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4 Marzo 1943, Lucio Dalla

"4/3/1943", lyrics by Paola Pallottino, took part to the Sanremo Festival in 1971, came out 3rd, and had a huge success not only in Italy but also internationally.
The title is the singer's date of birth, but the song was not autobiographical. The original last stanza read: "e anche adesso che bestemmio e bevo vino, per ladri e puttane sono Gesù Bambino" but the RAI censorship imposed a change and thus the lyrics became: "E ancora adesso che gioco a carte e bevo vino per la gente del porto mi chiamo Gesù bambino."

The song, which became almost a trademark of Lucio Dalla, was for fifteen weeks in the hit parade. It was is interpreted by the French singer and actress Dalida (lyrics by Pierre Delanoë), and brought to success overseas by Chico Buarque de Hollanda, who listened to it directly from Dalla and then wrote his own version in Portuguese, with the title Minha Historia: "I sang it to him in a restaurant in Campo de' Fiori. He began to cry bitterly, returned to Brazil and made his own version. An astounding success."

4-marzo-1943 cover

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Dice che era un bell'uomo
e veniva, veniva dal mare
parlava un'altra lingua
però sapeva amare;
They say he was a handsome man
and came, came from the sea
he spoke another language
but knew how to love;
 
e quel giorno lui prese mia madre
sopra un bel prato
l'ora più dolce
prima di essere ammazzato.
and that day he took from my mother
on a beautiful meadow
the most tender hour
before being killed.
 
Così lei restò sola nella stanza,
la stanza sul porto,
con l'unico vestito
ogni giorno più corto,
So she was left alone in the room,
the room on the harbour,
with her only dress
each day shorter,
 
e benché non sapesse il nome
e neppure il Paese
m'aspettò come un dono d'amore
fino dal primo mese.
and though she did not know his name
or even his country
she waited for me as a love gift
up from the first month.
 
Compiva sedici anni quel giorno
la mia mamma,
le strofe di taverna
le cantò a ninna nanna!
She was sixteen that day
my mother,
the songs of taverns
she sang as lullaby!
 
e stringendomi al petto che sapeva
sapeva di mare
giocava a far la donna
con il bimbo da fasciare.
and keeping me tight to her breast
that tasted like the sea
she played to be a woman
with a baby to be wrapped.
 
E forse fu per gioco,
o forse per amore
che mi volle chiamare
come nostro Signore.
And maybe it was a game,
or maybe out of love
that she wanted to call me
like our Lord.
 
Della sua breve vita, il ricordo,
il ricordo più grosso
è tutto in questo nome
che io mi porto addosso.
Of her short life, the memory,
the greatest memory
Is all in this name
that I carry on me.
 
E ancora adesso che gioco a carte
e bevo vino
per la gente del porto
mi chiamo Gesù bambino.
And even now that I play cards
and drink wine
for the people of the harbour
my name is Baby Jesus.
 
E ancora adesso che gioco a carte
e bevo vino
per la gente del porto
mi chiamo Gesù bambino.
And even now that I play cards
and drink wine
for the people of the harbour
my name is Baby Jesus.