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  • Serenata (Serenade)
    Palermo (Sicily)

    'Nta sta vanedda cci abbita un scursuni,
    La notti affaccia e lu jornu 'un cumpari.
    La notti affaccia versu li du'uri
    Spinci la testa e si metti a friscari.

    E quannu jetta lu friscu d'amuri,
    Tanti dunnuzzi schetti fa 'ffacciari.
    O tu, picciotta, guardati l'onuri,
    Accura... nun ti fari muzzicari.

    'Nta sta vanedda cc'è 'na picciridda
    China d'amuri e mi fa pazziari,
    Lucenti è la sò facci comu stidda,
    A la mudestia un ancilu mi pari;

    Oh Diu, fussi pri mia! fuss' iu pri idda!
    Si sò matruzza mi la voli dari!
    Tantu haju a fari 'nsina ch'haju ad idda,
    Ca lu mè'mpegnu mi l'haju a passari

    There is a snake that lives in yonder alley,
    He is abroad by night, by day he's missing,
    Upon the stroke of two he forth will sally,
    Raise up his head, and then you hear him hissing.

    And when they hear the snake a love-lay hissing,
    Maidens will run to look, and many are smitten;
    But you, my darling girl, beware his kissing,
    For if you are not careful, you'll be bitten.

    And in the alley dwells the sweetest maiden,
    Bright as a star her lovely face is beaming,
    She is so full of charms, my heart they madden,
    As any angel, too, she's pure in seeming.

    Oh heav'n if she were mine, my only treasure!
    If I can only gain her mother's favor,
    There's nothing I'll deny to give her pleasure,
    And I'll fulfil my vow to love her ever.

    Return to Folk Songs Page

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

    Marzo, Eduardo. Songs of Italy; sixty-five Tuscan, Florentine, Lombardian and other Italian folk- and popular songs. New York: G. Schirmer, 1904. 175


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