This song is in the Sicilian dialect.

Notes

*Gian Carlo originally translated this line as, "My little son would want me mute". I asked him about this line since "mute" sounds harsh in English. "Mute" is used to describe someone who isn't able to talk... not normally to say that you don't want someone to talk. "My little son would want me to be quiet" or "My little son would want me to hush" would sound more natural in English.

Gian Carlo wrote back, "...these changes are okay. As a matter of fact, in Italian "muto" ("muta" is the feminine) is also not used to describe that you don't want someone to talk. It sounds "strong" in a lullaby. But you know: lullabies are strange, and here, probably, the metrics sounded better using a short word instead of a longer word corresponding to quiet or hush: like 'silenziosa'."

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Standard Italian translation

Oh, vieni, sonno, dalla montagnola.
Il lupo si mangiò la pecorella.
Oh, il bambino,
vuol fare la nanna.

Oh vieni, sonno, dalla landa mia.
Il mio figliolo muta mi vorrebbe.
Oh, il bambino,
vuol fare la nanna.

Comments

*****

This is the version from Bagnara Calabra

Oh veni, sonnu, di la muntanella.
Lu lupu si mangiau la picurella.
Oh, mammà,
la ninna vò fa.

Oh veni, sonnu, di la landa mia.
Lu me figghiolu muta mi vurria.
Oh, mammà,
la ninna vò fa.

Standard Italian translation

Oh vieni, sonno, dalla montagnola.
Il lupo si mangiò la pecorella.
Oh, mamma,
(il bambino) vuol fare la nanna.

Oh vieni, sonno, dalla landa mia.
Il mio figliolo muta mi vorrebbe.
Oh, mamma,
(il bambino) vuol fare la nanna.

English translation

Oh come, sleep, from the little mountain.
The wolf devoured the little sheep.
Oh, mama,
(child) wants to sleep.

Oh come, sleep, from my heath.
My little son could want me mute.
Oh, mama,
(child) wants to sleep.

Listen

"Here is an Italian lullaby. It came formerly from Calabria and was first recorded in Bagnara Calabra on 1954 by Alan Lomax and Diego Carpitella. This recording can be found on "Southern Italy and the Islands", Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive Music.

The version I'm posting is a bit different. I took the recording live during a charity show in 1986. The singers are my brother Walter and three friends of his." -Gian Carlo

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Many thanks to Gian Carlo Macchi and his brother Walter and his friends for the recording!

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Gian Carlo Macchi for contributing and translating these songs.

Grazzie mille!

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