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  • La Vera Sorrentina (The Real Maid of Sorrento)
    Naples (Campania)

    La vedette a Piedigrotta,
    Tutt'a ffesta era parata,
    Pe guardà la truppa n'frotta,
    Da la mamma accompagnata.
    Na giacchetta aggallonata,
    Na pettiglia ricamata,
    Na gonnella cremmesina,
    E duje uocchie da ncantà...
    E la bella Sorrentina
    La sentette annommenà.

    Da chell'ora nn'aggio pace,
    Stongo sempe a sosperare;
    Cchiù la rezza non me piace,
    Cchiù no ntenno lo ppescare:
    Co la misera varchetta
    A Sorriento nfretta nfretta
    Ogne sera, ogne mmatina
    Vaco lagreme a jettà...
    Ma la sgrata Sorrentina
    Non ha maje da me pietà.

    Mme spaventa la tempesta,
    Mme fa affritto la bonaccia,
    Chisto core è sulo nfesta
    Quanno vede chella faccia.
    L'auto juorno, io sbenturato,
    Ca lo mare era ngrossato,
    Mmiezo all'acque de Resina
    Quase stea pe mm'annjà...
    E la sgrata Sorrentina
    Non ha maje de me pietà.

    Si non cura cheste pene,
    Quanto cana, tanto bella,
    Voto strada, e do lo bbene
    A quacc'aüta nennella.
    Ma chedè?... vi che sbentura!
    Lampa, e l'aria se fa scura.
    Aggio spersa la banchina...
    La varchetta è p'affonnà...
    Pe tte, sgrata Sorrentina,
    Io me vaco ad affucà!

    When we met at Piedigrotta,
    All her fin'ry she was wearing,
    To the army on parade there
    With her mother she was faring
    In a golden-braided jacket,
    An embroider'd waist to match it;
    Brighter eyes I've never seen, ah!
    And of crimson was her gown:
    And the lovely Sorrentina
    She was called in all the town.

    Since that hour my peace is banish'd,
    I am always sadly sighing,
    All my love for fishing's vanish'd,
    Idle too my nets are lying.
    In my lonesome boat returning
    Ev'ry evening, ev'ry morning
    I am hasting to my queen, ah!
    Many a tear I there let fall:
    But th' ungrateful Sorrentina
    Never pities me at all!

    I am fearful when 't is stormy,
    When 't is calm I'm sad and sadder,
    Only with her face before me
    Does my heavy heart leap gladder.
    Not long since, there came a billow—
    I was sailing, wretched fellow,
    In the bay there by Resina—
    Nearly drown'd me in a squall:
    But th' ungrateful Sorrentina
    Never pities me at all!

    If she will not hear me kindly,
    She, who's cruel as she's pretty,
    I'll forsake her, and I'll find me
    Other love, another city!
    Ah! how dreadful! Hear the thunder,
    See the lightning flashing yonder!
    Lost in darkness unforeseen, ah!
    Now my boat is sinking down!
    You ungrateful Sorrentina,
    'T is for you I have to drown!

    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. 123


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