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International Music & Culture
Farfallina
(Italian Kids Song)
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Farfallina
Butterfly
Children's Song
(Italian)
Children's Song
(English)

Farfallina - Italian Children's Songs - Italy - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image


Farfallina
Bella e bianca
vola vola
mai si stanca
gira qua
e gira la
poi si resta sopra un fiore
e poi si resta spora un fiore.

Ecco ecco
a trovata
bianca e rosa
colorata
gira qua
e gira la
poi si resta sopra un fiore
e poi si resta spora un fiore.

Butterfly
Beautiful and white
Fly and fly
Never get tired
Turn here
And turn there
And she rests upon a flower
And she rests upon a flower.

Here, here,
I have found her
White and red
Colored
Turn here
And turn there
And she rests upon a flower
And she rests upon a flower.
 
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Photos & Illustrations

Farfallina - Italian Children's Songs - Italy - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Comment Image

Comments

Nicole Midura had originally sent me this version:

Farfalline
(Italian)

Farfalline
bella e bianca
vola, vola,
mai si stanca.

Butterflies
(English)

Little butterflies
Beautiful and white
You fly and fly
And you never get tired.

Nicole wrote, "There are other verses to the butterfly song, but I can't remember them for the life of me."

Later I wrote Nicole asking about the differences in spelling between her version and a later one we received and she wrote me, "Since the songs were handed down from my mother it very well may be dialect. I speak both her dialect (which really amounts to a bunch of slang) and a bit of the 'perfect' form. The word 'farfalline' is already plural. The singular form would end in 'a'. That is why I changed the translation to Little Butterflies, instead of Little Butterfly."

By a happy coincidence I received the following version of "Farfallina" within a week or so of Nicole's version. This one was submitted by Lois Erskine. Here's it is...

Farfallina
(Italiano)


Farfallina bella bianca
Vola, vola mai si stanca
Gira di qua, gira di la
Fin che 'posa su Papà.

Butterfly
(English Translation)


Beautiful white butterfly
Without tiring, fly and fly
Turning here and turning there
Until she rests on Daddy's chest.

Lois wrote, "This is a song for young babies. The mother sings it while making little butterfly movements with her hand on the baby's tummy, legs, neck, face and arms. On the final line of the song she does the butterfly tickle on the baby's father."

Nina wrote: "I am first generation Sicilian. My Nonna used to sing this to me..."

Farfaletta bianca bianca
vuola vuola mai si stanca
gira di qua e gira di la
sopr' un fiore va posa.

White little butterfly
Flies and flies and never tires
Turns here and turns there,
And places herself upon a flower.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Nicole Midura, Lois Erskine, Nina and Lisa (Presutti) TerKeurst for contributing and translating the four different versions of this song. (The version with two verses above was submitted by Lisa Terkeurst.)

Thanks to Gracie for the wonderful illustration!

Grazie mille!

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