Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Mamma mia, dammi cento lire
(Italian Traditional song)
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This song is from the northern Italy and dates back to the 1800's. The author is unknown. It's said to be inspired by the ballad, "Maledizione della madre" ("The Mother's Doom").

Mamma mia, dammi cento lire
Mom, Give Me A Hundred Pounds
Traditional song
(Italian)
Traditional song
(English)

Mamma mia, dammi cento lire
che in America voglio andar
mamma mia dammi cento lire
che in America voglio andar

Cento lire io te le do
ma in America no no no
cento lire io te le do
ma in America no no no

Suoi fratelli alla finestra
mamma mia, lasciala andar
suoi fratelli alla finestra
mamma mia, lasciala andar

Pena giunti in alto mare
bastimento si ribaltò
pena giunti in alto mare
bastimento si ribaltò

I miei capelli son ricci e belli
l'acqua del mare li marcirà
i miei capelli son ricci e belli
l'acqua del mare li marcirà

Le parole dei miei fratelli
sono quelle che m'àn tradì
le parole dei miei fratelli
sono quelle che m'àn tradì

Le parole della mamma
sono venute la verità
le parole della mamma
sono venute la verità.

Oh Mom, give me a hundred pounds,
To America I want to go.
Oh mom give me a hundred pounds,
To America I want to go.

A hundred pounds I give them...
But to America no no no.
A hundred pounds I give them to you,
But to America no no no.

Her brothers at the window,
Oh mom, let her go.
Her brothers at the window,
Oh mom, let her go.

Just arriving on the high seas,
The ship is reversed.
While arriving on the high seas,
The ship is reversed.

My hair is curly and beautiful,
In sea water it will rot.
My hair is curly and beautiful,
In sea water it will rot.

The words of my brothers
Are those that have betrayed me.
The words of my brothers
Are those that have betrayed me.

Mother's words
Came true.
Mother's words
Came true.
 
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Notes

Other version

Mamma mia dammi 100 lire
che in America voglio andà,
cento lire e le scarpette
ma in America no no no.

Suoi fratelli alla finestra
mamma mia lassela andà,
vai vai pure o figlia ingrata
che qualcosa succederà.

Quando furono in mezzo al mare
il bastimento si sprofondò,
pescator che peschi i pesci
la mia figlia vai tu a pescar.

Il mio sangue è rosso e fino
i pesci del mare lo beveran,
la mia carne è bianca e pura
la balena la mangerà.

Il consiglio della mia mamma
l'era tutta la verità,
mentre quello dei miei fratelli
resta quello che m'ha ingannà

Translation

Oh Mom, give me a hundred pounds
I want to go to America,
One hundred pounds and shoes,
But to America, no no no.

Her brothers at the window
Mom, let her go,
Go, go ahead, oh ungrateful daughter,
Something will happen.

When they were out at sea,
The vessel sank,
Fisherman who catch the fish,
Go fishing for my daughter.

My blood is red and fine,
The sea's fish will drink it,
My flesh is white and pure,
The whale will eat it.

The advice of my mother
Was the whole truth,
While that of my brothers
Is the one that betrayed me.

Here you can hear another version of this song on youtube. You can watch a video of the 2nd version of the song as sung by Gigliola Cinquetti.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks also to Emanuela Masura for contributing this song and an English translation.

Grazzie mille!

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