This is a Santa Lucia rhyme. Santa Lucia (St. Lucy) is the patron saint of the city of Syracuse in Sicily, where she was born. Her name comes from the Latin word "lux" meaning "light". She's a symbol of there being more light as the days grow longer after the winter solstice.

In some parts of Italy, there are parades on December 13th, on Santa Lucia's Day. In some regions, Santa Lucia is the one who brings gifts for children. She travels with her donkey and her companion named Castaldo. Children can't watch her deliver the gifts or it's said she'll throw ashes in their eyes!

Zitti, zitti fate piano - Italian Children's Songs - Italy - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Emanuela Marsura for helping with the translation. Final translation by Monique and Lisa.