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Leon wrote me,

HELLO

MY GRANDCHILDREN HAVE BEEN AFTER ME FOR SOME TIME TO FIND THE ITALIAN AND ENGLISH WORDS FOR AN OLD ITALIAN SONG WE USED TO SING AS KIDS CALLED (IN ENGLISH) “THE BUTCHER BOY”.

IT WAS A PEPPY SONG, SET TO THE RHYTHM OF THE ITALIAN TARANTELLA. ANY IDEAS?

THANKS

LEON FRANCISCO

If anyone is familiar with this song, please comment below.

Thanks! Lisa

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This artilce was posted on Monday, March 6th, 2006 at 3:42 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Italian, Italian Children's Songs, Italy, Languages, Questions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

81 Responses to “Looking for an Italian Song called “The Butcher Boy” in English”

  1. Laurie Mueller Says:

    Wow — my dad (now 84 with Alzheimer’s) always sang this song drying us off from our baths, and now I sing it to my kids. But we sing nonsense words “la la lee, the butcher boy for me,” (repeat twice more on different pitches) then it ends “the butcher boy, the butcher boy, the butcher boy for me.” If you know solfege, the tone syllables are mi re do, sol do t ti la so ti; re do ti, so ti la so fa so; mi re do, mi fa mi re do re, mi fa (down to) la la, la (up to) mi (down to) so so, so re re do ti do.

    What a blast that someone else knows this song — I never knew where it came from, and my family is not Italian!

  2. Lisa Says:

    That’s neat. I wonder where your father heard it.

    If you’d like to send me a recording of you singing “The Butcher Boy” to your kids, I’d be happy to post it!

  3. Monique Says:

    I think it’s “La danza”, tarantella by Rossini. The lyrics are below. There are other versions of this song “La luna in mezzo o mare”

    Già la luna in mezzo al mare,
    mamma mia, si salterà;
    l’ora è bella per danzare,
    chi è in amor non mancherà.
    Già la luna in mezzo al mare,
    mamma mia, si salterà;
    l’ora è bella per danzare,
    chi è in amor non mancherà.
    Già la luna in mezzo al mare,
    mamma mia si salterà.
    Presto in danza a tondo a tondo,
    donne mie, venite quà;
    un garzon bello e giocondo
    a ciascuna toccherà.
    Finché in ciel brilla una stella
    e la luna splenderà,
    il più bel con la bella
    tutta notte danzerà.
    Mamma mi, mamma mia,
    già la luna è in mezzo al mare,
    mamma mia, mamma mia,
    mamma mia,si salterà,
    frinche, frinche, frinche, frinche frinche,
    mamma mi, mamma mia,
    mamma mia, si salterà,
    la la ra la ra la ra
    la la ra la la la ra
    la ra la ra la la ra
    la la la ra la ra …..
    Salta, salta, gira, gira,
    ogni coppia a cerchio va;
    già s’avanza,
    si ritira e all’assalto tornerà:
    Salta, salta, gira, gira,
    ogni coppia a cerchio va;
    già s’avanza,
    si ritira e all’assalto tornerà.
    Serra, serra colla bionda,
    colla bruna qua e là,
    colla rossa va a seconda,
    colla smorta fermo sosta.
    Viva il ballo a tondo a tondo,
    sono un re,sono un pascià;
    è il più bel piacer del mondo,
    la più cara voluttà.
    Mamma mia, mamma mia,
    Già la luna in mezzo al mare,
    mamma mia,mamma mia, si salterà;
    frinche, frinche, frinche,
    frinche, frinche, frinche,
    mamma mia si salterà,
    frinche, frinche, frinche,
    frinche, frinche, frinche,
    mamma mia si salterà,
    la la ra la ra la ra
    la la ra la la la ra
    la ra la ra la la ra
    la la la ra la ra

  4. Lisa Says:

    You can find out more about this song at http://www.bobshannon.com/stories/lazymaryback.html .

    If anyone would like to send the English lyrics, I’d be happy to post them.

  5. bianco Says:

    Daughter):
    Mama dear come over here
    And see who’s looking in my window
    It’s the butcher boy and oh
    He’s got a bundle in his hand
    Tell me why he winks his eye whenever he goes by my window
    (Mother):
    Daughter daughter he’s in love and you’re in love
    And love is grand
    (Butcher Boy, spoken)
    Hey, Marie!
    I gotta da pork chop!
    Hey, Marie!
    I gotta da lamb chop!
    Hey, Marie! Marie!
    ‘Ya want ta marry me?
    (Daughter, spoken)
    The butcher boy, the butcher boy
    I wanna marry the butcher boy
    (Chorus and Daughter)
    Oh! Ma-Ma!
    Oh, get that man for me!
    Oh! Ma-Ma!
    How happy I will be!
    Tra-la-la
    And cheery-beery be!
    Oh, if I’m gonna marry,
    It’s the butcher boy for me!

    We also hear from his Baker Boy, another object of Marie’s affection:

    (Baker Boy, spoken)
    Hey, Marie!
    I gotta da fruitcake!
    Hey, Marie!
    I gotta da cheesecake!
    Hey, Marie! Marie!
    ‘Ya want ta marry me?
    (Daughter, spoken)
    The baker boy, the baker boy
    I wanna marry the baker boy

    Finally, the Fisher Boy also shows up, equally vying for Marie’s affection, this time with “fresh-a fish” in his bundle. Who will she marry? For the answer, the road leads to the Andrews Sisters.

    As other acts soon jumped on “The Butcher Boy” bandwagon–notably singer/songwriter Dick Robertson (who also hit the Top 10), New York bandleader George Hall, British

  6. Joe Says:

    Mamma mia, come over here,
    See who’s looking in my window.
    It’s the little butcher boy,
    With a cleaver in his hand!
    Oh! Mama, he’s got to marry me!
    Oh! Mama, he’s as mad as he could be!

  7. david bertucci Says:

    Just want to know the singer and real name of the song, “hey ma ma”. That’s all I know of the song.

    If you know please email me at dbertucci1@charter.net .

    Thank you, David Bertucci

    If anyone knows about this song, please also comment below. Thanks! Lisa

  8. Dani Says:

    Hi,

    I think the song you’re looking for is “Luna Mezzo Mare” (Dean Martin recorded a copy of it).

  9. sharon Says:

    this song was also done by the andrews sisters in english under the name “the butcher boy”.

  10. Sandy Says:

    I can’t believe it. This sing just popped into my head this morning. I was singing it to my son. My mom used to sing it. I think the Dean Martin version. Thanks for the words.

  11. Cindy Says:

    There are several variations and singers who have sung C’e la luna mezz’o mare. Lou Monte does one with Italian and English words; Dean Martin, Frank Simms. Look under Lazy Mary also. There are different dialects and therefore , many variations of essentially the same song. Originally done by Paolo Citarella I think

  12. Lisa Says:

    FYI I just saw a reference to a song called The Butcher’s Boy. It’s a Southern Appalachian folk song. Here are the lyrics:

    In Jersey City,
    Where I did dwell,
    A butcher’s boy,
    I loved so well
    He courted me
    My heart away,
    And now with me,
    He will not stay.

  13. Lazaro Says:

    i would love to find the lyrics as done by Dean Martin. You can find them both in Italian & English for the original score, but I really love Dean Martins version and can’t seem to find the lyric anywhere…..

  14. Wanda Says:

    I remember this song, because I saw it in a cartoon version on TV when I was a kid, back in the 60s! It was one of those “following the bouncing ball” things, and I remember the chorus very well, but I can’t remember the tune or words to the main verses. Thanks for finally putting me on the track of it!

  15. angelo roncari Says:

    You can hear Lou Monte at…. http://www.bobshannon.com/stories/lazymary.html does a great job of Luna Mezzo Mare.

  16. Ray Says:

    che la luna

  17. Phil Testa Says:

    I would sure like to have the lyrics to the song ”Mamma.
    Italian or English.

    Thanks Phil

  18. luvi Says:

    Hello all,

    the song is very popular all over southern Italy, where it’s still sung, with slight dialectal variations.

    It is about an unmarried girl asking her mamma to find her a husband.
    Her mamma thinks about several candidates (the butcher boy, the gardener, the peasant, the firefighter, the fisherman, etc) and for each of them there is a remark about the tools they use for their work which sounds like a sexy hint, so the mother discards them. The refrain then urges her again to find the right one (ai mamma, mi voglio maritar…ai mamma, mi voglio maritar)..etc.

    Feel free to ask if you are interested in a detailed translation of the lyrics :)

  19. Lisa Says:

    That would be great if you could give a detailed translation of the lyrics!

    Thanks in advance!

    Lisa

  20. Don Woeltje Says:

    On iTunes you can download a couple of different versions for just $0.99 a piece. I have one version. They have the Dean Martin version also. Just search for Luna Mezzo Mare.

    Another couple places you can find it is in “The Godfather” movie trilogy. In the original The Godfather film, they place the song during Connie’s wedding reception and the guests take turns singing verses of the song. In “The Godfather, Part II” when Michael and Kay have their party at their Las Vegas home (early in the film), one of the guests at the party is Frankie Pentangeli. The band is playing some “big band” music of some kind and Frankie approaches them and tries to get them to play some traditional Italian music. He tries to lead them in a rendition of Luna Mezzo Mare…..but all his attempt ends up doing is to lead the band in a rousing rendition of Pop Goes The Weasel. (LOL)

  21. Don Woeltje Says:

    Luna mezz’o mare (Sicilian dialect)
    Paolo Citarella

    C’e la luna mezz’o mare
    Mamma mia me maritari,
    Figghia mia, a cu te dari
    Mamma mia pensaci tu. O Mamma, piscia fritta baccala O Mamma piscia fritta baccala.

    Si ci dugnu lu babberi (barber)
    Iddu va, Iddu veni
    ‘u rasolu manu teni. (razor)
    Si ci pigghia la fantasia
    Mi rasulia la figghia mia.

    Chorus (O Mamma..)

    Si ci dugnu falignami (woodmaker)
    Iddu va, iddu veni
    ‘u chianuzzu manu teni. (plane)
    Si ci pigghia la fantasia
    Mi chiannuzulia la figghia mia.

    Chorus (O Mamma…)

    Si ci dugnu lu scapparu (shoemaker)
    Iddu va, iddu veni
    ‘u matteddu manu teni. (hammer)
    Si ci pigghia la fantasia
    Mi matteddia la figghia mia.

    Chorus (O Mamma…)

    Si ci dugnu zuppunaro (farmer)
    Iddu va, iddu veni
    ‘u zappuni manu teni. (plow)
    Si ci pigghia la fantasia
    Mi zappunia la figghia mia.

    Chorus (O Mamma…)

    Si ci dugnu macillaiu (butcher)
    Iddu va, iddu veni
    La sasizza manu teni. (sausage)
    Si ci pigghia la fantasia
    Mi sasizzia la figghia mia.

    Chorus (O Mamma…)

    Si ci dugnu piscialiolu (fisherman)
    Iddu va, iddu veni
    E lu pisci manu teni. (fish)
    Si ci pigghia la fantasia
    Mi pisciulia la figghia mia.
    Chorus…

    Synopsis: A young woman has difficulty in choosing a man to be her husband. She asks her mother to decide. Her mother describes each man and his livelihood. The mother gives a comic answer for each one, indicating for instance, that if you marry the butcher, his sausage will become your fantasy. Obviously, a song fraught with double entendre.

  22. Anne Says:

    Glad to get the words to this song. I have longed to know what the words were and what the English translation is. In the Godfather movie, it is obviously full of double entendre. This song was also used on an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” But since I am a little Irish-English girl, I had no way of finding out the words.

    Thanks for your time on this to all of you at this site. Great job. Good for you and yeah for the world wide web.

    Anne

  23. Shavon Says:

    Paolo Citarella is my husbands great uncle. His parents actually get the royalty checks from the song. They have the original record that it was recorded on. If you have any other questions about the song “Che La Luna”. This is the correct name of the song, feel free to contact us. mattiello2002@yahoo.com

  24. "La Danza" Says:

    Is this the song? Lol!

  25. linda Says:

    dont have very much information am looking for a very old song sung in half english half italian with the lyrics oh bella bruna in it

  26. Éda Heloisa Pilla Says:

    As a translator (from English into Portuguese), I came accross the expression
    “butcher boy”, but I was unable to find out the meaning of it. It appears in a short story by Saki “The Reticence of Lady Anne” relating to a boy who asked for a Christmas present in march because he had not recieved it in December (in al allkusion, I think, to an innocent person). If you could help me, I would be very grateful.
    Éda

  27. maggiec Says:

    Hi, ive been thinking about an old italian song that i used to listen to (a very old record that nobody knows what happened to now). It had the lyrics volare (two volares next to each other, i think) in it, but it isnt the famous “volare.” It is a playful song and i think it had a few english words in it. anyway, hope somebody can help me with this, would sure appreciate it. thanks!

  28. JoAnn Says:

    I too am looking for a song that my father used to sing. Half in English half in Italian. So the english words are: Oh how I wanted to tell you my dear just what I feel in my heart: and then it goes into italian that I can sing but cannot write. Does anyone know this song. I have been looking for years.

  29. Jack Says:

    Who is Dicky in Dean Martin’s version of Luna Mezzo Mare?

  30. Michael Altieri Says:

    The problem with Louis Prima’s 1956 version of “Luna Mezza Mare” is its Sicilian dialect. The words, their spellings and the way they are pronounced can’t be understood by anybody anymore because Standard Italian is taught in Italy, today. Prima’s version was only spoken in a section of Sicily back in those days. Dialects changed every five miles back then. Regions in Italy are like states in the USA. Sicily is the southern most region of Italy. I love “Angelina–Zooma, Zooma Baccala.” The translation is: “There’s a half moon over the sea! Mama, I want to get married.” (The girl feels romantic, so she asks her mother if she can get married).
    “To whom am I giving you, my daughter?”
    “Who do you think I should marry, mama?”
    “If I give you to the musician, fisherman, etc., he goes, he comes, always with his insrument, his fish, etc., in his hand. If you choose this fantasy, he’ll instrument, fish, etc., my daughter!”

  31. bernadette Says:

    very interesting and true. but do you have the italian dialect words? our sons of italy is thinking about an evening of translated italian songs. it would and could be alot of fun to have the older words. thanks

  32. Matthew Salvatore Says:

    the best of version of this song, in my opinion, is the Louis Prima version .. also check out his song angelina .. he goes into the song at the end of angelina .. its pretty neat.

  33. Emilo Lopiano Says:

    Angelina/Zooma Zooma was sung by Louis Prima, yes in a Sicilian dialect. The music and the lyrics do not translate very well into English. The Andrews Sisters tried to keep the meaning somewhat the same with Englis lyrics translated to fit the music. The song was also recorded in English by Rude Valley. The song is sort of like Eh Compare, in which you can keep adding verses. Che La Luna for vocations of future husbands and musical instuments for Eh Compare.

  34. jo-anne Says:

    song is “oh my wonderful one” recorded by the gaylords i 1950
    on the mercury label

  35. graziella Says:

    Bonjour!!!
    Voilà, je suis à la recherche de la bande son “karaoké” de c’è la luna mezzo al mare.
    AVIS à vous tous, qui peut être possédez une version karaoké de cette chanson. Elle me tient particulièrement à coeur, suis de naissance sicilienne, et j’ai toujours vécu en France. Ma fille est chanteuse et pour elle ce serait un grand plaisir de pouvoir chanter cette magnifique chanson qui est la source de nos origines!!! MERCI A TOUS.
    je mets à disposition mon adresse mail grazi73hotmail.fr

    ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

    Hi!
    I’m looking for the karaoke file to c’è la luna mezzo al mare.
    To you all who maybe own a karaoke version of this song: it’s particularly dear to me, I’m Sicilian born and always lived in France. My daughter’s a singer and she’d be very pleased to sing this wonderful song which is in our family background. Thank you all. Here’s my email address: grazi73hotmail.fr

  36. Ev Says:

    These are the true lyrics in English from the original song writer Citrollo or something like that. The original Italian version is sung in the Godfather @ Connie’s wedding.

    And the moon is in the middle of the sea:
    oh my mother I must get married –
    oh my daughter who will we get?
    My mother I leave it up to you.

    If I get you the butcher
    he will come and he will go,
    but he’ll always hold the sausage in his hands…
    if he gets a bright idea
    he’ll sausage you oh my daughter.

    If I get you the fisherman
    he will come and he will go,
    but he’ll always hold the fish in his hands…
    if he gets a bright idea
    he’ll fish you oh my daughter.

    If I get you the shoemaker
    he will come and he will go,
    but he’ll always hold the shoe in his hands…
    if he gets a bright idea
    he’ll shoe you oh my daughter.

    If I get you the garden man
    he will come and he will go,
    but he’ll always hold the cucumber in his hands…
    if he gets a bright idea
    he’ll cucumber you oh my daughter.

  37. James Says:

    In reply to Don Woeltje I have heard a very similar song but in a slighting different order and a strange middle part, as well as certain verses ending differently, rather than say the barber will use the razor on her, they say something different. Does anyone know of this version, it is also in the sicilian dialect

  38. Pablo Says:

    Just a comment re the English version of Mamma Dear (the Butcher Boy). There was a version of this in 1940’s and it had a greater commedy value because of strict rationing here in UK. Mamma (in that version) really REALLY wants daughter to marry the butcher boy. Nothing else will really do. The melody rings in my head very often.

  39. Carmela Says:

    it’s Che la Luna, which Louis Prima made very popular back when we were young young — and I’m 59 now! I remember my Father thought it was so funny :)

  40. cilla jean Says:

    My Grandmother died 22 years ago, at the age of 83. She used to sing this song, and it was SO FUN!! She sang both the English and Italian versions. Direct translation, I can not tell you, as I’m a more than a bit rusty on my Italian, but what fun we had singing it!! And when I found Dean’s recording not too long ago, what a pleasure that was for me!

  41. Neecee LaVetty Says:

    My sister and I and all our friends used to sing a “Butcher Boy” song like this –
    In New York City where I was born
    A butcher boy I knew so well
    He stole my heart away from me
    and never gave it back to me

    He sat a girl upon his knee
    and told her tales he never told me
    and now I know the reason why
    because she had more gold than I

    My father came home that very night
    expecting to find his daughter all right
    he went upstairs and opened the door
    and there he found her on the floor

    Oh grief, oh grief, oh what have you done
    You killed yourself for the butcher’s son
    For the butcher’s son you killed yourself
    and this is what she said to me…

  42. Stan Says:

    fascinating info but does anyone have the musical score for the song? I cannot find it anywhere

  43. Monique Says:

    There are two of them on the site Lisa linked to on March 08 2006…
    http://www.bobshannon.com/stories/lazymaryback.html

  44. Jackie Erlandson Says:

    I heard it on the Mills Brothers’ album, my sister just resurrected it with my children; she said she always sings it to make pizza. I didn’t even know she remembered the words. It’s nice to read all of your comments.

  45. vijay kaushik Says:

    Hi
    pls send me name of film in which song “oh my mother we are your children” was sanged.

  46. Connie Terra Says:

    I love all the variations. Especially the one that says the “problem” is the Sicialian dialect. Well, it was no problem to those who spoke it!
    The truest version is the one that bears Paolo Citarelli’s name.
    I am 78 and it is the one I grew up with.

    Concetta

  47. Rachel Says:

    I grew up listening to the Louis Prima version of the song. Love it. If anybody can find his lyrical version of it and post it that would be great!

  48. Rev. ed cornell Says:

    my mother itilian roots would would now be 90 from the bronx sang the same one that neecee posted. she said she had learned it in her youth. it might have been her favorite

  49. Ann McDarby Says:

    Would I be right thinking it was sung at the wedding at the beginning of the film The Godfather?

  50. Glennie Scott Says:

    We’re planning to do this song on a show on Jan. 24 at an Italian Restaurant and having a heck of a time finding a place to listen to the middle part. I found a lead sheet of the main part in an old fake book, but the guy’s part (I’ve gotta the lamb chop, etc.) isn’t in it.
    If you happen to know where to find it to listen, could you let me know?

  51. Lisa Says:

  52. Diane Says:

    I am looking for a song that I heard in Southern California in the early 1950s. Half in English half in Spanish. So the English words are: Oh how I wanted to tell you my dear just what I feel in my heart: and then it goes into Spanish, I believe as a waltz tempo. Does anyone know this song. I have been looking for years.

  53. druid Says:

    Diane:
    Hope you’ll check back here…this took a bit of research (and it’s Italian, not Spanish)!

    The song you are looking for is Tell Me You’re Mine first performed in 1952 by The Gaylords. The group was known for singing songs partly in English and partly in Italian.

    Here are the English lyrics (I haven’t found the Italian ones yet) :

    Oh my wonderful one
    How I adore you
    Through the day and the night
    I’m longing for you
    Won’t you tell me you care
    Oh I implore you
    While the stars above shine
    Oh a new world I’ll find
    If you’ll tell me you’re mine

    Oh how I wanted to tell you my dear
    Just what was in my heart

    And here is a performance of the song by The Gaylords:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IaHYXow5F4

  54. Richard Says:

    Thanks ‘bianco’ for the lyrics and also Lisa for the U-tube clip. I used to play my father’s LP’s when Mum & Dad were out and this one was my favourite. Who actually sang the song I have not determined yet. However both your contributions brought back distant memories and a smile on my face,

  55. julian reid Says:

    the song at the begining of the god father had a translation done by the singer in the movie. he sang first in itilian sicilian then saidnow for those of you unfamilar with itilian i will give it to you i BRITISH. IN THE movie the singer was jhonney fontaine.

  56. julian reid Says:

    i belive the line in english one anyway was lazy marian you have to get up the reply was i am not able. maybe louie primadid this version it was sung by singer jonney fontaine . it looks like their are many versions of this song.

  57. jim de fazio Says:

    Julian, actually the “translation” you’re thinking of isn’t in the Godfather but rather from Lou Monte’s recorded version. But his English words are not in any way a translation, it’s just something that gives sort of similar ideas which fit the music. That’s the problem with many versions of these songs as done by Italian-American singers. They range from actual translations, to those which “sort of” keep the main ideas with new words, to completely new, unrelated words, as in “There’s No Tomorrow” as done by Elvis, Dean Martin, and others. The problem of course is when we think they’re actual translations when they are not. Others here also touched on the “dialect” issue. The vast majority of “Italian” songs we in American know are actually Neapolitan (for a combination of historical and cultural reasons). Like “C’e’ la Luna…” there are usually other, especially Southern, versions of the songs, but the “true” ones are the Neapolitan ones (e.g. Citarella’s version). And of course, most are also translated into in standard Italian. So, it’s a complete mish-mash, to put it in technical terms, which helps shed light on the whole thing if we remember that. As for Louis Prima’s wild version…who knows, his “Sicilian” may even be a sort of Creole-gumbo influenced by his New Orleans roots! Well, maybe not, but, it’s not the case that “no one” understands Sicilian anymore. In fact, in some regions, I believe there are now efforts to preserve the dialects.

  58. M Says:

    I learned it like this!

    Oh Mother dear come over here and see whose lookin By my window
    It’s the Baker Boy the Baker Boy Hes a Makin Eyes at me
    Tell me why he winks his eye whenever he goes by my window
    for I’m for him and hes for me and thats the way its gonna be!

    Oh mama! Go catch that man for me!
    Oh Mama! How happy I will be!
    Tra Lala! And Cherry Cherry Be
    For If I’m gonna marry its the baker boy for me!

    and so on with other occupationsss lol. i love that, my grandparents would dance to that.

  59. JoAnn Says:

    I want to thank druid and jo-anne for you response. I totally forgot that I had posted this. I thought the song was lost as my father passed away 7 years ago. I sing it to my daughter and want to pass it on. I’m crying tonight from happiness. Thank you both.

  60. R.S.H. Says:

    In my small-city home town just prior to and during WWII a Sunday morning music hour put on by a local baker often included this song (the “…the *** boy, the *** boy, I wanna marry the *** boy”, where *** was “butcher”, then “baker”, then a third I can’t remember). I was in high school at the time, class of 1945.

  61. Rikki Says:

    I’m writeing my College essay about the person who had the most influence on my life and it turns out it’s my late grandfather whom i’ve never met and died when my mama was sixteen.
    She taught me the song:
    (italian lyrics first)
    Hey mama it’s the butcher boy for me
    hey mama he’s as cute as he can be
    gonna marry gonna marry butcher boy for me
    gonna marry gonna marry cause he’s as cute as he can be.

    i’m a music major or an asspiring music major and his is the first song i ever learned (besides itsy bitsy spider)

    this song means so much to me

  62. R. Di Ionno Says:

    Thank you SOOOOO much for the You-Tube clip!! It brought tears
    (of joy) to my eyes and left me with “goose bumps” to hear that song again! It must be over 50 yrs (I’m 58) since I’ve heard that song. It brought back such sweet memories of us kids jumping around (trying to dance) at our family get togethers!! God Bless.

  63. Jason G Says:

    My Dad (born in 09) was always performing some vaudeville skit around the house. He must have seen an adult humored version of this song. He sang: ” Oh Mommie Dear come over here and see who’s peeking through the window. It’s the Butcher Boy, he says he’s got salami for ya” Which prompted my Mother’s laughing response. “Oh Harold, not in front of the children” He also sang to the same tune: “Lazy Mary get out of bed, we need the bed sheet for the table” Remnants of a simpler time.

  64. John Says:

    Hello there. I know its a little old , but i am searching for the Paolo Citarelli Version of Che la luna , and cant find it in Mp3 format online. can anyone send it to me please?

  65. Dawn Says:

    “# Neecee LaVetty Says:
    May 1st, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    My sister and I and all our friends used to sing a “Butcher Boy” song like this –
    In New York City where I was born
    A butcher boy I knew so well
    He stole my heart away from me
    and never gave it back to me

    He sat a girl upon his knee
    and told her tales he never told me
    and now I know the reason why
    because she had more gold than I

    My father came home that very night
    expecting to find his daughter all right
    he went upstairs and opened the door
    and there he found her on the floor

    Oh grief, oh grief, oh what have you done
    You killed yourself for the butcher’s son
    For the butcher’s son you killed yourself
    and this is what she said to me…”

    I just came across this while looking for this song that my Italian grandparents sang to me as a little girl. These lyrics are the closest to the ones my grandmother used to sing to me, except she said “in Jersey City”, even tho we lived in Philadelphia? lol. Anyway, does anyone have any info on this version and where it came from?
    Thanks!! p.s. My grandmom and grandpop died, one 15 years ago and one 5 years ago, so this means alot to me. I am passing it on to my daughter.

  66. Arlene Says:

    I sang:
    In Jersey City where I was born
    A butcher boy I knew so long
    He stole my heart away from me
    And never gave it back you see
    He sat a girl upon his knee
    And told her tales he never told me
    And now I know the reason why
    Because she had more gold than I
    I went upstairs to make my bed
    And not a word to mother I said
    I sat right down and started a letter
    And soon you’ll know what the letter said
    My father came home that very same night
    Expecting to find his daughter so bright
    He went upstairs and opened the door
    And there he found me right on the floor
    Oh grief oh grief oh what have you done?
    You’ve killed yourself for a butcher’s son
    He looked around and spotted the letter
    And this is what the letter said:
    I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish
    I wish I were 16 again
    16 again I’ll never be
    Til apples grow on cherry trees
    So dig my grave and dig it deep
    And fill it with pebbles from head to feet
    And on the top a golden dove
    To show the world I died of love

  67. Sherry Says:

    My Italian grandmother Rita used to sing this song to me. The last one is the most accurate to the version she sang to me. This also means a lot to me. I remember when she sang this to me I would get so sad listening to the words. I decided to search for this thinking I wouldn’t find much. What a pleasant surprise.

  68. Dominic Says:

    Can anyone tell me where I can find the cartton version of this song that came out in the 60’s It was a bouncing ball sond similar the typeMitch Miller used to show.

  69. Lori Says:

    Thanks Arlene and Dawn for posting these lyrics. My Mom used to sing this song all the time and I’d been thinking about it for awhile. She used to sing the longer version that Arlene posted, but it took place in NYC, like Dawn’s version. It was so wonderful to see these words, my Mom passed over 5 years ago and it was like finding another piece of her. Thank again so much. Do you know who sang this? Take good care.

  70. Joette Says:

    my Aunt Jean – who died 2 years ago at the age of 92 used to sing this song with her sisters and nieces while they were all cooking in the kitchen together.

    In Jersey City, where I was born
    A butcher’s son, I loved so well
    he stole my heart away from me
    and now he does not look at me

    he talks to strange girls on his knee
    he tells them things he won’t tell me
    and now i know the reason why
    because they have more gold than I

    i went upstairs and sat me down
    with pen and ink i wrote it down
    and with each line i dropped a tear
    calling back my lover dear

    when father came home late that night
    calling dear his daughter bright
    he went upstairs the door he broke
    and found her hanging by a rope

    oh grief oh grief what have you done
    gave up your life for a butcher’s son
    he took a knife and cut her down
    and on her breast these words were found

    oh dig my grave oh dig it deep
    with marble stone from head to feet
    and on the top a pure white dove
    to show the world i died for love.

    I wish i wish i wish in vain
    i wish i were 16 again
    16 again I’ll never be
    till apples grow on cherry trees

  71. Frank Says:

    My uncle had a copy of “Butcher Boy” which he played for us over fifty years ago. When his son and I were teenagers, he gave us a rough translation. As pointed out above there have been many versions sung and or offered but it boils down to a young girl noting the full moon over the sea welling up with romantic emotion telling her mother she wants to get married. Her mother offers that she is too young and both lovingly and mockingly points out that of the available suitors, she wouldn’t know what to do when the time came. When the Troubador begins to play YOU like he plays his guitar with his fingers; when the grocery delivery boy offers you his big cucumber (citrolla grande!) when the butcher boy shows you his salami, ……etcetera, etcetera,…
    In the movie wedding scene it is obvious that that mama Corleone doesn’t want to be the one to sing the traditional bawdy wedding song but she agrees and she sings a less suggestive line. When the old man gets his turn he sings the verses about what a young prospect intends to do with his new bride. You don’t need to know one word of Sicilian to understand that the new husband intends to use every room in the house, multiple times, and (gesturing) he intends to spread it this wide!!!
    With all due respect to Dean Martin and Louis Prima, what they recorded were much sanitized versions substituting “La La La….” for the good stuff. I’m sure their night club acts were far more entertaining.

  72. MTM Says:

    When I was very young, in about 1960, I remember my older sisters singing this. I don’t know why, but I remember the lyrics vividly. They are very similar to what Arlene wrote, but slightly different.

    In Jersey City where I was born
    The butcher’s son I knew so long
    He stole my heart away from me
    And never gave it back to me
    He sat a girl upon his knee
    And told her stories he never told me
    And now I know the reason why
    Because she had more gold than I
    I went upstairs to make my bed
    And not a word to mother I said
    I took a chair and sat me down
    With pen and ink I wrote this down
    My father came home that very night
    Expecting to find his daughter so bright
    He ran upstairs and opened the door
    And there he found me on the floor
    Oh dear, oh dear, what have you done?
    You’ve killed yourself for the butcher’s son
    He turned around and spotted the note
    And this is what the letter wrote:
    I wish, I wish, I wish I were
    I wish I were sixteen again
    Sixteen again I’ll never be
    Til apples grow on cherry trees
    So dig my grave, and dig it deep
    And fill it with pebbles from head to feet
    And on the top a golden dove
    To tell the world I died for love

  73. nona Says:

    Oh! Ma-Ma! (The Butcher Boy)
    by The Andrews Sisters

    Send “Oh! Ma-Ma! (The Butcher Boy)” Ringtone to your Cell
    Oh Ma-Ma!
    Oh, catcha dat man-a for me!
    Oh Ma-Ma!
    How happy I will be!
    Oh Ma-Ma!
    I’ll cheery-beery be!
    Oh, if I’m gonna marry,
    It’s-a da butcher boy for me!

    Hey, Marie!
    I gotta da lamb chop!
    Hey, Marie!
    I gotta da pork-a chop!
    Hey, Marie!
    Marie!
    ‘Ya wanna marry me?

    Oh Ma-Ma!
    Oh, catch-a dat man-a for me!
    Oh, Ma-Ma!
    How happy I will be!
    Oh, Ma-Ma!
    I’ll cheery-beery be!
    Oh, if I’m gonna marry,
    It’s-a da baker boy for me!

    Hey, Marie!
    I gotta da fruitcake!
    Hey, Marie!
    I gotta da cheesecake!
    Hey, Marie!
    Marie!
    ‘Ya wanna marry me?

    Oh Ma-Ma!
    Oh, catcha dat man-a for me!
    Oh Ma-Ma!
    How happy I will be!
    Oh Ma-Ma!
    I’ll cheery-beery be!
    Oh, if I’m gonna marry,
    It’s-a da butcher boy for me!

    Lyrics powered by LyricFind
    written by RUDY VALLEE, PAOLO CITORELLO
    Lyrics © SHAPIRO BERNSTEIN & CO. INC.
    Send “Oh! Ma-Ma! (The Butcher Boy)” Ringtone to your Cell

  74. nona Says:

    “Luna Mezzo Mare” in English, and Vallee was the man to do it. In 1938, he recorded the song as a novelty tune called “Oh! Ma-Ma! (The Butcher Boy)” on Bluebird Records. The label categorized it as a Fox Trot rather than a Tarantella. It re-worked the original Italian story of a daughter asking her mother to find her someone to marry, with the mother considering various occupations of men and their drawbacks. In “Oh! Ma-Ma!” the daughter is named Marie.

    These vocals are credited on the label to Red Stanley and the Gentlemen Songsters. Also heard are the voices of three of the various suitors, beginning with the Butcher Boy, who speaks to Marie in an Italian accent and offers what he has in his hand (in this case, the contents of a bundle of meat). Unlike the mother in “Luna,” this Ma-Ma approves of each boy, telling Marie that they’re in love and “love is grand.” Thus, Vallee cleverly sanitized the risque original, with the zany quality of the record making it a huge hit.

    And there would be no lawsuit here. The sheet music credits both Vallee and Paolo Citorello as the writers, with the Italian Book Company as the original 1928 copyright owner (although the copyright was assigned to Shapiro, Bernstein in New York, who later list Lew Brown, a popular song writer known for “The Beer Barrel Polka,” “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries,” and many others, as a co-writer). Clearly stated, it says “Oh! Ma-Ma!” is “based on the popular Italian song success ‘Luna Mezzo Mare’”.

    Who will Marie marry? For the answer, the road leads to the Andrews Sisters.

    Read more: Terza Parte! Bob Shannon Goes Behind the Hits: Lou Monte’s ‘Lazy Mary’ http://wcbsfm.radio.com/2011/09/18/terza-parte-bob-shannon-goes-behind-the-hits-lou-montes-lazy-mary/#ixzz1c8mgeVwp

  75. nona Says:

    Oh! Ma-Ma!” is “based on the popular Italian song success ‘Luna Mezzo Mare’”.“Luna Mezzo Mare” in English, and Vallee was the man to do it. In 1938, he recorded the song as a novelty tune called “Oh! Ma-Ma! (The Butcher Boy)” on Bluebird Records. The label categorized it as a Fox Trot rather than a Tarantella. It re-worked the original Italian story of a daughter asking her mother to find her someone to marry, with the mother considering various occupations of men and their drawbacks. In “Oh! Ma-Ma!” the daughter is named Marie.

  76. nona Says:

    Italian version of: Che La Luna Mezzo Mare, by Lou Monte

    C’ ‘na luna mezz’u mare
    Mamma mia m’a maritare
    Figlia mia a cu te dare
    Mamma mia pensace tu
    Se te piglio lu pesciaiole
    Isse vai isse vene
    Sempe lu pesce mane tene
    Se ce ‘ncappa la fantasia
    Te pesculia figghiuzza mia
    Là lariulà pesce fritt’e baccalà
    Uei cumpà no calamare c’eggi’accattà

    C’ ‘na luna mezz’u mare
    Mamma mia m’a maritare
    Figlia mia a cu te dare
    Mamma mia pensace tu
    Se te piglio lu pulezia
    Isse vai isse vene
    Semp’a scuppetta mane tene
    Se ce ‘ncappa la fantasia
    Te scuppettea figghiuzza mia
    Là lariulà pesce fritt’e baccalà
    Uei cumpà ‘na scuppetta c’eggi’accattà

    Lazy Mary you better get up
    She answered back I am not able
    Lazy Mary you better get up
    We need the sheets for the table
    Lazy Mary you smoke in bed
    There’s only one man you should marry
    My advice to you would be
    Is to pay attention to me
    You’d better marry a fireman
    He’ll come and go, go and come

    Sempe la pompa mane tene
    Se ce ‘ncappa la fantasia
    Te pomperia figghiuzza mia
    Là lariulà pesce fritt’e baccalà
    Uei cumpà ‘na pompina c’eggi’accattà
    0 cummà ca m’ voglio marità
    Trovame ‘na uagliotta
    Ca me voglio marità
    Trovame ‘na uagliotta
    Ca me voglio marità
    Trovame ‘na uagliotta
    Ca me voglio marità
    Hey!

  77. Steve Burstein Says:

    Look up “Oh, Mama(Tulip Time)” by Trio Lescano on YouTube for more info.

  78. Lorraine LeFort Says:

    Nona version is the one my mother right from northern Italy would sing. She said it was a cleaner version. She said the sicialian version got a little nasty and valgar. Its what ever you were brought up with. My neices parrot now sings the tarantella since my mom sang it to all of us. We miss her so much.

  79. Donald Albanese Says:

    Does anyone know what the word Zooma means in American? I’ve heard it meant to consume, but I think that is incorrect. When I was a kid living in New Orleans I would always hear this song at wedding receptions. My Grandparents were from Busiquino Sicily.

  80. Amanda James Says:

    My dad used to sing oh mama (butcher boy) to me back in the early sixties. I seem to recall Doris Day singing it( he was a big fan) but maybe it was the Andrews sisters thanks for the memories

  81. John Cully Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9reC-9i4fxw starts at 1.38

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