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  • Lu Labbru (The Lips)
    Palermo (Sicily)

    Dimmi dimmi, apuzza nica,
    Unni vai cussì matinu?
    Nun cc'è cima chi arrussica
    Di lu munti a nui vicinu.
    Trema ancora, ancora luci
    La rugiada 'ntra li prati;
    Dun'accura nun ti arruci
    L'ali d'oru dilicati.

    Li ciuriddi durmigghiusi
    'Ntra li virdi soi buttuni
    Stannu ancora stritti e chiusi
    Cu li testi a pinniluni.
    Ma l'aluzza s'affatica!
    Ma tu voli e fai caminu!
    Dimmi dimmi, apuzza nica,
    Unni vai cussì matinu?

    Cerchi meli? E s'iddu è chissu,
    Chiudi l'ali e 'un ti straccari;
    Ti lu 'nsignu un locu fissu,
    Unni hai sempri chi sucari:
    Lu conusci lu miu amuri
    Nici mia di l'occhi beddi?
    Ntra ddi labbra cc'è un sapuri,
    'Na ducizza chi mai speddi.

    'Ntra la labbru culuritu
    Di lu caru amatu beni
    Cc'è lu meli cchiù squisitu...
    Suca, sucalu ca veni.
    Ddà cci misi lu Piaciri
    Lu so nidu 'ncilippatu,
    Pri adiscari, pri rapiri
    Ogni cori dilicatu.

    Tell me, tiny bee, O tell me,
    Whither now so early hieing?
    There's no mountain-top around us
    Yet in golden sunshine lying;
    Still the waving meadows glisten
    All around in pearly splendor:
    Have a care, or you will moisten
    Unawares your winglets tender.

    Ev'rywhere the sleepy flowers
    On their stems are nodding lightly,
    Dreaming thro' the early hours
    With green buds all folded tightly.
    But the wings bid fair to fail ye!
    Yet still on and on you're flying:
    Tell me, tiny bee, O tell me,
    Whither now so early hieing?

    Seek you honey? If such the case is,
    Fold your wings, no longer tire them,
    For I'll show you where a place is
    Stor'd with sweets as you desire them!
    Do you know my darling Nici,
    Bright of eye and fair in favor?
    'T is between her lips I'll teach ye
    Where to find the sweetest flavor.

    Honey lies 'twixt lips like roses
    Of my own, my only treasure,
    Sweeter than on all your posies;
    Suck it, suck it at your pleasure!
    Joy herself has made her nest there,
    Nest of sugar most enticing:
    Tender heart that wins its quest there,
    On its way, shall go rejoicing.

    Return to Folk Songs Page

    Additional Resources
    Famous Italians Folk Dances Folktales
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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. 169


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