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  • Canzone d'i Zampognari (Song of the Bagpipers)
    Naples (Campania)

    Quanno nascette Ninno a Bettelemme,
    Era notte e parea mmiezo juorno!
    Maje le stelle
    Lustere e belle
    Se vedettero accussì!
    La chiù lucente
    Jette a chiammà li Magi, in Oriente.

    No n'cerano nemice ppe la terra,
    La pecora pascea co lo lione,
    Co le crapette
    Se vedette
    Lo liopardo pazzia:
    L'urzo e o vitiello,
    E co lu lupo 'npace u pecoriello.

    Guardavano le pecore li pastore;
    E l'angelo, sbrennente chiù de lu sole,
    E le dicette:
    Nò ve spaventate, nò!
    Contento e riso:
    La terra è arrenventata Paradiso!

    When Christ our Lord was born at Bethlehem afar,
    Altho' 't was night, there shone as bright as noon a star:
    Never so brightly
    Never so whitely
    Shone the stars, as on that night!
    The brightest star went
    Away to call the Wise Men from the Orient.

    There were no foes on Earth, or warfare blazing,
    Beside the lion then the sheep was grazing,
    Safe by the leopard
    Wander'd the shepherd
    With the bear the calf did play,
    The wolf so savage
    Would not the tender lamb molest or ravage

    While shepards in the fields their flocks were tending,
    A shining angel came from heav'n descending;
    When he beheld them,
    Straightway he told them:
    Hear my voice, be not afraid!
    Be glad, rejoice, now,
    For Earth has all become like Paradise, now!

    Return to Folk Songs Page

    Additional Resources
    Famous Italians Folk Dances Folktales
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    Marzo, Eduardo. Songs of Italy; sixty-five Tuscan, Florentine, Lombardian and other Italian folk- and popular songs. New York: G. Schirmer, 1904. 144


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