Chi chi li chi (Andrea Gabrieli)

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  • (Posted 2015-01-05)  CPDL #34135:       
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2015-01-05).   Score information: Letter, 9 pages, 136 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: Parts and source available at IMSLP.
  • (Posted 2014-04-22)  CPDL #31750:        (Sibelius 7)
Editor: Walker Boyle (submitted 2014-04-22).   Score information: Letter, 10 pages, 102 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: All ficta clearly marked. Accidentals not marked as ficta appear in original source. Transcribed from the 1574 Gardano publication of Gabrieli's Primo libro de Madrigali a Sei voci. Two small changes were made due to mistakes in the original: m. 45, whole note lengthened to dotted whole in all parts; and m. 76, Tenor only, mistaken half note on "Mar" of "Martina" shortened to quarter note.
  • (Posted 2003-10-22)  CPDL #05830:      (Sibelius 2)
Editor: Steven Langley Guy (submitted 2003-10-22).   Score information: A4, 11 pages, 80 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: written in original C clefs

General Information

Title: Chi chi li chi
Composer: Andrea Gabrieli

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: SSATBB
Genre: SecularMadrigalVillanella

Language: Neapolitan
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1574 in Gabrieli's Il primo libro de madrigali a 6 voci, Edition 1, no. 18
    2nd published: 1587 in Gabrieli's Il primo libro de madrigali a 6 voci, Edition 2, no. 19
Description: Not to be confused with Orlando di Lasso's remarkably similar work of the same name. Both works are based on an anonymous 3-voice villanella, possibly by da Nola.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Neapolitan.png Neapolitan text

Chi chilichi? Cucurucu!
U, scontienta, U, beschina,
U, sportunata, me Lucia!
Non sienta Martina galla cantara?
Lassa canta, possa clepare!
Porca te, piscia sia cicata!
Ia dormuta, tu scitata.
Ba con dia, non bo più per namolata.
Tutta la notte tu dormuta
Mai a me tu basciata
Cucurucu! Cucurucu!
Che papa la sagna
Metter’ ucelli entr’ a gaiola
Cucurucu, cucurucu!
Leva da loco, Piglia Zampogna
Va sonando per chissa cantuna.
Lirum li, lirum li

«Sona, se vuoi sonare»

Lassa carumpa canella
Lassa Martina, Lassa Lucia!
U, madonna, aticilum barbuni
U, macera catutuni,
Sona, son’o non gli dare,
Lirum li, lirum li.
(La mogliere del peccoraro:
Sette pecore a no danaro:
Se ce fussa Caroso mio
Cinco peccore a no carlino:)
Auza la gamba, madonna Lucia
Sauta no poco con mastro Martino.
Lirum li, lirum li.

English.png English translation

[note: chilichi and cucurucu are chicken sounds. Think "cock-a-doodle-doo."]

"Who's crowing chilichi? - "Cucurucu"
"O, unhappy, o, miserable,
O, unfortunate me, Lucia!
Don't you hear Martino your cock singing?"
"Struth, your song can go to hell,
You pig, you shitface!
I was asleep, now you've woken me!
Go with God, I am not in love any longer.
You slept all night long,
Never once did you give me a kiss."
"Cucurucu, cucurucu!"
"If Papa knew,
Birds like you would land in jail.
"Cucurucu, cucurucu!"
"Get away from here, go and squeeze your bagpipe,
Go and sing your song to someone else."
"lirum lirum… li!"

"(Then play if you want to!)"

"Oh, for pity's sake, you dog!
Alas, Martino, alas, Lucia!
O, My Lady, to thy heaven,
O, grind it up.
"Play, play, but don't give him anything!"
Lirum li, lirum li.
The shepherd's wife
Has seven sheep and no money;
If it was my beloved,
There'd be five sheep and not a farthing.
Raise your leg, my lady Lucia
Reach me your hand, take the bagpipe,
Have a good romp with Master Martino!
Lirum, lirum li…

English.png English translation

Alternate translation:

A COCK: Cock-a-doodle-do? Cock-a-doodle-do!

LUCIA: O woe is me, woe is me,
O poor Lucia!
Martino, don't you hear the cock crowing?

MARTINO: Let him crow, may he die,
you bitch, you pisser, I only wish you'd go blind!
I was asleep and you woke me up.
The devil take you, you're bothering me.

LUCIA: You slept all night
without making love to me a single time.

A COCK: Cock-a-doodle-do! Cock-a-doodle-do!

MARTINO: If the Pope heard about it,
he'd have that bird put in a cage.

A COCK: Cock-a-doodle-do! Cock-a-doodle-do!

LUCIA: Away with you,
take your pipes
and go play somewhere else.
Lirum, lirum, li.

MARTINO: Well, play if you want to play,
But watch out for the pipe.
Poor old Martino!

LUCIA: Poor Lucia.

MARTINO: O, my lovely one.

LUCIA: Go and get stuffed!

MARTINO: My little pussy!
Go on then, either play or leave me alone.
Lirum, lirum li.
 'The shepherd's wife
 wanted a penny for seven sheep;
 if it had been my little loved one,
 it would have been a pug for five sheep.'
Lift up your legs, fair Lucia,
stretch out your hand and touch my pipe,
dance a little with Master Martino(*),
Lirum, lirum, li.

(*) in dialect, Master Martino was a synonym for male genitalia.