Not poetry as such... but!
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Author:  Bob Lock [ Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Not poetry as such... but!

It's been about thirty years since I lived in Italy but I still enjoy listening to old Neapolitan songs, they are extremely beautiful (although can be hard to decipher due to their dialect) Amongst one of my favourites was Bovio & Nardella's Chiove and to my surprise I found a brilliant rendition of it here on Last.Fm (an excellent site) It is well worth listening to and I'll do my best to write the lyrics below and a translation (forgive me any Napolitano reading this, I'm Welsh, after all!)
The singer is Roberto Murolo
Click on the player in the upper right.

Tu staie malata, e cante, tu stai murenno e cante.
You are ill and you sing, you are dying and you sing.
So' nove journe, nove ca chiove, chiove, chiove
For nine days it's rained, rained, rained
E se fa fredda ll'aria, e se fa cupo 'o cielo
The air grows cold and the sky grows dark,
e tu, dint' 'a 'stu ggelo, tu sola cante e muore.
and you, in this cold, you sing alone and die.

Chi si? Tu 'a canaria.
Who are you? You are a songbird.
Chi si? Tu si l'Ammore
Who are you? You are Love,
ca pure quanno more canta canzone nove
who, even in death, sings new songs.
Ggiesu! ma comme chiove!
Jesus! but how it rains!

Tu, comme a 'na Madonna cante 'na ninna nonna
Like a Madonna you sing a lullaby
pe' 'n'angiulillo 'ncroce ca vo senti 'sta voce
for the little angel on the cross who wants to hear your voice.
'Sta voce sulitaria ca dint' 'a notte canta.
This lonely voice that sings in the night.
E tu, comm' 'a 'na santa tu sola sola e muore.
And you, like a saint, alone you die

Chi si? Tu si 'a canaria etc.

It's hard to convey the way the old Napolitano words make this such a powerful song, the English translation (poor as it is, doesn't do it justice)

I look forward to finding more old Napolitano on this website!

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi, Bob - you can get a sense of how it might be. Thesudden changes of observation and then back to the dying part is quite powerful, even in translation.

Author:  Bob Lock [ Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:08 am ]
Post subject: 

Did you manage to listen to the piece, Marion?

Author:  Marion Arnott [ Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:49 pm ]
Post subject: 

:oops: I never noticed the link!
Have listened now - it really is beautiful and haunting. I see there are other songs too - I shall have a further listen.

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