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Piccun dagghe cianin

The song is about the demolition of a district, Piccapria, with its ancient houses and alleys, for new, modern reconstruction.
The historic district of Portoria, also known as Piccapietra (Piccapria in the Genoese song) was once inhabited by artisans, dock workers, seamen; its destruction began after 1861 when, as in other Italian cities, a reorganization was planned, whole areas were to rebuilt from scratch, apparently to give a modern face to the city of the new-born Italian Kingdom, but actually to repay with urban developments those that had financed the unification of Italy.

Also in Genoa some districts were "modernized", among them the District of Portoria was the most hit, with the elimination of Piazza di Ponticello, the Vico Dritto, the network of "camuggi" (lanes) to make way for new wide roads and sweep away the "Genoese" symbols of uprising against the Austro-Piedmontese in 1746, and the "Balilla" the nickname by which the Piedmontese in 1849 called the Genoese citizens who claimed their rights.

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If one day passing through Portoria, right by the Balilla square, you had heard a voice shouting at the kids playing football, and breaking a glass, then there you could not be wrong, you had met Colomba. Colomba was the sister of my grandfather and aunt of my mom, for all of us in the family she was Lalla Comba. Lalla Comba in Portoria was well known by everybody, she was a true Genoese, frank, direct and bawling a bit, but with a great heart. And it is to her and to her heart, that so much pain felt when she saw what they were making in Portoria and to the district if Piccapietra that I wanted to dedicate "Piccun dagghe cianin".
 
Fra i moin de Piccaprïa che fan stramûo
ghe n'ëa de casa donde son nasciûo
ghe son passòu pe caxo stamattin
ma forse o chêu o guidava o mae cammin
chi l'é de Zena ou sa perché 'n magon
o m'ha impedïo de dî quest'orassion
Among the bricks of Piccapietra that are being displaced
there are some of the house where I was born,
I walked by there, by chance this morning
but maybe my heart was leading me there.
Who is from Genoa knows why I have a lump in my throat
that stopped be from saying this prayer
 
Piccun, dagghe cianin
mi son nasciûo chi sott'a 'sto camin
son muage che m'han visto co röbin
arreguelâme in gïo co careghin
Pickaxe beat softer
I was born here under this chimney
these are walls that saw me as a baby
going around dragging my little chair
 
Piccun, dagghe cianin
sovia 'sta ciappa rotta a tocchettin
i compiti gh'ho faeto de latin
e gh'ho mangiòu trenette e menestroin
Pickaxe beat softer
on this stone piece in crumbles
I made my Latin homework
and I ate "trenette" and soups
 
Ma zà ti stae cacciando zû o barcon
ti veddi ghe a Madonna da Paiscion
l'ha faeta o mae baccan trent'anni fa
pe grassia riçevua in mezo a o mâ
But you are already crushing teh balcony
Look: there is the Virgin of the Passion!
It was built by the landowner 30 years ago
for a grace received off at sea
 
Piccun, dagghe cianin
son tutti corpi daeti in scio mae chêu
se propio fâne a meno ti no pêu
piccun, dagghe cianin
Pickaxe beat softer
these are all blows given on my heart
if you really can't help it
at least beat softer
 
Creddeime poche votte ho ciento gente
no m'emusciuno troppo façilmente
ma quando ho visto cazze a picconae
a staunsa dove gh'é nasciuo mae moae
me se affermòu quarcosa propio chi
ho ciento e ho pregòu cuscì
Believe me, few times, people, I wept,
I am not so easily moved
but when I saw falling under the pick blows
the room where my mother was born,
something stopped just here
I wept and prayed like this
 
Piccun, dagghe cianin
son tutti corpi daeti in scio mae chêu
se propio fâne a meno ti no pêu
piccun, dagghe cianin
Pickaxe, beat softer,
these are all blows given on my heart
if you really can't help it
pickaxe, beat softer, real soft
 
Fermite un pö piccun t'arrobo un mon
un tocco de poexia do Cian de Piccapria
Stop a moment, pickaxe, I am stealing a brick,
a piece of poetry from the District of Piccapietra