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  • “Fenesta Vascia„ (“The Window Low”)
    Naples (Campania)

    Fenesta vascia e padrona crudele,
    Quanta sospire m'aje fatto jettare!
    M'arde sto core comm'a na cannela,
    Bella a quanno te sento annomenare!
    Oje piglia la sperienzia de la neve!
    La neve è fredda e se fa maniare,
    E tu comme sì tant'aspra e crudele?
    Muorto mme vide e non mme vuò ajutare?

    Vorria arreventare no picciuotto
    Co na lancella a ghire vennenno acqua,
    Pe mme nne ì da chiste palazzuotte:
    Belle femmene meje, a chi vò acqua?
    Se vota na nennella da la'ncoppa:
    Chi è sto ninno che va vennenno acqua?
    E io responno co parole accorte:
    So lagrime d'ammore, e non è acqua!

    The window low, the mistress none too kindly!
    How many a sigh they've made me heave between them!
    My heart grows hot as any flaming candle
    When lads will tell my charms and try to win them.
    Ah! take the snow out yonder for a model:
    The snow is cold, for love 't is never grateful;
    There's one who'd see me die, and never save me!
    How can a heart be always hard and hateful?

    I wish I could become a handsome laddie,
    And wander thro' the alleys selling water,
    I'd stand below the windows, calling loudly:
    My lovely ladies, ah! who'll have some water?
    Perhaps the fairest maid would turn to scan me:
    Who is this boy who wanders selling water?
    And thereupon I'd give my answer shortly:
    These are the tears of love—it is no water.

    Return to Folk Songs Page

    Additional Resources
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    Marzo, Eduardo. Songs of Italy; sixty-five Tuscan, Florentine, Lombardian and other Italian folk- and popular songs. New York: G. Schirmer, 1904. 106


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