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Authors of the Neapolitan songs

Libero Bovio

(june 8, 1883, Naples – may 26, 1942, Naples)

Libero Bovio, Neapolitan lyricist, writer, playwright and journalist, was born on june 8, 1883 in Naples. His father Giovanni was a professor of philosophy at the University of Naples and mother Bianca was a pianist, music teacher.
To educate his son to love music, Bovio's mother played the piano Beethoven, but listening for the classic music, little Libero more and more was making sure of the superiority of the Neapolitan music of Gambardella and Di Capua.

After the father's death (in 1903) twenty-years-old Libero Bovio had to leave the college to find any job. He was hired to the editors of daily newspaper "Don Marzio" and then he worked as a clerk in National Museum of Naples, but never forgetting his real passion to music and theater.

Libero Bovio was author of the most famous Neapolitan songs, including "Passione", "Tu ca nun chiagne", "Silenzio cantatore", "Canta pe' mme!", "Reginella", " 'O paese d' 'o sole", "Guapparia", that he had written with the collaboration of the best musicians of his epoch.

His first success Libero Bovio had in 1910 with the song "Surdate" (Soldiers) set to music by Evemero Nardella. In 1934, together with the Neapolitan composers Nicola Valente, Ernesto Tagliaferri and Gaetano Lama, Libero Bovio had founded a musical publishing house named "The workshop of the four" (La bottega dei quattro).

Libero Bovio was always the one of the first persons who was invited to theatrical performances, but, having a sense of humor, even in such places he was cheering everybody up with his witty replies and jokes.

He was married to Maria Di Furia and had two children: daughter Bianca and son Aldo.

Besides Neapolitan songs Libero Bovio was author of many songs in Italian language, the most famous of them

Three poets:
(from left to right) Ferdinando Russo,
Salvatore Di Giacomo, Libero Bovio.
are "Signorinella" and "Cara piccina". He was also the author of many plays for theater.

In 1941 Libero Bovio was very ill and he died on may 26, 1942 at the age of almost 59 years old in his house in the historic center of Naples.

Shortly before he died Libero Bovio had written the verses "Addio a Maria" (Farewell to Maria) that he had dedicated to his wife. Later these verses were engraved on his tombstone.

His son Aldo Bovio was also the author of texts of some Neapolitan songs, written in the 1950s.