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  • La Stornellino (The Starling)
    Tuscany

    La Stornellino
    (Un Contrasto.)
    The Starling
    (A Lover's Quarrel.)
    O marfattore !
    O quanto mal facesti !
    i' avevo uno storno
    a me me lo prendesti.–

    E se i' te l' ho toro
    i' so ch' i' ho fatto male ;
    ma i' tu stornellino
    i' te lo vo pagare.
    Per i' pagamento
    i' ti vò' dar' un piano
    che pe' tre vorte l' anno
    c' ci sega i' grano.

    Per i' pagamento
    i' piano nun voggh' io ;
    e te rechiello pure
    lo stornellino mio.
    O marfattore !
    quanto mal facesti !
    i' avevo uno storno
    a me me lo togghiesti.

    Per i' pagamento
    i' ti vo' dar' un poggio
    che pe' tre vôrte a l' anno
    e' ci si sega l' orzo.
    Per i' pagamento
    i' poggio nun voggh' io;
    e te rechiello pure
    lo stornellino mio.
    O marfattore, etc.

    Per i' pagamento ti vo' dar' un palazzo ;
    le pietre tutte d' oro,
    e le mura di sasso.
    Per i' pagamento
    i palazzo nun voggh’ io ;
    e ti rechiello pure
    lo stornellino mio.
    O marfattore, etc

    Per i' pagamento
    ti vo dar' un cavallo ;
    la brigghia tutta d' oro,
    la sella di cristallo.
    Per i pagamento
    i' cavallo nun voggh' io ;
    e ti rechiello pure
    lo stornellino mio.
    0 marfattore, etc.

    Per i' pagamento
    ti vo' dar' na fanciulla
    che 'ghi ène bianca e rosa
    e non è bon' a nulla.
    Per i pagamento
    la fanciulla la voggh' io ;
    e te rechiello pure
    lo stornellino mio.
    O marfattore, etc.

    O thou sad wrong-doer !
    0 what evil hast thou rendered !
    I had a birdie for my pet ;
    Thou hast him from me sundered !

    In that I took him from thee,
    'Twas wrong I won’t say nay ;
    Also for that pet birdie
    I'll surely thee repay.
    And for to make that payment,
    I'll give thee such a plain,1
    That in the course of every year
    Thrice thou may'st cut the grain.

    Now for the promised payment,
    No plain of thine for me ;
    But I require thee to bring
    My birdie back to me.
    O thou sad wrong-doer !
    0 what evil hast thou rendered !
    I had a birdie for my pet ;
    Thou hast him from me sundered.

    Then for to make that payment,
    I'll give thee such a hill,
    That three full times in every year
    For barley thou may'st till.
    Now for that promised payment,
    No hill of thine for me ;
    But I require thee to bring
    My birdie back to me.
    O thou sad wrong-doer!

    Then for to make that payment,
    A palace I'll bestow ;
    The stones shall all be golden,
    The walls of rock I trow.
    Now for that promised payment
    No palace offer me ;
    But I require thee to bring
    My birdie back to me.
    O thou sad wrong-doer !

    Then for to make that payment,
    I’ll bring thee a fine stallion ;
    The bridle shall be golden,
    Of crystal bright the pillion.
    Now for that promised payment,
    No stallion offer me ;
    But I require thee to bring
    My birdie back to me.
    O thou sad wrong-doer !

    Then for that promised payment,
    An infant2 I will bring,
    All over pretty pink and white,
    No good for anything.
    Now for that promised payment,
    That infant give to me ;
    Still I require thee to bring
    My birdie back to me.
    O thou sad wrong-doer !

    1 Piano, primarily a plain, is specially used for the little bits of flat on a steep hill-side of which the thrifty mountaineers take such advantage.
    2 The meaning of this is rather obscure, unless the child is meant as a gage d'amour. Her acceptance of it, and the sly demand for the restitution of her pet all the same, makes up a very pretty conceit.

    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. 112-117

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