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Ma se ghe pensu

Ma se ghe pensu This traditional song in the Genoese dialect is a dialogue between a son and father, who emigrated to South America many years before but wants to return, to "rest his bones next to his grandmother", while the son is happy in the new country.
The lyrics well express the homesickness of the first generation of immigrants. The song was written and composed by Mario Cappello (Genoa, 13 January 1895 - 30 June 1954) in 1925, transcribed in music by Attilio Margutti, and performed for the first time by soprano Luisa Rondolotti at the Teatro Orfeo in Genoa. In the video below the song is performed by Mina's great voice.

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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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U l'ëa partiu sensa ûna palanca,
l'ëa zà trent'anni, forse anche ciû.
U l'aia luttou pe mette i dinæ a-a banca
pe poèisene ancun ûn giurnu turna in zû
e fäse a palassinna e o giardinettu,
cu o rampicante, e a cantinna e o vin,
a branda attaccâ a i ærboui, a û su lettu,
pe daghe 'na schenâ séia e mattin.
Ma u figgiu ghe dixeiva: "Nu ghe pensâ
a Zena cöse ti ghe vêu turnâ?"
He left without a penny,
it was already thirty years, maybe even more.
He had struggled to put money in the bank
and to be able one day to come up there
and build a house and small garden,
with a creeper plant, with a cellar and wine,
the cot attached to tree trunks for a bed,
to rest there evening and morning.
But the son said to him: "Don't think about
Genoa, what for will you go back there?"
 
Ma se ghe pensu allua mi veddu u mâ,
veddu i mæ munti e a ciassa da Nünsiâ,
riveddu u Righi e me s'astrenze o chêu,
veddu a Lanterna, a cava, e lazzû o mêu...
Riveddu a séia Zena illûminâ,
veddu la Föxe e sentu franze o mâ
e allua mi pensu ancun de riturnâ
a pösâ e osse duve'òu mæ madunnâ.
But when I think of it, then I see the ocean,
I see my mountains and Piazza della Nunziata,
I see the Righi and my heart is in pain,
I see the Lantern, the quarry, the pier over there
I see in the evening Genoa all lighted,
I see beyond the Foce and hear the sea roaring
and then I think I will come back
to lay my bones where my grandmother's are.
 
L'ëa già passou du tempu, forse troppu,
u figgiu u ghe disceiva: "Stemmu ben,
duve ti vêu andâ, papá?.. pensiemmu doppu,
u viäggio, u má, t'é vëgio, nu cunven!"
"Oh nu, oh nu! me sentu ancun in gamba,
son stancu e nu ne possu pròpriu ciû,
son stûffu de sentî "señor caramba"
mi vêuggiu ritornamene ancun in zû...
Ti t'ê nasciûo e t'æ parlou spagnollu,
mi son nasciûo zeneize e... nu ghe mollu!"
And time had gone, perhaps too much,
the son insisted: "We're fine,
where will you go, Dad? We'll think of it later;
the journey, the sea, you're old, it's not proper! "
"Oh no, oh no I still feel strong,
I'm fed up and I just cannot stand anymore,
I'm tired of hearing: "señor, caramba",
I want to go back up there ...
You were born here and you spoke Spanish,
I was born a Genoese and ... I won't give up!"
 
Ma se ghe pensu allua mi veddu u mâ,
veddu i mæ munti e a ciassa da Nünsiâ,
riveddu u Righi e me s'astrenze o chêu,
veddu a Lanterna, a cava, e lazzû o mêu...
Riveddu a séia Zena illûminâ,
veddu la Föxe e sentu franze o mâ
e allua mi pensu ancun de riturnâ
a pösâ e osse duve'òu mæ madunnâ.
But when I think of it, then I see the ocean,
I see my mountains and Piazza della Nunziata,
I see the Righi and my heart is in pain,
I see the Lantern, the quarry, the pier over there
I see in the evening Genoa all lighted,
I see beyond the Foce and hear the sea roaring
and then I think I will come back
to lay my bones where my grandmother's are.
 
E sensa tante cöse u l'è partïu
e a Zena u gh'à furmóu turna u so nïu.
And without much waiting he left
and in Genoa he formed his nest again.