Michele Schroeder wrote me…
My grandmother (Noni) Julia Iacobitti Grimani, was from Gioia dei Marsi (East of Roma in the Abruzzi Mountains). She came to America after most of her family was killed in the 1915 earthquake.
Noni sat us on her lap, face to face and rocked us back and forth while singing…
S’taccia, S’taccia (sift, sift)
Pane bianco le faccia (bread white) (make? face?)
Le faccia con la riccota (make with riccota)
Bucca na botta! (hole?) (napotta-cup?)
Bucca na botta!!
mi fa camicciola
una bianca, una rosa
Bucca na botta!
Bucca na botta!!
Of course we can only guess at the spelling since it came to us verbally. This is as close as I, my two sisters and my 84-year-old mother could come to the SOUND of the original.
My mother insists that “faccia” (said facce’) does NOT mean “face”, but “make”. She didn’t know what “bucca na botta” meant, but says it’s definitely “na” between the words. When we looked in the Italian dictionary, all we could find was the word “napotta” meaning cup. The closest word to “bucca” we found, was spelled “buco” which means “hole”. The meaning of the phrase then could be “hole in the cup” since they were making bread.
Thank-you for keeping the nursery rhymes alive, I hope this is helpful to others as well. Maybe someone reading your web-site will recognize my grandmother’s little rocking song and be able to help with the translation.
Please write me if you can help with this song. Thanks! -Lisa
For other Italian rhymes and children’s songs, visit Mama Lisa’s World’s Italy Page!
This article was posted on Thursday, September 29th, 2005 at 8:03 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Italian, Italian Children's Songs, Italian Nursery Rhymes, 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.
10 Responses to “A Grandmother’s Italian Rocking Song”
Leave a Reply