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The tambourine

Texts of the Neapolitan songs

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Core furastiero


Museca: E.A. Mario,

Vierze: Alfredo Melina.

Anno: 1923

Foreigner's heart


Music: E.A. Mario,

Lyrics: Alfredo Melina.

Year: 1923


'Stu core sbarca a Napule
Comm'a 'nu gran signore,
Comm'a 'nu gran signore!
Campaje tant'anne 'America,
Campaje tant'anne 'America…
Mò chi 'o cunosce cchiù, poveru core?
Mò chi è?... 'Nu furastiero
'Nnammurato d' 'a città…
" 'O 'scellenza! – fa 'o cucchiere –
Signurì, pozz'avutà?"
E se ne va, cuntento, cu 'o cucchiere,
'Stu core ca s'è fatto furastiero.

E corre via Caracciolo,
Lucente e tutta sole,
Lucente e tutta sole!
"Mussiù, chist'è Pusilleco!
Mussiù, chist'è Pusilleco!"
Ma 'o furastiero, zitto, a 'sti pparole.
Se ricorda chelli strate
Ca 'o facettero sunnà.
Quanta coppie 'e 'nnammurate
Fino a tarde, 'int'a ll'està!
E chiacchiarea sul'isso 'stu cucchiere,
Ca piglia 'o core mio pe' furastiero.

Po' se fa notte. Napule
È tutta 'nu sbrennore!
È tutta 'nu sbrennore!
E saglie 'ncopp' ô Vommero,
E saglie 'ncopp' ô Vommero
Addò se fece core chistu core.
"Signurì, che ne dicite
D' 'e bbellizze 'e 'sta città?
'O 'scellenza, vuje chiagnite?
Signurì, chi v' 'o ffa fà?"
E nun se fa capace 'stu cucchiere:
Si chiagne 'o core… nun è furastiero!



My heart has led me to Naples
As a great signor,
As a great signor!
I lived so many years in America,
I lived so many years in America…
Now who can recognize me, my poor heart?
Now who am I?... A foreigner
Who is in love with this city…
"Your Excellency! – the coachman tells me –
Signor, can I take you a ride?"
And with this coachman I go away, full of joy,
With heart that became foreign.

And we drive down Caracciolo street,
Bright and full of sun,
Bright and full of sun!
"Monsieur, this is Posillipo*!
Monsieur, this is Posillipo!"
But the foreigner doesn't answer these words.
He remembers these streets
That made him dream.
How many loving couples
Till midnight, in summer!
And only this coachman chatters,
He takes me for a foreigner.

Then the night falls. All of Naples
Glows with lights!
Glows with lights!
And we rise to Vomero*,
And we rise to Vomero
Where my heart knew love for the first time.
"Signor, what do you say
About the beauty of this city?
Your Excellency, are you crying?
Signor, but what makes you do it?"
And this coachman can't understand:
If the heart cries… it's not foreign!

translated by Natalia Chernega

* Posillipo and Vomero are districts of Naples.