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Fermarono i cieli

Around the mid-18th century Alfonso Maria de' Liguori, founder of the Redemptorist Fathers, began to enrich his pastoral work among the poor of the Kingdom of Naples composing songs in both dialect and Italian. They were simple songs to teach the poorest of all the fundamentals of Christianity, creating special prayer groups.

Alfonso Maria de' Liguori

Many songs were linked to the holiday season and some became famous as "Tu scendi dalle stelle", "Quanne nascette ninno" and "Fermarono i cieli". The songs were usually accompanied by a variety of instruments, among them the mandolin, and the giant bagpipe, about two meters high, widespread in the Kingdom of Naples at the time.

In the video a performance with vocals Angelica and Lucia Castellani with "Alecrim" choir; guitar: Franco Gabellini; mandolin: Romeo Zammarchi.

A music sheet for piano here: fermarono-i-cieli.jpg

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[The video is not seen well with Internet Explorer 8 - in case watch it on YouTube directly.]
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Fermarono i cieli la loro armonia
cantando Maria la nanna a Gesù.
Con voce Divina la Vergine bella
Più vaga che stella diceva così:
The heavens stopped their harmony
when Mary was singing to Jesus a lullaby.
With Divine voice the beautiful Virgin
finer than a star was saying like this:
 
"Le guance di rose mi rubano il core;
o Dio, che si more quest'alma per te!
Dormendo, mio bene, tua Madre non miri
ma l'aura che spiri è fuoco per me.
"The cheeks of roses steal my heart;
O God, that my soul is dying for you!
While Sleeping, my love, you don't watch your mother
but the aura you breath is fire for me.
 
Dormi dormi fai la ninna nanna Gesù.
Dormi dormi fai la ninna nanna Gesù.
Sleep, sleep to this lullaby Jesus.
Sleep, sleep to this lullaby Jesus.
 
Mio Figlio, mio Dio, mio caro Tesoro,
Tu dormi e io moro per tanta beltà.
Si tacque ed al petto stringendo il Bambino,
al volto divino un bacio donò.
My Son, My God, my dear Treasure,
You sleep and I die at such beauty.
She was silent and holding the Child to her breast,
to the divine face a kiss she gave.
 
Il Figlio e la Madre, la Madre col Figlio
la rosa col giglio quest'alma vorrà.
La pianta col frutto, il frutto col fiore
saranno il mio amore, né altro amerò.
The Son and the Mother, the Mother with the Son
the rose with the lily this soul shall wish.
The tree with the fruit, the fruit with the flower
will be my love, no other I'll love.
 
Dormi dormi fai la ninna nanna Gesù.
Dormi dormi fai la ninna nanna Gesù.
Sleep, sleep to this lullaby Jesus.
Sleep, sleep to this lullaby Jesus.