Can Anyone Help with a Sicilian Rhyme?

Marie wrote asking about a Sicilian Rhyme…

Hello Lisa,

Just found your site and it’s very interesting.

My sisters and I are recalling a little “diddy” my mother used to say to us when our feet fell “asleep.”

Can you help please?

What we can remember is this – which we all disagreed on how to spell them.

Spieg di pedi
L’angiolo veni
Veni cantata
Spiega ?????

Thank you for your gracious help.

Marie (Giuggio) Hodge

I asked Rt. Rev. Joseph Francavilla if he could help us, since he had helped us with another Sicilian rhyme. He wrote:

I’ll try. “Hasten O feet, the angel comes, he comes singing, hasten… ”

Spieg di could be “Sbrigati piedi from sbrigare to hurry or hasten.

Happy to help out. Brings back many happy memories.

When I sent this to Marie, she wrote back:

Thank you for your effort on that Sicilian rhymes. It has stymied us for nearly a year.
I shall add it to the words I have and as soon as I find the true rhyme I’ll share them with you.

The verb svegliare – to wake up…
Svegli di piedi – Wake up feet
L’angielo veni – The angels are coming
Veni cantata – They come singing
Svegli – ?????

I have been trying to learn the Italian language a huge fete! My mother always asked me to answer her in Italian, but I refused. (stub-bor- en!)

sbrigare – to hurry or hasten

“Hasten O feet
the angel comes,
he comes singing,
Hasten . . .”

I really appreciate you replying to me, Lisa. I’ll let you know when I solve the mystery.

Marie Hodge

If anyone can help Marie with the rest of this rhyme, please let us know in the comments below.


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Sunday, June 13th, 2010 at 8:32 am and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Italian, Italian Nursery Rhymes, Italy, Languages, Mama Lisa, Questions, Readers Questions, Sicilian, Sicilian Rhymes. 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.

2 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with a Sicilian Rhyme?”

  1. Marie (Giuggio) Hodge Says:

    My request above regarding the 4 line in Italian . . . . I said it was Sicilian, but my mother spoke real Italian as well as Sicilian, so it could be the real Italian.

    Thank you in advance if someone solves the mystery.

    Marie Hodge

  2. Jennifer Debilio Says:

    Hi Mamma Lisa,

    Thank you for your great website. When I saw this post, I became hopeful that you could help me, too. My Sicilian grandma used to sing a little song to wake us up. My brother remembers that he thinks it had something to do with a school bell ringing. Here is what he wrote down for me from what he remembers it sounded like (I know it doesn’t seem to make any sense). My grandma passed last year at 99 years old. I sing this to my kids, but know it isn’t right. I’d be so grateful if you, or anyone, could help us recapture this memory. Thanks so much.

    “Swossi bambino latina la scuola la mamma ti amo e la missa de sona.”

Leave a Reply