Can Anyone Help with an Italian Song That’s Similar to “This Little Piggy”?

Susan wrote that she’s looking for the Italian version of “This Little Piggy”, with “Giovanni” instead of the “piggy”. Here’s what she emailed me…

Hi,

I just came across your site and first I have to say it’s absolutely wonderful! I wanted to know if you’d be able to help me. I am looking for a song in Italian, the sound was similar to that of this little piggy went to the market etc. (the American rhyme). My father used to sing the song while doing the same thing you would for the American version on our toes. I don’t remember anything about a pig, but it started with Giovanni. I know my information is quite limited and reaching out to you is a stretch but I’ve searched all over the Internet and cannot find anything.

Thank you,
Susan

If anyone can help out Susan, please let us know in the comments below. She’d be most grateful!

Thanks!

Lisa

This article was posted on Monday, September 22nd, 2008 at 10:42 am and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Italian, Italian Children's Songs, Italian Nursery Rhymes, Italy, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Questions, Readers Questions, Toe Rhymes. 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.

20 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with an Italian Song That’s Similar to “This Little Piggy”?”

  1. paoletta Says:

    Hi Susan I know an Italian song about three little pigs, but there is no Giovanni on the text. I think it has the Disney music…

    we are three little pigs, we are three little brothers, no one can separate us…trallalà..

    can it be?

  2. Susan Says:

    Thank you Paoletta for responding but Im certain there was a giovanni in there. Ive been trying to remember and I know that giovanni wasnt an the beginning, but the third . First one was pico piquero, then I think grano granero ? forgive my spelling, then giovanni
    but thank you for trying

  3. Lisa B Says:

    My g-grandmother spoke only Italian and this is how my mom remembers the thing like this little piggy she would do with our fingers – we call it (phonetically) cadja-stay-va-na-funtanel. this is how it started, the rest had something to do with cheese, meat, milk, etc with each finger then some funny thing with the thumb. I have been looking for the orig w/ translation forever! She was from Naples area if that helps…

  4. Roberto Roberti Says:

    My grandfather was from Abruzzo, and he would tell us something like “this little piggy.” I can’t remember much, and neither can my relatives of my father’s generation. But perhaps this will jog someone else’s memory:

    Chistu dita, vuol mania’ (mangiare)
    Chistu dita, non ci sta (non c’e ne)

    And it would always end with the last one getting “nu schiaff’ allo muso”, but perhaps that was my grandfather’s own interpolation.

  5. emanuela Says:

    LOOK TO http://www.infanziaweb.it/filastrocche/fila_5dita.htm FOR THIS RELEASE AND OTHERS.

    DICE IL POLLICE: NON C’E’ PIU’ PANE!
    DICE L’INDICE: COME FAREMO?
    DICE IL MEDIO: LO COMPREREMO
    DICE L’ANULARE: CE N’E’ UN PEZZETTINO
    DICE IL MIGNOLO: DATELO A ME CHE SONO IL PIU’ PICCOLINO.

    SAYS THE THUMB: THERE IS NO BREAD!
    SAYS THE INDEX: HOW ARE WE GOING?
    SAYS THE MIDDLE: THE SHOPPING
    SAYS RING FINGER: THERE IS A PIECE
    MIGNOLO SAYS: GIVE IT TO ME WHICH ARE THE MOST CHILDREN

  6. Carlo Says:

    My grandparents, also from Abruzzo, used to use a rhyme which I only learned phonetically. It went something like this:

    Io c’ho fame
    e non c’e pane
    e come faremo
    Lo ruberemo
    e nica, nica, che rube, se pica

    I always understood the translation to be something like:

    I’m hungry
    And there is no bread
    How will we eat?
    Let’s steal!
    No, no, [those who] steal get hanged!

  7. Karen Says:

    My Nuna who is Calabrese used to sing a song on our fingers when we were little that went something like this:
    Mini minel (the littlest finger of all)
    furor de anillo (the finger that wears the ring)
    grande de tut (the longest finger of all)
    Liqua quiare (the finger that stirs the pot)
    Gidi

  8. Karen Says:

    The rest is Gidi podi fokolata all I remember is that the thumb stirs the coals of the fire. Sound familiar to anyone?

  9. denisa Says:

    The version I know was like the comment above from Roberto. My grandmother was from Partinico. “Chistu voglio pane, Chistu si dici Non ce Ne, Chistu si di Camini cu mia, voglio insengiare la via, ……and it goes on about stealing the bread and rumning all the way home

  10. Holly Says:

    My mother would do this on the palms of our hands. She told us it was something to the effect this is the pond where the little duck stands or swims. She would move her finger in a circle and tap the middle of the circle (in the middle of the palm).
    The previous replies each have some words I remember. I would love to learn it so I can teach my grand daughters.
    Thank you for helping!
    Ciao!

  11. Lynda Says:

    I too am looking for this nursery rhyme. Le marche dialect.

    It starts something like this: fountana fontenella

    Can anyone help?

  12. Federica Says:

    Hi Susan,
    I’m an italian girl and I can say that there isn’t the Ialian version of the song you’ve sayed. The song that Paoletta is a song of Disney cartoon of the three littlle piggy (the story):
    Siam tre piccoli porcellin, siamo tre fratellin,mai nessun ci dividerà, trallalero trallallà
    There are a lot of regional variations of the poem of 5 fingers.
    I don’t know anythig…
    Sorry Lynda, I don’t help you because I’m not from Marche…
    I hope that I can help you for other things. Write another comments if you will ask me other.
    Sorry for my poor English
    Federica

  13. Marie Moore Says:

    ok I am going to totally ruin this but my mom used to say something like:

    Canja stea na voon dinella jivva via la babadella
    gee stoo la gaul, gee stoo man gowl etc…I dont know…lol but I wish I remembered the whole thing!!

  14. Wayne Says:

    Holly, is this the poem you’re looking for?

    L’anatra dice:
    qua qua qua
    presto tuffatevi nel fosso qua.
    Ma gli anatroccoli hanno paura
    stan sulla riva, ch’è più sicura.
    Treman tutti – pio pio pio
    è fredda l’acqua non vengo io.
    E allora l’anatra – qua qua qua
    la volpe capita eccola qua.
    Tutti ci credon la vedon già
    tutti si tuffano
    pio pio qua qua.

    http://www.filastrocche.it/contenuti/anatre-al-fosso/

  15. Karl Says:

    Carlo,

    My family, also from Abruzzo, knew the same version as you know. I learned it from my Nonna, who was from Pescina (though it might also have been from my Nonno, who was from Colledimacine.

  16. Gina Says:

    My grandmother came from Abruzzo (Atri specifically) and used to sing a song that she compared to the 3 little pigs, but when I would ask what it meant translated directly, she said the last part meant “kill the bugs” and whereas the American version is done on the toes, this version was to be said on fingers working backwards from pinky to thumb. I only know the song phonetically so if anyone knows the actual words, I’d love to know them:

    Di-di-da-Della
    Fiord-i-nella
    LON-i-cha-bana
    CHOCK-ah-bootch
    POO-ti-calla POO-ti-calla POO-ti-calla

  17. Bill Says:

    I remember my grandmother singing this and my father does it with my son now. Instead of ending “wee wee wee wee wee all the way home” it goes “tutta tutta tutta tutta tutta” they’re from outside of Parma about an hour south of Milan

  18. Amy Says:

    Yes! Holly (above), that’s what my grandmother would do. It was all in Italian and it was about a little duck swimming around a pond. She would move her finger in a circle around my palm. The end of the poem was similar to this little piggy..she would touch each finger and then repeat something maybe about the little duck. I would love to know all the words.

  19. Trish Says:

    Was anyone successful in finding this “duck” song in actual Italian? I’m coming up with nothing. My great grandmother sang it to my mother and aunt and they sang it to us phonetically, but would love the actual words. Grazie!

  20. Marc Riolo Says:

    My grandmother was from the Siragusa area of Sicily and all I can remember is her saying something like “click, click, click avadole” when she got to our baby toe. Does anyone remember something like that at all?

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