An Italian Rocking Song called Staccia minaccia

Thomas Tulipani wrote me, asking about an Italian song…

My paternal grandmother had a “rocking” song similar to the one on your blog site but not the same. She would sit us on her lap facing her and holding our hands. Singing the rhyme she would rock us back and forth and at the last line she would rock us all the way back onto her extended legs, simulating falling.

It started like the other rhyme:

Staccia (?) minaccia

But it only had two more lines. All I remember is a phonetic impression of my grandmother’s words that my mother (who never understood Italian) used when she performed the same game.

I asked Monique of Mama Lisa’s World en français if she was familiar with this song. Here’s what she wrote…

I found this one in Italian:

Staccia minaccia
il babbo è andato a caccia
a caccia del bubù
il bubù lo buttiamo giù?

Here’s what I’ve been able to piece together in English…

Staccia = sieve, minaccia = threat
Daddy’s gone to hunt,
To hunt the scarecrow.
Do we throw the scarecrow away? (lit. down)

I really don’t know what this Staccia minaccia means, as I can’t figure out how you can sieve a threat, unless minaccia is only to rhyme with staccia and caccia.

Thanks for your help Monique!

I’m wondering if Staccia minaccia could be to get rid of (sift out) a threat, by hunting it down.

If anyone can shed further light on the meaning of this song, please comment below.

Thanks!

Lisa

This article was posted on Thursday, May 25th, 2006 at 9:56 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. 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.

21 Responses to “An Italian Rocking Song called Staccia minaccia”

  1. Maria (DeGraba) Leary Says:

    Hi Lisa,

    My mother and nona used to sing what would seem to be the same song and would rock us the same way as Thomas Tulipani explained. The words were a little different though. I don’t speak Italian, but I can give you the phonetic spelling of what they used to sing…

    Staccia Sticola,
    Pia (child’s name) e boothela foda
    Ki la coy e da
    Babo e mama che pensetta

    The loose translation, from what I remember, was that the baby was crying all the time and the grandparents threw the baby out, but the mom and dad would bring the baby back in.

    I’d like to know the correct Italian version and the correct translation also. If you can help, I’d really appreciate it.

    Thanks!
    Maria

  2. Sandra Denton Says:

    My Nana was born in Fano, Italy and came to America when she was 2. She used to sing this to her progeny. It brings back a lot of wonderful memories. I do this rocking song with my grandchild now, but I’ve had to reproduce it phoenetically. My Nana wasn’t sure what the poem meant but she thought Staccia Minnacia was the name of the hunter. I would love to learn more about this little rocking song! Sandra

  3. sondra dellaripa Says:

    I CANNOT beleive I found this blog on this song!!!!!!
    My Grandmothers family is from Fano Italy. Bedini.
    My grandmother sang me this song ALL the time. She sang it like this though (Phontically as others here have, becuase I have never studied Italian):
    Staccia Menaccia
    Papa (or baba) giuta caccia
    complene none fige
    fige nuncetta
    boopa giuta ciaetta

    Simliar story, my granddmother explained that the words loosely translated meant Daddys gone a hunting to catch a rabbit, but he doesn’t catch any rabbits, throw down hunting (forget about hunting?)

    Maybe it was cultural to that specific geographic region…

    Wow what a stroll down memory lane that was. I miss them both
    :)

  4. JoAnn Says:

    I can not believe I have stumbled upon this site. My paternal grandmother from Abruzzi, Italy use to sing a song to me and now I’m trying to find the words. I believe it started out as “Gadisa Gadisa Gomadre” She use to stand me in front of her while she was in her rocking chair and hold my hands and rock me in and out and sing this song and at the end of the song she use to sing it real fast and rock me real fast/ If anyone knows this song please contact me. I would love to sing this to my Grandson. Thank You.

  5. Elaine (Falcioni) Hallock Says:

    I remember my grandmother singing the song Staccia Menaccia to me & it was explained to me when I grew older & had children of my own that it was a version of Bye Baby Bunting, Daddy’s gone a hunting. I sang this to my children when I rocked them & yes, you do lean them back on your knee at the end. I also learned another song from my grandmother. It was (phonetically) called Staccia Stacian, que manne farring el panne, faring la cresha dura, ye sbataring te mura, mura mura forte, le clave de lorte, le clave de le jardin, butan juoe ma cla fulingne. Has anyone heard this? Roughtly it translates: Staccia, Stacian that tomorrow we make cresha (bread) we make card cresha & throw it at the wall, the wall is so strong, the keys of the garden the keys of the little garden & we throw the child down.

  6. Elaine (Falcioni) Hallock Says:

    The spelling mistake in my previous entry is cresha that is hard, not card cresha…sorry

  7. Ralph Falcioni Says:

    The song was probably in a Machegane dielec and it probably meant Bye Baby Bunting. Would need someone that speaks the dielec to translate.
    My grandmother that sang this song was from Lucrezia, just outside of Fano. Her married name was Tomassini. Does anyone know/speak Marchegane?

  8. fania Says:

    I am Italian, from Marche. First of all the same “filastrocca” would sound different depending on the dialects of different areas (region or even cities).
    Besides in particular in this case, there are many versions of this “filastrocca”: look for “staccia minaccia”, staccia buratta” and “staccia stacciola” in http://www.filastrocche.it

  9. joanne Says:

    I remember my mom doing this with me and my children and could not remember all the wordsl so very glad i came across this…now i (nonnie) can pass it along to my new grandchild..thanks!!!!!!

  10. Sandra Gaudenzi Says:

    the rhyme goes like this
    Staccia Minaccia
    Babbo andato a cacchia
    a cacchia del bubu
    buta la giu giu giu buta la for girl or buta lo for a boy. The story goes: father went hunting and he caught the boggy man. So he threw him away far away. I am not Italian but my husband is from Fano and this is how they translate this rhyme.

  11. Kathy Maixner Says:

    My Nonna was from Pisa, Italy (Vannucci family). She sang this song to me, also, when I was a small child. However, my recollection is different from most of the others in that the verses seem to have dealt with cats and dogs. Has anyone heard a rhyme similar to this:

    Staccia minaccia
    Gatino pela gato (Kitten and cat?)
    La gato famulino (The cat is hungry?)
    Ker loto, ker sale, ker peesho del cane (?)
    Buta la buta la male (pr. mall-ay) – (This is where she would lay me back between extended legs.)

    If you have a clue about this rhyme, I’d love to hear it. I’d like to share it with my own granddaughter if the lyrics are CLEAN!!!

  12. Tiffany Says:

    I’ve been singing a song my great grandma brought over. Of course its all phonectic as I don’t speak Italian, but I’m pretty sure it’s this staccia minaccia you’ve been refering too. Our version was Cacchia Manacchia and it went:
    Cacchia Manacchia
    Que ba bogeeta cacchia
    cacchia del Boo boo
    My (child’s name) bo ta shew (more like jew actually)

    Anybody have any idea?

  13. Ginny Says:

    Like the others I can’t believe I found this site. My nonna also used to sing us a version of this song. But it started out Staccia stacciola, rocking throughout, and ended with the fall back combined with a repeat phrase while tickling. So adorable. And now I have grandchildren and do the same, only repeating phonetically as best I can. I don’t know that I ever knew the actual words. Phonetically, this is the best I can do –

    Staccia stacciola,
    butania ju da forta
    ju da forta chal boo baw
    Cordy, cordy, cordy, cordy (fall back and tickling now)
    Mama chal boo baw

    If anybody can help with this I’d love to know more. :)

  14. Amy McManus Says:

    My Nonna and Nonno used to sing this to me and then to my son. They were from Le Marche. Here is how our family sang it, the long version (please forgive some misspellings):
    Staccia Minccia
    butalo giu la piazza
    la piazza delle mommoletta
    mommoletta d’oro
    d’oro e d’argento
    pese cinquecento
    cento e cinquanta
    la gallina canta
    canta gallina
    fal ovo per serafina
    serafina sulla finestra
    con tre cavalli in testa
    pass’a l’enfante
    con tre cavalli bianchi
    (forgotten part)
    e butalo giu laggiu laggiu…

  15. Lisa Says:

    Stephanie wrote asking for help with her mom
    s version of this rhyme:

    Hi
    I know that my mom used to rock me and sing this song to me….when I was a little girl like this…of course these are the words I remember… Thanks Stephanie

    Tacha
    mina cha
    pa pa gi
    baca cha
    la ca cha del bubu
    ma stefiolina
    badlejo badlejo badlejo

    If anyone can help, please let us know. -Thanks!

  16. Karen Rise Says:

    Very wonderful everybody! Like my sister (above – Sandra Denton…didn’t know she wrote that), I remember my Nana speaking this ditty with us toddlers. I am a bit of a linguistic fan maybe the reason I remember certain sounds, phrases…though, back then – 1948, the older family didn’t want to keep their tongue of origin …shame! But we loved the poem, “Staccia Minaccia…poi in babbo e andato a caccia. A caccia del bubu! Cost fa il tuo babbo? Lo butiamo giu, giu, …” but that’s not exactly how she said it…and one of you above said some words that I DO remember…one was “fulingne”. It is so interesting how we love the things our loved ones do with us that they don’t feel are important…guess that’s a lesson for us who are NOW the grandparents! 😉

  17. Karen Rise Says:

    Now I remember the phrase…ma ca fuliggine – translates to ” but some soot”. So perhaps that was all that was left of the boogie man, the bubu…some soot! Haha! This is fun!

  18. Paula Says:

    I am so excited to have found this, as my nonna used to play this with me as a child. What really made me happy was to know that it originated in Le Marche. Both my grandparents came from there: Colbordolo and San Costanzo. Here are the words as I remember them. She would sing while rocking me back and forth on her knees, facing her:

    Staccia Minaccia
    Il babbo va a caccia
    A caccia del bubu!
    Il bubu va giu giu giu giu giu… (which is when they would let me fall backwards on their knees)

  19. Matteo Says:

    Hi everybody!
    Here’s Matteo and Cristina, we’re a young italian couple and we just have found all these comments looking for “Staccia minaccia”, a song our granmas and grandpas sang to us!
    Just a couple of explainations:
    – the text means, literally, that the dad went hunting to catch the bogeyman (the booboo) and then it goes like “throw him down, throw him down, throw him down
    ” (Buttalo giù buttalo giù buttalo giù)

    This song is still sang in Northern Marche, and it still evoques memories!

    – the other one, Staccia Stacciola, took the name from Stacciola, a little bourgh near San Costanzo, always in Marche…which is really near us!

    Hope we have helped you…ciao!

  20. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for your help Matteo and Cristina!

  21. David B Says:

    My grandmother, from Pisa, used to sing: Staccia Minaccia, Gatino pela gato
    La gato famulino, l’oglio, sale, piscia (sp.) di animale

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