la montagna compagnata da un signore (bis)
Era la figlia d’un veccio pastore passionata per fare l’amore (bis)

Fare l’amore con un signore no non devi oh pastorella (bis)
Se ti abbandona la tua buona stella trista e sola restare portal (bis)

Torna ancor su la montagna torna ancora al primo amore (bis)
La bella figlia del vecchio pastore del suo cuore regina sarà (bis)

Rough translation:

She came down from the mountain accompanied by a gentleman
The daughter of a shepherd, passionate to make love.

She passed by in an embroidered frock all of silk
Wearing shoes with rosettes, for dancing with the gentleman.

Rough translation of E La Vien Giù:

The girl who came down from the mountain accompanying the gentleman
Was the daughter of an old shepherd, and she was passionate to make love.

You should not make love with a gentleman, oh shepherdess.
If he abandons you, your good sad star
And you will be alone at the portal.

Return again to your mountain, return to your first love.
The beautiful daughter of the old shepherd
Will be the queen of his heart.

(“The Daughter of a Shepherd”. She gets all dressed up in her best to go out with her boyfriend. A beautiful tune. Grade: A.)


Fiorin Fiorello

      (Fiorella d’Amor)

Oggi tutti il cielo è in festa, più ridente brilla il sole
E non so perchè vedo intorno a me tutte rose e viole.
Il mio cuore è inamorato
Non lo posso più frenare        [fermare; stop; restrain oneself)
Io non so cos’è c’e qualcosa in me che mi va cantare        [or, tremare]

(Refrain, of two verses):
Fiorin fiorello l’amore è bello vicino a te
Mi fa sognare mi fa tremare chissà perchè        (or, dovere)
Fior di margherita cos’è mai la vita
Se non c’è l’amore che il nostro cuore fa palpitar

Fior di verbena se qualche pena l’amor ci dà
Fa come il vento che in un momento poi passa e va
Ma quando tu sei con me io son felice perchè
Fiorin fiorello l’amore è bello vicino a te

Cosa importa se in amore, la canzone è sempre quella
La canta il papà, la canta mammà nell’età più bella
Oggi so che mi vuoi bene, tu lo sai che t’amo tanto
Poi doman chi sa tutto finerà, ma pero ci canto:

(repeat chorus)

Rough translation:

Today all of heaven is rejoicing; the sun shines brighter.
And I don’t know why, but all around me there are roses and violets.
My heart is enamored; I can’t stop myself.
I don’t know what’s in me that makes me want to sing.

Little flower, love is sweet near you.
Who knows why, but it makes me dream and tremble.
Daisy flower, how would life be if love did not make our hearts beat wildly.

Vervain flower, it may be that love gives some pain.
It is like a wind that comes and then passes by in a moment.
But when you are with me I am happy
Because, little flower, love is sweet when you are near.

What does it matter, if you are in love. The song remains the same.
Papa sang it and Mama sang at in their most beautiful age.
Today I know that things will go well. You know that I love you so much.
Well, who knows what will happen tomorrow, maybe it will all end. But still I sing:


(“Little Flower”. A joyous song about enjoying love while it lasts. Grade: A.)



Radicchio & rucola

The most common salad we ate was radicchio, tomatoes and a little rucola, all fresh from the garden. The dressing was never anything but oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. We never got tired of this combination, but sometimes for variety we added onion and a cucumber from the garden.

This sounds pretty standard nowadays, but (1) my family pronounces the main ingredient in the Venetian-Friulian manner (ra-DEE-chee-o, instead of the “standard” Italian ra-DEE-kee-o) and (2) we were referring to green leaves, not red, which grew individually, not bunched in a head. When (rarely) referring to or eating the variety with red and white leaves, my family would call it “radicchio di treviso” or just “treviso” but, to us, plain, old radicchio was green. And since my great grandmother Catherine Bellese, living with us, and my grandmother Angelina Bellese Mazzer were from Treviso, in the part of Italy where many of these varieties originated, they knew what they were talking about. Of course, these are all varieties of chicory, so there may be differences of opinion. The same goes for the arugula we grew: we call it “rucola”.

We always grew at least one big bed of radicchio, but usually two or more. We starting picking off leaves from one end of the bed while they still were young and tender. Each day we (whoever had the chore) worked our way down the bed, picking enough for the salad, and by the time you got to the end of it in a week or so, there was a new growth of leaves back at the beginning.

Each new growth was a bit tougher and more bitter than the last. I guess this is an acquired taste, but most of us loved the bitterness. But by the end of summer the leaves were too bitter for a salad. Then my grandmother would sauté them for a long time with garlic. Even sautéed the radicchio was bitter, but the garlic would bring out some sweetness, and the dish had a somewhat nutty taste (to me).

Nothing went to waste. When the plants went to seed, the seeds were saved for the next year.


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