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La Biondina in gondoleta

Language: Italian - Venetian (dialect)

La Biondina in gondoleta
  L'altra sera [gò]1 menà:
  Dal piacer la povereta,
  La [s'à]2 in bota indormenzà.

La dormiva su sto brazzo,
  Mi ogni tanto la svegiava,
  Ma la barca che ninava
  La tornava a indormenzar.

[Fra le nuvole la luna
  Gera in cielo mezza sconta,]3
  Gera in calma la laguna,
  Gera [el]4 vento bonazzà.

Una solo bavesèla
  Sventolava i so caveli,
  E faceva che dai veli
  Sconto el sen no fusse più.

Contemplando fisso fisso
  Le fatezze del mio ben,
  Quel viseto cussì slisso;
  Quela boca e quel bel sen,

Me sentiva drento in peto
  Una smania, un missiamento;
  Una spezie de contento
  Che no so come spiegar.

So' stà un pezzo rispetando
   Quel bel sono, e ò soportà,
   Benche Amor de quando in quando
   El m’avesse assae tentà;

E ò provà a butarme zozo
   Là con ela a pian pianin;
   Ma col fogo da vicin
   Chi averia da ripossar?

[M'ò]5 stufà po' finalmente
  De sto tanto so dormir,
  E [gh'ò]6 fato da insolente,
  [Nè m'ò avudo]7 da pentir;

Perchè, oh Dio, che bele cosse
  Che [gh'ò] dito, e che [gh'ò]8 fato!
  No, mai più tanto beato
  Ai [me']9 zorni no son sta.

Translation(s): ENG FRE GRE SPA

List of language codes

R. Hahn sets stanzas 1-6, 9-10

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Antonio Lamberti, Collezione delle migliori opere scritte in dialetto veneziano, volume primo: Poesie di Antonio Lamberti, Venezia: al negozio di libri all'Apollo, dalla Tipografia di Alvisopoli, 1817, pages 20-21

Confirmed with Antonio Lamberti, Raccolta di poesie in dialetto veneziano d'ogni secolo, Venezia: co' tipi di Giovanni Cecchini e comp., 1845, page 276

1 Also, "g'ho" or "gh'ò"
2 Or, "s'ha"
3 Text sources besides the original have the order of these two lines reversed; Beethoven uses this order, but Hahn reverses them.
4 Or, "il"
5 Or, "m'ho"
6 Or, "g'ho"
7 Or, "No m'ho avuto"
8 Or, "gh'ò"
9 Or, "mii"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Garrett Medlock) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Sylvain Labartette) , "La blondinette en gondole", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GRE Greek (Ελληνικά) (Effimia Gianniou) , "Η ξανθούλα στην γόνδολα", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Juan Henríquez Concepción) , copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2019-01-12 12:33:39
Line count: 40
Word count: 194

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The blonde girl in the little gondola

Language: English after the Italian - Venetian (dialect)

The blonde girl in the little gondola
   The other night I guided,
   Of pleasure the poor little one
   There in the boat fell asleep.

There she slept in [my] arms,
   Every little while she awoke to me,
   But the ship that rocked
   Put her back to sleep.

Among the clouds the moon
   Was in the sky half hidden,
   In tranquility was the lagoon,
   The wind was gentle.

A lone breeze
   Fluttered her hair,
   And made that by [those] veils 
   Hidden [her] breast was no longer.

Contemplating intently
   The form of my beloved,
   That face so smooth;
   That mouth and that beautiful bosom.

I felt inside of my breast
   A restlessness, a powerlessness,
   A type of happiness
   That I do not know how to explain.

I stood a while revering
   That beautiful sleep, and I endured,
   Although Cupid from time to time
   Has greatly tempted me;

And I tried to lie down
   There with her quietly;
   But with [that] fire nearby 
   Who could rest?

I got tired then finally
   Of [this] her excessive sleep,
   And I became bold,
   I did not have to repent;

Why, oh God, what beautiful things
   That I said her, and that I did for her!
   No, never again so blessed
   In my days will I be.

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About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"La gondoletta" = "The little gondola"
"La Biondina in gondoleta" = "The blonde girl in the little gondola"


  • Translation from Italian - Venetian (dialect) to English copyright © 2019 by Garrett Medlock, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in Italian - Venetian (dialect) by Antonio Lamberti (1757 - 1832), "La gondoletta", Venezia, negozio di libri all'Apollo, first published 1817 FRE GRE SPA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Ludwig van Beethoven, Reynaldo Hahn. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2019-01-08.
Last modified: 2019-01-08 17:39:41
Line count: 40
Word count: 210