by Arrigo Enrico Boito (1842 - 1918)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

La canzon ve lo dicea
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG
BARNABA
 La canzon ve lo dicea:
 Un pescator che attende la marea.
 Ho la barca laggiù nell'acqua bassa.
 È tempora domani, e si digiuna,
 (Per mia fortuna)
 La mensa magra il pescatore ingrassa.

MARINAI
ridendo
 Ha! Ha!

BARNABA
ad Isèpo
 (Siam salvi! Han riso. Sono ottanta
 Fra marinari e mozzi. Han tre decine
 Di remi e nulla più; due colubrine
 Di piccolo calibro. Or va, con quanta
 Lena ti resta, e disponi le scolte
 Colà dove le macchie son più folte.
 Io qui rimango a far l'ufficio mio.
 Vanne con Dio.)

Isèpo esce

BARNABA
 Pescator, affonda l'esca
 E sia l'onda a te fedel,
 Lieta sera e buona pesca
 Ti promette il mare e il ciel.
 Va, tranquilla cantilena,
 Per l'azzurra immensità;
 Questa notte una sirena
 Nella rete cascherà.

CORO
ridendo
 Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
 Questa notte una sirena
 Nella rete cascherà.

BARNABA
tra sè
 (Spia coi fulminei
 Tuoi sguardi accorti,
 E fra le tenebre
 Conta i tuoi morti.
 Sì, da quest' isola
 Deserta e bruna
 Or deve sorgere
 La tua fortuna.
 Sta in guardia! e il rapido
 Sospetto svia,
 E ridi e vigila
 E canta e spia.)
Ripigliando la canzone
 Pescator, propizio è il vento,
 Tenta il mare, o pescator.
 Là, fra l'alighe e l'argento,
 Guizzan pinne d'ambra e d'ôr.
 Brilla Venere serena
 In un ciel di voluttà.
 Una fulgida sirena
 Nella rete cascherà.

CORO
ripete ridendo
 Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
 Una fulgida sirena
 Nella rete cascherà.

Authorship

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 (Laura Prichard) , "As the song says", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2020-01-01 00:00:00
Last modified: 2020-01-01 23:00:40
Line count: 63
Word count: 237

As the song says
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
BARNABA
 As the song says:
 Like a fisherman who waits for the tide,
 I have a boat over there in the shallows.
 Tomorrow we must fast,
 lucky for me,
 A table empty of meat makes the fisherman fat.

Sailors

 Ha! Ha!

BARNABA
To Isèpo
(We're safe! They laughed. There are eighty of them:
sailors and ship’s boys. They have three dozen
oars and nothing else; two cannons
of small caliber. Now go, with all the vigor
you have left, go and set the carvings
where the stains/sopts are thickest.
I'll stay to finish my office.
Go with God.)



BARNABA
 Ah! Fisherman, drop your bait,
 And the waves will be your faithful friend,
 A fine evening and good fishing
 Are promised to you by the sea and sky.
 Go forth, tranquil little song,
 Through the azure vastness.
 A becalmed siren
 Will fall into your net.

CHORUS

 Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
 A becalmed siren
 Will fall into your net.

BARNABA

(Spy, quick as lightning
with your shrewd glances,
and in the darkness
count all your dead.
Oh yes, from this island,
deserted and dark,
it’s time to change
your luck.
Be on guard! And swiftly
mislead the suspicious
and laugh and keep vigil
and sing and spy…!)

Fisherman, the wind is with you,
Take to the sea, fisherman.
There, between the seaweed and the silver waves,
Quiver fins of amber and gold.
Venus shines serenely
In a voluptuous sky; ...
A shining siren
Will fall into your net! ...

CHORUS

 Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
 A shining siren
 Will fall into your net! ...

Translator's note: by "tomorrow", Barnaba is referring to Ash Wednesday, the first day of the forty days of Lent, a time of penitential fasting preceding Easter.


Authorship

  • Translation from Italian (Italiano) to English copyright © 2020 by Laura Prichard, (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

 

Text added to the website: 2020-01-01 00:00:00
Last modified: 2020-01-02 15:37:25
Line count: 57
Word count: 261