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Ancient Calabrian (Italy) love song

Aggiornamento: 22 dic 2021

In the ancient villages on the Ionian Coast in Southern Italy there are powerful women who still haven’t stopped fighting, although their age. All of them have been fighting for all their life. They used to work very hard and to manage their big families, by keeping high their strong values.


While they were working in the countryside they used to sing a lot of beautiful songs.


I had the honor to record one of the old lady of Badolato (whishing to remain anonymous) singing. And as I thought it was an amazing experience.


The song she choose to sing for me is about love. A lover who met a girl in the moonlight. The girl, proudly told to the boy just to pass and not to touch her, if not she would lose her “adventure”. The girl, although young, was clever and she made a trap to the boy: she told him to come to her place in the night. That night, as the boy knocked on her door, she didn’t opened it and she sang to him from her room that now that he was there, he could hit his head again the wall, since she would not open to him. After having made fun of him, she tries to postpone their meeting to the time of the grape harvest. Do you think the boy will be ready to wait for her?




Lyrics:

Arzira cu' li luci de la luna n'affrontau 'na cotrara sula sula. Illa mi dissa: "Passa e no' toccara, ca si 'ni tocchi perdu la 'ventura. Veniti stasira tarda 'ca sugnu 'nte lu lettu sula sula". E mo' chi vinni la porta è serrata, ti po' pestara la testa ari murha E mo' chi vinni la porta è serrata, ti po' pestara la testa ari murha. E quando vena lu tempu de l'uva, quando li cotrareri vannu fora.


Translation:

Yesterday in the moonlight, I met a girl alone alone. She said to me: "Pass and do not touch me, that if you touch me I lose the adventure. Come late this evening, that I will be in bed alone alone." And now that I’ve come the door is closed, you can bang your head against the wall. And now that I've come the door is closed, you can bang your head against the wall. And when harvest time comes, when the girls go out to work.


Every time I hear this litany many emotions come up. It is a kind of trip to the past, it is how to get in touch with the old times. I hope you will enjoy it like I do!


Written by

Sonia Simpatico - JUMP Team


Picture: Franco Muià

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