LogoLogo

Mamma

Mamma Written in 1940, music by Cesare Andrea Bixio, lyrics by Bixio himself and Bruno Cherubini. In 1941, a film, directed by Guido Brignone, starring Beniamino Gigli, in the role of a famous tenor who returns from the States with his American wife, just in time the meet his old mother (starring Emma Grammatica), who can finally die in peace. It well represented the American dream of the Italian immigrants, and the nostalgia for the homeland, and their mother at home, alone.

At a time when the war was about to lead to disaster Mussolini and the mothers of the regime, Mamma was not only entertainment, but a product at the dawn of an industry, which inherited the musicality of Naples, the tradition of the variety theater and café chantant, a bridge between the past and the future.

Mamma became a hit song in the States in the voice of Italian-American Connie Francis (aka Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero, born in Newark, 12 December 1938). An event clearly points out this emotional power of the song: one day, while Connie Francis was performing in Las Vegas, sitting in the front row with her musicians was Elvis Presley, who suddenly broke into tears - he had recently lost his mother - and fled leaving the room. Then he sent two dozen red roses to Francis to apologize.

One of the most "Italian" songs, celebrating an identity built on the mother figure, Mamma became an international, "global" hymn in all languages, "Mom", "Mutter", "Mama", "Maman"... emotional, maybe for the explosion of the music at the refrain, maybe because this "magical" name touches the secret chords in every heart.

Among the most famous interpreters of the song were tenor Beniamino Gigli, Claudio Villa, Andrea Bocelli, and Luciano Pavarotti, who recorded an album all devoted to Bixio's songs. In the videos below, a remastered version from a movie with Beniamino Gigli, and Luciano Pavarotti's unforgettable performance at Budapest.

Follow ItalyHeritage on Facebook:

 
Mamma, son tanto felice
perché ritorno da te.
La mia canzone ti dice
ch'è il più bel giorno per me!
Mamma, I'm so happy
because I'm returning to you.
My song tells you
it is the most beautiful day for me!
 
Mamma son tanto felice...
Viver lontano perché?
Mamma I'm so happy ...
live so far away... why?
 
Mamma, solo per te la mia canzone vola,
mamma, sarai con me,
tu non sarai più sola!
Quanto ti voglio bene!
Mamma, just for you my song flies,
mamma, you will be with me,
you will no longer be alone!
How much I love you!
 
Queste parole d'amore
che ti sospira il mio cuore
forse non s'usano più,
These words of love
that my heart sighs for you
maybe are not used anymore,
 
Mamma, ma la canzone mia più bella sei tu!
Sei tu la vita
e per la vita non ti lascio mai più!
Mamma, but my most beautiful song is you!
You are life
and for life I won't leave you ever again!
 
Sento la mano tua stanca,
cerca i miei riccioli d'or.
Sento, e la voce ti manca,
la ninna nanna d'allor.
Oggi la testa tua bianca
io voglio stringere al cuor.
I feel your tired hand,
searching for my golden curls.
I hear, and your voice is failing,
the lullaby of long ago.
Today your white head
I want to hold to my heart.
 
Mamma, solo per te la mia canzone vola,
mamma, sarai con me,
tu non sarai più sola!
Quanto ti voglio bene!
Mamma, just for you my song flies,
mom, you will be with me,
you will no longer be alone!
How much I love you!
 
Queste parole d'amore
che ti sospira il mio cuore
forse non s'usano più,
Mamma, ma la canzone mia più bella sei tu!
These words of love
that my heart sighs for you
maybe are not used anymore,
Mamma, but my most beautiful song you are!
 
Sei tu la vita
e per la vita non ti lascio mai più!
Mamma, mai più!
You are life
and through life I'll never leave you again!
Mamma, never again!