25 dic 2011

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Tamurriata nera: History of Naples in a song

tamurriata nera
Tamurriata nera
Below, the song "Tamurriata Nera"with lyrics translated in english.
Tamurriata nera - (Black Drumsong) was written in Neapolitan language - not in Italian - in 1944 and is probably the song that best helps to understand the history of the Italian end of the WWII, when that is in Italy were allies, and the Nazi-Fascists were leaving the country: the times were changing ...
'Tammurriata Nera' tells the story of a woman who gives birth to a child of color, designed by a soldier during the American occupation.

The woman, however, accept the child, strong in its mother's love.
The entire story is told by a kind of "greek chorus", which mocks the fact that as the woman's son turnarounds, buckled or Italian names as Ciccio, Antonio, Peppe, Ciro, who gave birth to the child is still black ...
The birth of the song was inspired by an incident in Nicolardi, (near Naples), he saw a commotion in the maternity ward at the hospital in Naples, Loreto Mare, where he was executive officer.
A young man had in fact given birth to a child of color, and in fact was not the only one in that period to be pregnant African American soldiers.
The beauty and charm of this song is that with the tarantella as traditional music describes a very current story, cruel and yet so playful, a little masterpiece of Neapolitan music.

PS: video made with scene of movie "Shoeshine" a masterpiece of Italian cinema, that talks about that period.

'Tamurriata nera' Lyrics in english language:


Don’t understand what’s happenin’ sometimes 
you don’t believe your eyes, nay, you don’t. 
A baby’s born and he’s all black, 
and his mom calls him Ciro, 
yeah, she calls him Ciro!* 
You may believe it or not, 
You may believe it or not, 
you may call him Ciccio or Antonio, 
you may call him Peppe or Ciro** 
but the baby’s all black, 
black like don’t know what! 
Street gossips keep a-talkin’ ‘bout all this: 
“Now, it’s no uncommon case, you see thousands of ‘em! An’ sometimes one look is enough an’ the gal’s left struck, yea, left struck. 
Well, one look, that’s fuzz, well, she’s left struck, oh yeah, 
now go find who dun it, 
go find who made the good shot, 
and the baby’s all black, 
black like don’t know what! 
The ol’ wiseman in the street says 
“Let’s talk ‘bout it, cuz if we talk about it, then we can explain how all this gone. 
Corn grows where you sow it, 
and when you sow corn, 
it’s always corn what grows up.
”Yeah, go tell it to mom, yeah, Yeah, go tell it to me too, you may call him Ciccio or Antonio, you may call him Peppe or Ciro but the baby’s all black, black like don’t know what! 
The gals from Capodichino make love to black soldiers, 
the black soldier have their cumshots 
and the gals yay they get preggo. 
American Express, 
get me money an’ 
hurry up or the Police 
will come in and do what they want. 
Yesterday nite in Piazza Dante 
I had an empty stomach, 
wasn’t it for smuggling, 
I’d now be stone dead. 
Lay that pistol down, babe, 
Lay that pistol down. 
Pistol packin’ mama, 
Lay that pistol down. 
Cigarettes for dad, 
Sweets for mom, 
Biscuits for the kids 
And two dollars for the gal. 
Concetta and Nanninella they liked sweets so much, 
now nobody wants to marry ‘em 
and they get in whorehouses. 
The Neapolitan girls make babies with Americans, 
see you today or tomorrow at Porta Capuana. 
 And Churchill, 
that ol’ fool stole all mattresses out, 
and America to spite him tore him all hair from his breast. 
Yesterday was eatin’ peelings with my hair on my ears, 
my hair, 
my hair, 
a cup of camomile tea, 
camomile tea, 
camomile tea, 
and frisella bread with boiled meat, 
frisella bread, 
frisella bread, 
and the monk’s gotten the scab, 
the scab on ass an’ cock, 
goddam what he’s stinkin’, 
god, stinkin’ like a dead dog 
may he burn in hell!

Lay that pistol down, 
babe, Lay that pistol down. 
Pistol packin’ mama,
Lay that pistol down.

*/** Typical Neapolitan names

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