Here’s to everyone you remember fondly

Today, we are going to dabble in Italian. “To dabble in”, incidentally, in Italian is “dilettarsi“, and a “dabbler” is “dilettante“, a word which, as in English, can be pejorative. But just because I am dabbling in Italian now does not mean I am a dilettante, OK!

Ana Moura, fadista

Ana Moura, fadista (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On my travels to Central and Eastern Europe recently, rather than watch films for 20-plus hours (Australia is so far away!), I decided to give my eyes a rest from computer screens and damage my hearing instead. So I sat back and listened to Emirates’ world music selection, particularly in the Romance languages. Well, they didn’t have any Romanian music, their Portuguese selection was limited to Ana Moura’s 2012 album Desfado, which on first listening didn’t do much for me. But I have a feeling I have seen Ana Moura live, either in a well-known fado club in Lisbon in 2007, when there were a number of singers on the bill, or in Tavira in 2011. I will have to look up my travel diaries. I do think her fado songs are worth investigating. On Desfado, though, she is branching out into other genres, including singing in English. I shall give it another go at some stage.

Emirates also had a Brazilian mix by a DJ whose taste was a bit way out there. Way, way out. There wasn’t much in the way of Spanish, the French was a bit predictable (Johnny Hallyday, Françoise Hardy, etc), but there was enough Italian to dabble in, including a selection of Laura Pausini, who is a great singer to follow if you are interested in Romance languages (see my post on her here). Of course, Emirates had a great selection in Arabic and Asian languages, and also Turkish, which I listened to. Surprisingly, Turkish women can really rock! I was impressed.

Back to Italian. I was intrigued to see the song Inno by a singer who has been in the spotlight since the late 1970s, Gianna Nannini. I thought it would be a modern version of the haunting song of the same name by Mia Martini (Bruce Millar used the melody on his hit, “I Won’t Give Up”, and you can hear them both on my blog here). However, this was an entirely new song, the title track of an album she released earlier this year. I think it’s great. Have a listen.

You don’t really have to understand Italian very well to know that this is a song about very fond memories of a loved one. Their eyes meet in the street, he (or she) smiles and says hello … so the story begins.

Gianna has a great husky voice: she sounds like a woman who has smoked a lot of cigarettes, drunk a lot of wine in good company in cosy taverns, laughed a lot, had great passionate affairs etc etc. I am not casting aspersions. Maybe she is quite the opposite. All I am saying is that on this song at least she sounds like she has lived life to the full, and she is still full of joie de vivre. Good on her! As the song itself says, how good it is to live. I hope that’s how you feel too. In the video at the very bottom of the post, Gianna discusses the song and the rest of the album.

Pasted underneath are the lyrics to Inno that I have found on various lyric websites, but there is something not quite right in one line, and all the websites seem to make the same mistake. Of course, you can paste these lyrics in an online translation site and as usual it will throw up some nonsense translation (like the one I have posted at the bottom). In Italian I must admit I am a dilettante, an amateur enthusiast but a bit ignorant. Still, with the help of my dictionaries and the website, which can do some useful analysis of verbs and grammar, I shall give the more important vocabulary after each verse, which should help your understanding of the song.

Mi ricordo di te,
Ti raggiungo ad occhi chiusi
Mi ricordo di te, per la strada mi incontrerai
Mi ricordo di te, ogni estate sono qua
Mi ricordo di te, tu sorridi e mi dici ciao

Ricordare = to remember; raggiungere = to catch up with someone; a occhi chiusi = with one’s eyes closed (incidentally, an eye is ochi in Romanian, or ochii in the plural); la strada = the street; incontrare = to meet; ogni = each, every, all; estate = summer; qua = here

Che bello è vivere
se vivere è con te,
ora soffia il vento e soffia via con te

Che bello = how nice, good, beautiful; vivere = to live; se = if; con = with;  ora = hour, time, now; vento = wind ; soffiare = to blow

Mi ricordo di te, la tua voce la mia
Mi ricordo di te, e non voglio mandarti via

voce = voice, opinion, word, term; non voglio = I don’t want; volere = to want; mandare = to send; via = away (also means road, route; way, means)

Che bello è vivere
se vivere è per te,
ora soffia il vento (…….????????)

Mi ricordo di te sorso d’acqua tra le dita,
se ti stringo vai via, pioggia o lacrima
tornerai so che tornerai

un sorso = a sip; sorsare, sorseggiare = to sip; acqua = water ; dito/dita = finger/s; stringere = to grip/hold tightly; poggia = rain; o = or; lacrima = tear/teardrop; tornare = to return.

Nel tempo che verrà, nel buio che cadrà
è vita sempre tornerà
Nel tempo che verrà, nel freddo che sarà,
sei vita quasi libertà
Mi ricordo di te

Nel = in the; tempo = time; venire = to come; buio = darkness; cadere = to fall; vita = life; freddo = cold, coldness;


I remember you,
I’ll catch up with your eyes closed
I remember you, I’ll meet in the street
I remember you, I’m here every summer
I remember you, you smile at me and say hello

How nice it is to live
if living is with you,
Now the wind blows and blows away with you

I remember you, your voice my
I remember you, and I will not send you away

How nice it is to live
if living is for you,
Now the wind blows and blows away with you

I remember you sip of water between the fingers,
if I hold you go on, rain or tear
I know you’ll come back come back

In time to come, the darkness will fall
is life always come back
In time to come, which will be in the cold,
are life liberty almost
I remember you

Here (in Italian) Gianna discusses the album at a press conference, and you can hear extracts from other songs on it.


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