Archive for the ‘Poetry/Song’ Category

A Little Ditty Nonno Used to Sing

March 22, 2010

My grandfather Clemente used love to sing. Here’s a little ditty my father recalls his father singing:

Quando l’ amore ce’ (When there is love)

la gamba la tira il pie’ (The leg pulls the foot)

Il pie’ tira la gamba, la gamba, la gamba (the foot pulls the leg, the leg, the leg)

Il pie’ tira la gamba, (The foot pulls the leg)

e la gamba tira il pie’ (and the leg pulls the foot)


… We’re Going to California!

January 11, 2010

My mother has shared many stories of her life growning up in Fellicarolo. Here is one that had prophetic implications.

Casa Norra

Casa Norra

When Elia was a little girl (around four years old) making fabric with her grandmother Genoefa at Casa Norra, Genoefa used to sing her a little song. Here are the words to the song:

     Taca la rocca al faj  (Attach the spindle to the Ash tree)
     Che’ ande’n in California (Cause we’re going to California)

Elia asked her grand mother, “What does it mean?” Genoefa explained that people in California don’t need to make their own material, because they can afford to buy it, so let’s put our spindle in a tree and go to California.

Elia asked her, “But where is this California  Grandma?” Genoefa answered, “E benedetta la mi bambina, i digian che’ le’ da claltra part de’ mund.” Translated, “Oh my blessed child, they say it is on the other side of the world.”

Elia responded, “Who tells us this?” Genoefa answered in her humble way, “Those that know alot more than we do.”

Little did the young Elia know that one day California would be her home and the home of her own grand children. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Elia never needed that spindle in California.

Buon Anno Nuovo (Happy New Year)

January 1, 2010

La Ballata Del’ Anno Nuovo

(Fellicarolo, circa 1940)

Buon di e buon anno,

Buon Capo d’ anno.

Per tutto l’ anno, felicita’.

E l’ anno vecchio la’ sul Cimone

col suo gobbone che sene va.

Vi auguriamo quest’ anno novello

che porta a tutti pace e felicita’!

The young adults of Fellicarolo would go house to house singing this  little ditty after midnight on December 31st to wish their neighbors a happy New Year.  The residents would serve them fritelle and drink in appreciation. In the morning after sunrise the little children would have their turn to go house to house, resiting this little poem in the dialect of Fellicarolo:

Bun di e bun ann

Bun Capo d’ ann.

Dio e’v daga la salut

per tutt l’ann.

Monte Cimone

Here is the English translation of the first song:

Good day, and good year,

Good End of the Year.

For all the year, happiness.

And the old year there on Cimone (the mountain above the town)

With its hunched back going away.

We wish this new year,

will bring to all peace and happiness!

La Vista Vicino Il Serreto (The View Near Serreto)