Lucia, celu (Orlando di Lasso)

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  • (Posted 2010-11-11)  CPDL #22599:        (Finale 2008)
Editor: André Vierendeels (submitted 2010-11-11).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 123 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Lucia, celu
Composer: Orlando di Lasso

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1581 in Libro de villanelle, moresche et altre canzoni, no. 13

Description: This piece is a Moresche, a genre of low-brow song sung from the perspective of a Moorish servant/slave. The genre could be seen as a very early incarnation of 19th-century minstrelsy, filled with racial caricatures and stereotypes of the time. The text, a mix of Neopolitan and Moorish nonsense words and dialect, reflects this. "Moor," as used in the translation, is a derogatory term, along the lines of similar racial epithets used in the United States.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Lucia, celu, hai, hai, hai, hai, hai
biscania hai, tambililililili gua tambilililililili
gua,gua ciri, ciri, cian, ciri, ciri, cian.
Non canusci Giorgia tua, Christophona tua?
Se tu fare cariss'a me, et io far caris'a te, gua, gua, gua, gua, gua!
Se te voi scarpe de laura con chia velle sommolata,
et dobletta quadra cirifa
congonella de scuagliata
Giorgia tua port'a te, Ciambelotta verde, bruna,
carmosina leonata,
et no pare de paternoglia
cose canda come contessa
cod'alzata com'a Madonna, apri porta!
Giorgia tua, canta la magna!
Hai! Lucia mia, non canusci Giorgia tua
che te vole tanto di bene, che non pote niente bedere,
U, U, gricache, gricache,
za, za, za, baraza, tiri, tiri, gua, gua, tiri, tiri, gua, gua
Scaba canaza, vati con dio, non cene leche, per santa malina,
zu, zu, zu, zu bere, tiritiri gua, gua, hai, hai Lucia mia!
Giorgia sporcata pisci'a lo lieto!
Dici, sudata pampona, fete come tonina,
burnoguala, scaba canaza!
Ziche lizi, ziche lizi, diridindina, zocolo, che della burnoguala siamo,
dindiri, dindiridina.

English.png English translation

GIORGIO: Lucia, heaven above! Ah, you rascally girl,
Tambilililili, gua, ciri, ciri, cian,
Don't you recognize your Giorgio, your little singer?
If you caress me,
I'll caress you, too, gua gua.
If you want sweet little golden shoes,
with pretty heels,
a fine cotton blouse,
a lovely flounced skirt,
Giorgio will give you all this,
a cushion with fur that's green, brown
scarlet, ginger,
and don't blush
if I sing to you as if to a countess,
to a highness, to a madonna.
Open you door to me! Your Giorgio
is singing the praises of your greatness!
O, my Lucia,
don't you recognize your Giorgio
who loves you so much,
who sees nobody else but you?
O, o, gricache, za, za, baraza
Tiri tiri, gua gua

LUCIA: You scummy Moor, I shit in your face!

GIORGIO: Alabachi laudi barichigno

LUCIA: You poxy hound, may the devil take you,
There's nothing for you to lick here.

GIORGIO: Something to drink, tiri tiri, guu, gua,
O my Lucia!

LUCIA: O, that pig Giorgio pisses in bed!
Don't tell me it's just sweat.
You stink like rotting fish,
Moor face, scabby hound.

GIORGIO: Ziche lizi diridindina,
we bumpkins from Moor land
we've got faces like Moors,
Dindiri, dindiridina