We get many requests for help with Italian songs and rhymes. Most of the people who send in the questions are Italian-Americans who were sung Italian songs as kids by their immigrant relatives. They often never learned how to speak Italian, so the lyrics are usually phonetically given. Here are the emails…
1. A Sicilian Song – Une due tre
Hi mama lisa,
My great aunt was from piana del albanese, sicily. she used to sing us a song that was similar to ‘uno due tre‘. As best as i can spell it phonetically it was:
poleta poleta (polenta?)
ominfink you sapucatti
sapucatti vente tre
uno due y tre
Any ideas if it is a regional version of the song you have listed?
san jose, ca
2. Sicilian Song – Mani Manuzzi
I saw and wrote on your website about my grandparents from Marineo and Agrigento, Italy. As a child, I learned a Sicilian song for babies which I taught my children and also now my granddaughter. I don’t know the spelling, but it went like this:
Pan e figuzzi
Ora veni Papa
Porta le cosi e mindi ca
E si ne va
Pan e nuccidi
I think it means, little hands (clap), bread and figs, now comes daddy, he’ll bring the things and put them here and then go away. Bread and nuts, for my little darling.
Is this correct? Would you know the correct spelling in Sicilian?
Antoinette Mastropaolo Klima
PS when my granddaughter hears this she listens very carefully and seriously and then starts smiling to beat the band! Wish my mom was alive to see this. I miss my Italian roots.
3. Fala Nanna Bambin
Dear Ms Lisa:
This lovely Italien childrens Song I studied about 50 years ago with my German Voice Teacher. I copied the song and lost it. In this version it was made into a more of an art song by Castelnuovo-Tedeso. It also has a 2nd verse, talking about the papa…. if he does not return than there is – la piacere Mamma…. I would love to get the Castelnuovo Version of this song. The accompaniment is not difficult as I could play it. At the end of this song there is a long fermata as long as breath would last in a falsetto technique over the bel BAMBIN, which makes it more into an art song for a trained voice.
Any way to help here? thanks. Karla Winkler
4. Spasa Camino
I got your mail from the web. I don’t speak Italian but my mama was Italian. She used to sing to us a song that included something that sounds like:
“spasa camino … spasa camino … dove ….. su picorino … tutti michiamano …"
She died and I cant ask her any more, but I would appreciate if you could help me find out this song, either the lyrics, the words or the music.
5. Sicilian – Pati Maninni
Julie and I are about to have our 1st, a little girl. I remember my great grandparents from (Partinico) reciting a patty cake song. I had a friend who vaguely remembered it but her version doesn’t seem to rhyme. This we do know, it went (forgive any misspellings):
Pati maninni, Pati maninni
Veni mamma, Veni papa
porta cossette e se ne va…..
porta mandarli e se ne va……
and it ended with " che piccilindi " repeated emphatically!
I sure wish I could find someone who knows this Sicilian rhyme in complete form.
6. Sicilian Thunderstorm Saying
Do you know of a song or prayer that was either in Italian or a Sicilian dialect said during a thunderstorm.
I only remember bits and pieces now of what my grandmother taught me.
One of the lines loosely translated as “thunder and lightning pass, this is the house of Jesus and Mary”
7. Calabrian Lullaby called Bambinutsa
Dear Mama Lisa,
I hope you can help me. I am looking for an Italian song, (lullaby), that my father used to sing to me, my siblings, and his grandchildren.
Please excuse the spelling, but it was called, "Bambinutsa."
My grandparents were from Calabria, Italy, so it may be a Calabrian lullaby.
His first great-grandchild will be born soon, and I would love to find the lyrics to the song.
The family’s regret is that we did not write it down before he passed away.
I would greatly appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you.
The questions are numbered, so if you can help with any questions, please include the number you’re helping with in the comments below.
Most people are looking for the original lyrics with an English translation if possible. Thanks in advance for any help! –Mama Lisa
This article was posted on Thursday, November 17th, 2011 at 9:27 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Italian, Italian American, Italian Children's Songs, Italian Nursery Rhymes, Italy, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Readers Questions, Sicilian, Sicilian Rhymes, Sicily, USA. 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.
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