LogoLogo

Vitti 'na Crozza

vitti-na-crozza Lyrics by anonymous, music by Franco Li Causi. The song was a leitmotiv of Pietro Germi's movie "Il cammino della speranza" of 1950. The "crozza" is a skull, that the singer sees over a tower. In the years there have been many different versions, introducing the refrain "Tralallalleru..." and making it into a sad and happy, danceable tune.
"Vitti 'na crozza" was recorded for the first time on 78 rpm Cetra record in 1951 by tenor Michelangelo Verso. The author of the melody was Franco Li Causi, who had composed for Pietro Germi's movie "Il cammino della speranza" in 1950. The original version, sung by Michelangelo Verso, does not contain the refrain "lalalalleru lalleru lalleru", which was only added later by other singers.

In 1950, Pietro Germi was in Sicily to start filming his movie, and in Agrigento he asked maestro Franco Li Causi to compose "a cheerful, tragic and romantic motif" to be included in the film, but none of the proposals satisfied the director. One day at Favara, where shooting was taking place, a miner, Giuseppe Cibardo Bisaccia, recited to Germi a folk poem, which began "Vitti 'na crozza supra nu cannuni...". Germi was fascinated by the lyrics and asked Li Causi to write the music.

The song became the soundtrack of the film and was soon known throughout Italy. But the author of the music was not mentioned either on the poster of the film, or in the headline or credits, and only in 1979 SIAE (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) recognized Li Causi the authorship of the music. Thanks to the movie and the record of tenor Michelangelo Verso, this Sicilian "hymn" gained international fame.

The translation from dialect into Italian is as follows:
"Vidi un teschio sopra una torre / fui curioso e gli volli chiedere / lui mi rispose con gran dolore / morii senza rintocchi di campane.

Se ne andarono, se ne andarono i miei anni / Se ne andarono, se ne andarono non so dove / ora che sono arrivato a ottant'anni / il vivo chiama e il morto non risponde.

Preparatemi questo letto / ché dai vermi son mangiato tutto / se non lo sconto qua il mio peccato / lo sconto in quella vita a sangue rotto"

[aggiunto in versioni successive:]
C'è un giardino in mezzo al mare / tutto intessuto di arance e fiori / tutti gli uccelli ci vanno a cantare / pure le sirene ci fanno all'amore"

[To print the text inside the scrollable box, select it all, copy, and paste in MSWord or other text editor.]
[The video is not seen well with Internet Explorer 8 - in case watch it on YouTube directly.]
Follow ItalyHeritage on Facebook:


 
Vitti na crozza supra nu cannuni
fui curiusu e 'nci vosi spiari
idda m'arrispunnìu cu' gran duluri
muriri senza toccu di campani.
I saw a skull on top of a tower
I was curious and wanted to ask
he replied with great pain
I died without tolling of bells.
 
Si 'nn'eru, si 'nni eru li me anni
si 'nn'eru si 'nni eru 'un sacciu unni
ora ca su' arrivatu a uttant'anni
u vivu chiama e u mortu n'arrispunni.
Went away, my years went away
they went away, I don't where
now that I am eighty
the living calls and the dead does not answer.
 
Cunzàtimi, cunzàtimi stu lettu
ca di li vermi su mangiatu tuttu
si nun lu scuntu cca lu me piccatu
lu scuntu a chidda vita a sangu ruttu
Prepare, prepare this bed for me
because by worms I am eaten all
if I don't expiate here my sin
I'll expiate in that life with broken blood
[added in later versions]
C'è nu giardinu ammezzu di lu mari
tuttu 'ntissutu di aranci e ciuri
tutti l'aceddi ci vannu a cantari
puru li sireni ci fannu all'amuri
There's a garden in the sea
all covered with oranges and flowers
all birds go there singing
also mermaids make love there
 
Tralalalalleru lalleru lalleru
lalleru lalleru lalleru lalà
Tralalalalleru lalleru lalleru
lalleru lalleru lalleru lalà