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.



This article was posted on Thursday, May 25th, 2006 at 9:56 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Italian, Italian Children's Songs, Italy, Languages, Questions, Staccia minaccia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

30 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.


  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

  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:

    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

    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

  22. Al Anelli Says:

    I’m hoping to piece together this poem my dad rocked me and my kids to. He had another verse thrown in From the Gubbio region of Umbria.

    Staccia Minaccia
    Il Babbo è andato a caccia

    Per oggi per domani
    per tutto il carnivale
    il canivale e basta
    ce fare la pasta
    la pasta del bubu

    Il bubù lo buttiamo giù??
    questa figlia?
    buttala giu!

  23. Mark Frulla Says:

    Hello everyone,

    I’m so glad I found this site. All four of my grandparents came to America through Ellis Island. In fact, we bought bricks with our family names: Frulla and Scarpetti. All four grandparents were from Le Marche region of Italy…Senigallia and Pesaro. Both of my grandmothers rocked me and sang this song. We all grew up in Ridgefield, CT and the names Tulipani and Bedini are very familiar. I’m related to some Bedini’s. Nonetheless, depending on the dialect, the version I recall is most closely related to the first post by Thomas Tulipani.

  24. Curt Says:

    Here’s the version I remember. Pardon the spelling, I don’t know Italian.

    Staccia Manina
    Cabelli dacina
    Ri goto Del gato
    Tutala compania

    FRUSTI VIA (is when she would dip us down)


  25. Barbara Says:

    I have been trying to figure out/remember this song for decades! My dad used to sing it while bouncing us on his knee. All I could remember were the first two words, Staccia Minaccia, and that it rhymed. When I saw Paula’s post, that definitely rang a bell, and I believe those were the lyrics my dad used. And! He was an Italian immigrant, from Pesaro/Le Marche region. This made my day to find this. And maybe I have some cousins here :)

  26. Grace Says:

    I have searched for this song & it’s origin for years. My grandma sang this to all of us as a rocking song as kids. We are starting to have our own children now and she’s no longer here to explain where this came from or what it means. She was never fluent speaking but understood her mother (my great grandma) so I’m sure things got lost in translation/as it was passed on. This isn’t exactly what I was looking for but it’s the closest I’ve found. If anyone could tell me where this comes from, any history or your own version I’d be eternally grateful. I found other lyrics & I placed in parentheses the variation we used. The first one is where I get lost because it’s not exactly Italian. No idea how “cofadina” is supposed to be spelled. I’d assume co fa dina but no clue what happened there. My great grandma came from Mondolfo, Italy. Any help on that specifically would be great, thanks!

    Staccia menena
    (Co fa dina? cena) che faremo per cena
    Farema maccheroni
    (For papa & the nonni) per babbo, nonno e zia
    per tutta la compagnia
    e al bimbo lo buttiamo via! (We didn’t use this last line)

  27. Elizabeth Gaudio Says:

    My dad was originally from Naples, Italy, and he used to sing a song while rocking us on his lap. I can’t seem to find it anywhere, but the words go something like this (forgive my errors!):

    Zaddi za
    Bene ……
    Bene da ……
    Quanda vi
    Chista gi
    Salem bet
    La casa stella

    If anyone, anyone can help me with this, many thanks!!!!!

    Merry Christmas!

  28. Rosanne Poveromo Says:

    My grandmother and mother sang this to me and my kids. The version my mom said to us was:
    Staccia Minaccia
    Babbo e andato a caccia
    A matsato una beccaccia
    Beccaccia del bubu!
    Butila giu giu giu giu giu…

    A beccaccia is a bird. In English it’s called a woodcock, they are night dwellers with long bill

  29. Darlene Says:

    Mother in law used to have the babies face her with them standing and would rock them slowly but getting faster than at the end pinching their cheeks. I am not Italian but it sounded like…

    Stitchee staccia
    Cina nina face
    Yeta la piace
    Staccida la mia
    Et dopa cina face

    Can anyone help with this at all?

  30. Lee Says:

    I believe most of the previous interpretations of Staccia Minacci are in various dialects. My father had a dialect also but the song he sang to me and my children was in the universal Italian language.
    Staccia minaccia,
    (Name of child) andatta a caccia,
    Caccia dello suoro
    Momento ti Adorno
    Oro, argento,
    Si pesa quattro cento,
    Cento cinquanta,
    La mi gallina canta,
    Canta gallina,
    Responda la regina,
    Regina sta in finestra,
    Con tre carona in testa,
    Passano tre infanti,
    Sul tre cavalli bianchi,
    Bianca la stella,
    La mi patrona bella,
    Un piatto di macaroni,
    Ben conditti, ben salatti,
    Butta giu (name of child)

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