Santa Lucia

The song, published in Naples in 1849, was written by Teodoro Cottrau (7 december 1827 - 30 march 1879), the son of musicologist and publisher Guillaume Louis Cottrau (Paris, 10 August 1797 - 31 October 1847) who had moved to Italy in the early 1800's. The motif is in the style of the "barcarole", that is a song used by Venetian gondoliers to accompany the movement of the boat.
Cottrau himself translated it from Neapolitan into Italian during the Risorgimento, making it the first Neapolitan song translated into Italian. The lyrics celebrate the picturesque district of Saint Lucia on the bay of Naples, and is sung by a boatman who invites the listener for a ride on his boat, to enjoy the breezy evening.

The song became a national and international hit and was interpreted by famous performers as Enrico Caruso (1916) and Elvis Presley (1957), and translated in many languages.

Click here for a piano music sheet [149 kb].

In the first video, Santa Lucia in the remastered performance of Enrico Caruso accompanied by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (sings the first, second and fifth part).

In the second video, Santa Lucia in the highly emotional performance of Elvis Presley (sings only the first part, in Italian).

Sul mare luccica
l'astro d'argento.
Placida è l'onda,
prospero il vento.
Venite all'agile
Barchetta mia!
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia
On the sea shines
the silver light.
Quiet is the wave
favorable is the wind.
to my swifty boat!
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!
Con questo zeffiro
così soave,
oh! com'è bello
star sulla nave!
Su passeggeri
venite via!
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia.
With this zephyr
so gentle,
oh! how beautiful
to be on the boat!
Come on passengers
Come on in!
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!
Infra le tende
bandir la cena,
in una sera
così serena.
Chi non dimanda,
chi non desìa;
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Amid the curtains
forget the dinner
on such an evening
so clear
who does not ask,
who does not wish,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!
Mare sì placido,
vento sì caro,
scordar fa i triboli
al marinaro.
E va gridando
con allegria:
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Such calm sea,
such dear wind,
makes the seaman
Forget the troubles.
And he goes shouting
with glee.
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!
O dolce Napoli,
O suol beato,
Ove sorridere,
Volle il creato,
Tu sei l'impero
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!
O sweet Naples,
O blessed land,
Where creation
wanted to smile,
You're the empire
of harmony,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!
Or che tardate,
bella è la sera.
Spira un'auretta
fresca e leggiera.
Venite all'agile
barchetta mia!
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!
Now why are you late,
lovely is the evening.
A breeze is blowing
fresh and light.
to my swift boat!
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!