Fermarono i cieli (Alfonso Maria de' Liguori)

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  • (Posted 2015-01-01)  CPDL #33988:  Removed by request of the editor
Editor: Francesco Spiga (submitted 2015-01-01).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 306 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Arranged by Francesco Spiga. Score removed due to a new commercial licensing.

General Information

Title: Fermarono i cieli
Alternative title: Maria contempla il SS. Bambinello che dorme
Composer: Alfonso Maria de' Liguori
Lyricist: Alfonso Maria de' Liguori

First published: 1737 in Canzoncine divote
Description: The text was first published in a 1737 collection called Canzoncine divote under the title Maria contempla il SS. Bambinello che dorme. The suspention of the celestial sphere rotation in the incipit is taken form the Infancy Gospel of James (18;2). Three different traditional melodies are associated to this poem. This one appears to be based, in the stanza, on the same ground bass of the traditional song Pigliate 'na palella (the so-called Tarantella alla carpinese: I-IV-V-I in the minor mode). The refrain comes from oral tradition and do not appear in any published work by st. Alphonsus. The apocryphal stanzas "La luce più bella

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Fermarono i cieli
La loro armonia,
Cantando Maria
La nanna a Gesù.

Con voce divina
La Vergine bella,
Più vaga che stella,
Diceva così:

[Dormi, dormi, fa' la ninna nanna Gesù.]

Mio Figlio, mio Dio,
Mio caro Tesoro,
Tu dormi, ed io moro
Per tanta beltà.

Dormendo, mio Bene,
Tua Madre non miri,
Ma l'aura che spiri
È fuoco per me.

[Dormi, dormi, fa' la ninna nanna, Gesù.]

Begli occhi serrati,
Voi pur mi ferite:
Or quando v'aprite,
Per me che sarà?

Le guance di rose
mi rubano il core;
O Dio, che si more
quest'alma per Te!

[Dormi, dormi, fa' la ninna nanna, Gesù.]


English.png English translation

The celestial spheres suspended
Their harmony,
While Mary was singing
Lullaby to Jesus.

With a divine voice
The beautiful Virgin,
More charming than a star,
Said this:

[Sleep, sleep, beddy-byes, Jesus.]

My Son, My God,
My dear Heart,
Thou are sleeping, and I die
For Thy beauty.

While thou are asleep, my Love,
Thou do not watch Thy Mother,
But the air Thou are breathing
Is like fire to me.

[Sleep, sleep, beddy-byes, Jesus.]

O beautiful eyes,
Even if shut, you wound me:
When you will be opened,
What will happen to me?

These rosy cheecks
Steal my heart;
O God, how dies
My soul for Thee!

[Sleep, sleep, beddy-byes, Jesus.]

Translation by Francesco Spiga