Ma se ghe penso

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"Ma se ghe penso"
Song by Luisa Rondolotti
English title But if I think about it
Published 1925
Writer(s) Composer: Mario Capello
Attilio Margutti
Lyricist: Mario Capello
Language Genoese

"Ma se ghe penso" is a song in the dialect of Genoa. It has a central role in the city folklore and is commonly quoted as one of its symbols.

Lyrics[edit]

Its texts speaks of a Genoese emigrant to Latin America, who is thinking of coming back to his city. Notwithstanding his child's opposition, he finally goes back to Genoa, with a few things.

History[edit]

The song was written by Mario Capello (music and lyrics);[1] Attilio Margutti too helped with the music. "Ma se ghe penso" was launched in 1925. The first interpretation was by soprano Luisa Rondolotti, in Genoa's Teatro Orfeo.

Recordings[edit]

Other well known interpretations were that of Giuseppe Marzari and that, not sung but recited, of Gilberto Govi.[2]

In 1967 Mina reinterpreted the song.[3]

Recently, Ma se ghe penso was sung by the Neapolitan singer Massimo Ranieri (together with the Genoese showmen Luca Bizzarri and Paolo Kessisoglu) during the Sanremo Festival 2011.[4]

English translation of the text[edit]

He had left with no money,
thirty years had passed or even more.
He fought to save some money
to be able to come back one day
and build a house with its backyard
with the creeper, the winery and the wine,
the cot hanging on the trees as a bed,
on which to lie night and day.
But his son used to tell him: "Don't even think about it,
what do you want to do in Genoa?!"

But if I think about it, I can see the sea,
I see my mountains, and Nunziata Square,
I see the Righi and I'm shaking my heart,
I see the Lanterna, the Cava,[5] and there the pier...
I see Genoa illuminated in the night,
there I see Foce [6] and I hear the sea breaking
and so again I think of coming back
to rest my bones where my grandma rests.

A long time passed, maybe too long;
his son insisted: "We're fine right here,
where do you wanna go, dad?.. we'll think about it later,
the trip, the sea, you're old, it's not worth it!"
"Oh no, oh no! I still feel really good,
I've had enough, I can't take it anymore,
I'm tired of hearing "señor", "carramba",
I want to go back again...
You were born and speak Spanish,
but I was born Genoese...I won't give up!"

But if I think about it, there I see the sea,
I see my mountains, and Nunziata Square,
I see the Righi and I'm shaking my heart,
I see the Lanterna, the Cava, and there the pier...
I see Genoa illuminated in the night,
there I see Foce and I hear the sea breaking
and so again I think of coming back
to rest my bones where my grandma rests.

With a few things he left
and he made his nest again in Genoa.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ma se ghe penso sung by Mario Capello on YouTube.
  2. ^ http://www.bandieredeipopoli.com/images/liguria/maseghepenso_govi.mp3 Ma se ghe penso recited by Gilberto Govi.
  3. ^ Ma se ghe penso sung on YouTube by Mina.
  4. ^ Ma se ghe penso sung on YouTube by Massimo Ranieri in Sanremo.
  5. ^ Cava was the name of a popular beach of Genoa, no longer existing, due to the enlargement of the port area.
  6. ^ Foce is the name of an old village of fishermen, now a quarter of Genoa.