Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Singing to your home



I grew up in a house where Pavarotti, not Elvis, was king. (How are we not Italian?) Anyway, when I went to Sorrento this past weekend, all I had in my head all weekend was the beautiful, folkloric song, Torna a Surriento.

Even though it is surmised that the song was written to inspire the Prime Minister to make a return visit to Sorrento and give help to clean up its dilapidation, to me, it is more a song of loyalty to one's hometown and a crying out for how hard it is to leave. I think there has always been a part of me that has wanted to feel this connected and impassioned by my hometown.

Whether you do or do not about your own, it is inspiring to hear someone else's love for his/her own. Just listen. Words and translation below.


Torna a Surriento / Come back to Sorrento

Vide'o mare quant'è bello! / See the sea, how beautiful it is!
Spira tantu sentimento. / It inspires so much feeling,
Comme tu a chi tiene mente / Like you, who, to whoever you watch,
Ca scetato 'o faje sunnà. / you make him dream while he’s awake.

Guarda, guà chistu ciardino; / Look, look at this garden
Siente, siè sti sciure arance. / Smell, smell these orange blossoms.
Nu prufumo accussì fino / A scent so delicate
Dinto 'o core se ne va... / goes into the heart...

E tu dice "I'parto, addio!" / And you say, "I'm leaving, goodbye! "
T'alluntane da stu core... / You're leaving (walking away from) this heart...
Da la terra da l'ammore... / From the land of love...
Tiene 'o core 'e nun turnà / Do you have the courage not to return?

Ma nun me lassà / But don't leave me!
Nun darme stu turmiento! / Do not give me this agony!
Torna a Surriento, / Come back to Sorrento!
Famme campà! / Give me life!

Vide'o mare de Surriento, / See the sea of Sorrento,
Che tesoro tene 'nfunno: / What it treasures at the (its) bottom,
Chi ha girato tutto 'o munno / One can travel the worldwide
Nun l'ha visto comm'a ccà. / and still never see anything like this.

Guarda attuorno sti sserene, / Look around at these sirens,
Ca te guardano 'ncantate / Who are watching you with enchantment.
E te vonno tantu bene... / and they love you so much...
Te vulessero vasà. / they would kiss you...

E tu dice "I'parto, addio!" / And you say, "I'm leaving, goodbye! "
T'alluntane da stu core... / You're leaving this heart...
Da la terra da l'ammore... / From the land of love...
Tiene 'o core 'e nun turnà / Do you have the courage not to return?

Ma nun me lassà / But don't leave me!
Nun darme stu turmiento! / Do not give me this agony!
Torna a Surriento, / Come back to Sorrento!
Famme campà! / Give me life!

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