Neapolitan songs

Fenesta che lucive e mò nun luce (16th century)

Fenesta che lucive e mò nun luce
segn'è ca Nenna mia stace malata!
S'affaccia la sorella e me lo dice:
"Nennella toja è morta e s'è atterrata!"
Chiagneva sempe ca durmeva sola.
"Mò dorme cu li muorte accumpagnata!"

Addio, fenesta, rèstate 'nzerrata,
ca Nenna mia mò nun se pò affacciare.
Io cchiù nun passarràggio da stà strada:
vaco a lo Camposanto a passiare.
'Nzino a lo juorno che la morte 'ngrata
mma face Nenna mia ire a truvare!

The window which once shone and which shines no more
shows that my sweetheart is ill.
Her sister leans out and says to me:
"Your little sweetheart is dead and buried."
She used to weep because she slept alone.
"Now she sleeps with the dead!"

Farewell, window, you will stay locked,
and my sweetheart will not lean out.
I shall never walk along this road again:
I shall walk through the cemetery.
Until the day when heartless death
will call me to search out my beloved!

Santa Lucia (by Teodoro Cottrau, mid 19th Century)

Sul mare luccica              On the sea shines
l'astro d'argento;           a silver star
placida è l'londa,             peaceful are the waves
prospero è il vento             favorable are the winds.
...
Oh vieni agile                Oh come my
barchetta mia                  agile boat.
Santa Lucia                Saint Lucy
Santa Lucia                Saint Lucy

'O sole mio (Eduardo di Capua)

Che bella cosa 'na iurnata 'e sole,
n'aria serena doppo 'na tempesta!
Pe' ll'aria fresca pare già 'na festa
Che bella cosa 'na iurnata 'e sole.
Ma n'atu sole cchiù bello, oi ne',
'o sole mio sta 'nfronte a te,
'o sole, 'o sole mio sta 'nfronte a te
sta 'nfronte a te!
Luceno 'e llastre d' 'a fenesta toia;
'na lavannara canta e se ne vanta
e pe' tramente torce, spanne e canta,
luceno 'e llastre d' 'a fenesta toia.
Ma n' atu sole cchiù bello, oi ne'
'o sole mio sta 'nfronte a te,
'o sole, 'o sole mio sta 'nfronte a te
sta 'nfronte a te!

Quanno fa notte e 'o sole se ne scenne,
me vene quase 'na malincunia;
sotto 'a fenesta toia restarria
quanno fa notte e 'o sole se ne scenne.
Ma n'atu sole cchiù bello, oi ne',
'o sole mio sta 'nfronte a te,
'o sole, 'o sole mio sta 'nfronte a te
sta 'nfronte a te!

What a beautiful thing is a sunny day,
a serene (clear) air after a storm
The sky is clear after the storm
The fresh breeze makes it seem a holiday.
What a beautiful thing is a sunny day,
But there is another sun,
more beautiful, oh (my) dear,
my sun is in your face

The panes shine from your window;
a laundress sings and is proud of it
and as she wrings the laundry, spreads it to dry, and sings,
the panes shine from your window.
But there is another sun,
more beautiful, oh (my) dear,
my sun is in your face

When it is night and the sun descends,
a near melancholy comes to me;
beneath your window I would remain
when it is night and the sun descends.
But there is another sun,
more beautiful, oh (my) dear,
my sun is in your face

Torma a Surriento

Vide ‘o mare quant’è bello,
spira tantu sentimento,
comme tu a chi tiene mente,
ca scetato ‘o faie sunnà.
Guarda, guà, chistu ciardino;
siente, siè, sti sciure arance:
nu profumo accussì fino
Dinto ‘o core se ne va...

E tu dice: “I’ parto, addio!”
T’alluntane da stu core...
Da sta terra de l’ammore...
Tiene ‘o core ‘e nun turnà?
Ma nun me lassà,
Nun darme stu turmiento!
Torna a Surriento,
Famme campà!

Vide ‘o mare de Surriento
che tesoro tene nfunno;
Chi ha girato tutto ‘o munno
nun l’ha visto comm’ a ccà.
Guarda attuorno sti Sserene,
ca te guardano ‘ncantate
e te vonno tantu bene...
te vulessero vasà.

E tu dice, eccetera.

See how beautiful the sea is,
it breathes so much emotion,
just as you do for the one who looks at you,
that when he is awake you make him dream.
Look at this garden,
smell these orange blossoms,
a perfume so delicate
goes into one’s heart.

And you say, “I am leaving, farewell.”
You take yourself from this heart...
from this land of love...
Do you have the courage not to return?
But don’t leave me,
don’t give me this torment!
Come back to Sorrento,
let me live.

Look at the sea of Sorrento,
what treasure does it hold in its depths?
He who has traveled the world
has not seen it as it is here.
Look about at the Sirens
that look at you enchanted
and love you so much...
they would like to kiss you.

And you say, etc.