Welcome to #MusicaMondays! The traditional Neapolitan song “Io te vurria vasa” (I Long to Kiss You)

MUROLO FOR BLOG

Since our NIAF 2013-2014 Region of Honor is Campania, we thought we should start a new tradition to celebrate the incomparable musical traditions of Naples and the Regione Campania!  Canzóna napulita, as it is known in the Neapolitan language. It has for centuries played an important role not just in the music of Italy, but in the general history of western European musical tradition!

With #MusicaMondays, we at NIAF will bring you the original Neapolitan lyrics to some of the most popular songs to come out of this tradition.  And, to make a full connection with our modern community, we will provide the English language translations side by side, so that those of us who have not yet learned Italian (or Neapolitan for that matter) can finally understand the beautiful meanings behind those songs that have made up the soundtrack of generations of Italian American life!

For our first song, we will translate Io te vurria vasa (I Long to Kiss You), first published in 1900 and considered a cornerstone of Neapolitan Song!

The song originates with a true love story, of the writer Vincenzo Russo for Enrichetta Marchese. A union between the penniless poet and the young girl, the daughter of a jeweler, was strongly opposed by her family. So Russo, in the great tradition of the star-crossed lover, wrote her this song.

Io te vurria vasa (I Long to Kiss You)

Neapolitan:

Ah! Che bell’aria fresca…
Ch’addore ‘e malvarosa…
E tu durmenno staje,
‘ncopp’a sti ffronne ‘e rosa!
‘O sole, a poco a poco,
pe’ stu ciardino sponta…
‘o viento passa e vasa
stu ricciulillo ‘nfronte!

I’ te vurría vasá…

I’ te vurría vasá…

ma ‘o core nun mmo ddice

‘e te scetá…

‘e te scetá!…

I’ mme vurría addurmí…

I’ mme vurría addurmí…

vicino ô sciato tujo,

n’ora pur’i’…

n’ora pur’i’!…

Tu duorme oje Rosa mia…
e duorme a suonno chino,
mentr’io guardo, ‘ncantato,
stu musso curallino…
E chesti ccarne fresche,
e chesti ttrezze nere,
mme mettono, ‘into core,
mille male penziere!

I’ te vurría vasá…

I’ te vurría vasá…

ma ‘o core nun mmo ddice

‘e te scetá…

‘e te scetá!…

I’ mme vurría addurmí…

I’ mme vurría addurmí…

vicino ô sciato tujo,

n’ora pur’i’…

n’ora pur’i’!…

Sento stu core tujo
ca sbatte comm’a ll’onne!
Durmenno, angelo mio,
chisà tu a chi te suonne…
‘A gelusia turmenta
stu core mio malato:
Te suonne a me?…Dimméllo!
O pure suonne a n’ato?

I’ te vurría vasá…

I’ te vurría vasá…

ma ‘o core nun mmo ddice

‘e te scetá…

‘e te scetá!…

I’ mme vurría addurmí…

I’ mme vurría addurmí…

vicino ô sciato tujo,

n’ora pur’i’…

n’ora pur’i’!…

English:

Ah ! What a nice air fresh …
What perfume of hollyhocks …
And you ‘re sleeping
On these rose leaves
The sun gradually climbs ,
and warms this garden …
a gentle wind passes and kisses
this curl on your brow!

I long to kiss you
I long to kiss you
But I do not have the heart
to wake you
to wake you
I long to drift into sleep
I long to drift into sleep
close to your breath
for just an hour
for just an hour

You sleep oh my Little Rose
and sleep deeply
while I stare enchanted
by your lips like coral
and such fresh meat
and these black tresses
put me in my heart
a thousand devilish thoughts

I long to kiss you
I long to kiss you
But I do not have the heart
to wake you
to wake you
I long to drift into sleep
I long to drift into sleep
close to your breath
for just an hour
for just an hour

I can hear your heart beats
pounding like the waves
you sleep, my angel
who knows who you are dreaming of
jealousy torments
this sick heart of mine
Do you dream of me? Tell me!

Or do you dream of another?

I long to kiss you
I long to kiss you
But I do not have the heart
to wake you
to wake you
I long to drift into sleep
I long to drift into sleep
close to your breath
for just an hour
for just an hour

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