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Neapolitans

Salvo D'Acquisto

(15 oct 1920 -
23 sep 1943)

A national hero of Italy, posthumously awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valor.

Texts of the Neapolitan songs

Sentinella


Museca: Ernesto De Curtis,

Vierze: Roberto Bracco.

Anno: 1917

The sentry


Music: Ernesto De Curtis,

Lyrics: Roberto Bracco.

Year: 1917

The song tells about a soldier who, during the First World War, far away from Naples, stands guard the same night that in Naples there's a festival of Piedigrotta. He thinks of it, of his countrymen: will they come tonight to Piedigrotta or not, will they sing songs, take boat trips or not?

Instrumental version


Nuttata 'e Piererotta. Tutte dormono
'Ncopp' a 'sta cimma 'e monte cunquistato,
E i' faccio 'a sentinella e sto scetato.
'Nu passo, 'nu rummore. Chi va llà?

E vuje, paisane mieje, ca state a Napule,
Chesta nuttata, vuje, comm' 'a passate?
Nce jate a Piererotta o nun ce jate?
Ce sta chi, 'na canzona, cantarrà?

Vurria ca 'nu signale
Facisseve 'a Pusilleco
Pe' me putè 'nfurmà.
E 'n'auto, tale e quale,
Pe' dirve: "Ve ringrazio"
I' ne facesse 'a ccà.

Nuttata 'e Piererotta. Che silenzio!
Pure 'e cannune mò se sò addurmute.
'Na voce arriva a 'sti mmuntagne mute,
Vene d' 'o mare mio pe' me chiammà.

E a vuje, napulità, ca state a Napule,
Ve chiamma o no, stanotte, chistu mare?
Ne tene sempe varche 'e marenare?
'Na varchijata v' 'a putite fà?

Mannateme 'a risposta
Cu 'nu signale, subbeto
Facitela vulà.
Si me screvite,
'A posta ritarda
E po' succede
Ca nun me truvarrà.

E tu, Carmè, Carmè, ca siente sbattere
'O core, 'mpiett' a mme, pure 'a luntano,
Comm'io mm' 'o sto sentenno sott' 'a mano.
Che faje stanotte?… Chiagne?… Ma pecché?…

Si tanto doce ancora è 'o cielo 'e Napule,
Si ancora tene 'e stelle che teneva,
Si dice ancora 'e ccose che diceva,
Guardanno 'ncielo, parlarraje cu mme.

Ccà 'o cielo è tutto stelle
Che chiagnono. Ma 'e llacreme
Nun vonno fà vedè.
Io guardo 'e ddoje cchiù belle,
Una assumiglia a mamma,
Ll'auta assumiglia a tte.

translated by Natalia Chernega


It's night of Piedigrotta festival. All soldiers sleep
At the top of the conquered hill,
And I stand guard and don't sleep.
Footsteps, a noise. Halt! Who goes there?

And you, my countrymen, who are in Naples now,
How do you spend this night?
Do you go to Piedigrotta* or not?
Will anybody sing a song?

I would like you to give me a signal
From Posillipo**
To notify me.
And the same signal
To tell you: "Thank you"
I would give it to you from here.

It's night of Piedigrotta festival. What a silence!
Even the cannons have died down.
A voice comes to these silent mountains,
It goes from the sea to call me.

And you, Neapolitans, who are in Naples now,
Does the sea call you tonight or not?
Are there sailors' boats still at sea?
Can you take a boat trip?

Send me the answer
With a signal, at once,
Give it to me.
If you write to me,
The post will be late
And it can happen that
Your letter doesn't find me.

And you Carmela, Carmela, even from a distance
You hear my heart beating
As I hear it under my hand.
What are you doing tonight?… Do you cry?… But why?…

If the sky of Naples is still so beautiful,
If there are still the stars in it,
If it still tells you many things,
Looking at the sky you will talk to me.

Here the sky is full of stars that cry.
But their tears
They don't want to show.
I look at the two most beautiful,
The one looks like my mother,
The other looks like you.

translated by Natalia Chernega

* Piedigrotta is a section of the Chiaia quarter of Naples where festivals have been held for a long time,
** Posillipo is a quarter of Naples situated on the hill of the same name.