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  • Amore (Love)
    Sicily

    Amore Love
    1.
    'Sennu picciottu, risignolu fui,
    Supra li trezzi toi, bedda, cantai ;
    Nimicu di lu suli ca li fui,
    Amanti di la luna, e tu lu sai
    Oh quantu fici iu p' amari a vui !
    Cicaledda di notti addivintai !
    'N jornu ha a vinìri e 'nsèmmula,nu' dui
    Hâmu a fari lu nidu 'ntra li gai.
    (Dialetto di Montemaggiore, Prov. di Palermo.)
    1.
    When young I took the form of Philomel,
    And perched me, fair, to sing upon thy tresses ;
    Shunning the sun,1 I fled to shady dell ;
    Courting the moon, thou know'st, who heard'st my addresses !
    What did I not to show I loved thee well ?
    A night cicala I became, to offer my caresses.
    The day must come when we'll together dwell,
    Building our nest in cosy hedge recesses.
    2.
    Si' scocca di 'alofaru avvampanti ;
    Si' lu talentu di tutti li genti !
    Affacciti e vidrai cu' cc' è ccà avanti ;
    La tò billizza fa muriri genti !
    T' haju prijatu megghiu di li santi,
    Non mi cci hai fattu 'na vota cuntenti.
    Si mai ti viju a manu a n' autru,
    Iu moru, e non ricivu sagramenti.
    (Dialetto di Giarre, Prov. Catania.)
    2
    Thou art like a posy of glowing carnations ;
    In all people who see thee thou raisest desire !
    Look out and see who 'tis makes these evocations ;
    Thy beauty, with longing, makes men e'en expire !
    To thee more than to saints I have offered rogations,
    But never at all hast thou answered my fire.
    If e'er thou should'st yield to another's fascinations,
    I die on the spot, unassoiled,in my ire !
    3.
    Amuri, amuri, chi m' hai fattu fari !
    Li senzii m' hai misu 'n fantasia !
    Lu patrinnustru m' ha' fattu scurdari
    E la mitali de la 'Vimmaria !
    Lu Creddu nun lu sàuriu 'ncuminciari.
    Vaju a la missa e mi scordu la via.
    Di novu mi voggh' jiri a vattiari
    Ca turcu addivintai pri amari a tia.
    (Dialetto di Palermo.)
    3.
    Beloved ! what is 't thou hast done to me ?
    Hast rais'd my sense in strangest fantasy.2
    My mind to say, " Our Father " is not free,
    Nor e'en so much as half a " Hail Mary,"
    Not the first opening letter of the Cree'.
    To go to Mass, I cannot find the way.
    Again I would I might baptized be,
    For Turk I have become through loving thee.
    4.
    Bedda pri amari a tia vaju cadennu
    La testa pri la mura vaju dannu,
    Carnuzza supra l' ossa cchi&ugeave; non tegnu,
    Lu sangu di li vini va squagghiannu !
    Vaju pri dari un passu, e mi mantegnu,
    Chianciunu st' occhi mei, funtani fannu.
    Lu tò curuzzu 'n pettu me lu tegnu.
    Bedda, s' 'un m' ami tu, moru e m' addannu.
    (Dialetto di Palermo.)
    4.
    My fair, for love of thee I fainting go,
    Ready to strike my head against the wall.
    The flesh from off my bones is wasted so ;
    The blood within my veins is curdled all !
    I try to walk, but have not strength to go,
    Mine eyes are founts of tears, so fast they fall.
    Thy little heart within my breast I hold.
    Love, if thou love me not, I die in Satanís thrall !
    1 I understand from Dr. P. that by the strict meaning of the wording it would be the tresses of which the lover is made to say he was the nemicu, but, as he says it admits of being applied to the sun. I have adopted that reading as not only more likely, but as more consonant with our English ideas of the nightingale's habits, which do not however hold good in Italy.
    2 Dr. P. explains that this dialectic use of "fantasy" has a highly romantic character, expressing much more than in normal Italian (intraducibile in italiano)–a pure and devoted frenzy, delirium of affection.

    Return to Folk Songs Page



    Additional Resources
    Famous Italians Folk Dances Folktales
    Folklore/Legends Proverbs/Proverbi Traditions


    Busk, R. H. The Folk-Songs of Italy. London: Swan Sonnenschein, Lowrey & Co., 1887. 68-71

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