Canzone 'e Ciccio Cappuccio (orig. 1892 ; reprint)

Sunday, 26 July, Year 12 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Da 'o Mercatielloi a 'o Bbùveroii, da Porto a lu Penninoiii è corza 'a voce subbeto:
È muorto 'o Signurino!

Ciccio Cappuccio, 'o princepo d' 'e guappeiv ammartenatev, ha nchiuse ll'uocchie d' 'aquela,
e sule nce ha lassate!

Scugnizzevi, cape-puopolevii, picciotteviii e contaiuoleix, chiagnitex a ttante 'e lacreme!
'Ite perdute 'o Sole!xi

Curritexii, belli femmene, sciugliteve 'e capillexiii, purtateve all'asequie
'e figlie piccirille!xiv

Chi ve po' cchiù difendere? Senz'isso che facite? A chi jate a ricorrere
Si quacche tuorto avite?xv

Isso, sul'isso, ea àbbele a fa scuntà sti storte... Mo' che po' cchiù resistere?
Ciccio Cappuccio è muorte!

Russo, nquartato, giovane, pareva justo urlando quann' 'o verive scennere
'nmiezo San Ferdinando!

V'allicurdate 'o sciopero? Pare successo ajere! Sull'isso dette ll'ordene,
e ascetteno 'e cucchiere!

E quanno dint' 'e carcere p' 'o fatto d' 'e turniste isso avette che dicere
Cu 'e guappe calavrise!

--Tirate mano! Armateve! Tenite core mpietto? E n'abbattette dudece,
cu 'e tavole d' 'o lieto!

Currite! Mo' s' 'o portano! Menatele 'e cunfiette! Sceppateve! Stracciateve
'e core 'a dinto 'e piette!

Uommene nun n nasceno, comm'a Cappuccio, ancora! L'aute sò buone a schiovere,
isso vucava fora!xvi

Va! Jateve a fa muonece, guappe quante nne site! Cu Ciccio è muorto 'o ggenio
d' 'e palatine ardite!

Picciuotte e cape-puopolo, scugnizze e cuntaiuole, chiagnite a tanto 'e lacreme,
ite perduto 'o Sole!

As the conclusion usually goes... more work is needed.

  1. Port'Alba è n'antica [is an antique] porta d''a cità [that thing in the city] 'e Napule [of TakeCocks], situata ncopp'ô lato sinistro [found between the left side] 'e ll'emiciclo 'e Chiazza Dante [and the hemicicle in the Piazza Dante] (luoco anticamente ditto llario 'o Mercatiello [place previously and for a long time called something unclear, perhaps related to the Latin name of present day lake Cuomo [Lacus Larius], perhaps more akin to a rookery (via the Spanish for the loud green parrots) or a leprosorium ; or otherwise small market]. []
  2. Borgo sant'Antonio, which the local lawyers still call "the conventicle" in a certain ironic flavour.

    Anyways, the church of Sant'Antonio Abate was for a while the center of Herpes zooster medicine (aka fuoco di Sant'Antonio), which centered on the application of lard (pork fat), which in turn meant the sick often provided live pigs in consideration, which meant there were loads of pigs snorting about the place at least until the bishop forbade something or the other in the 1600s. []

  3. Technically the Campanian volcanic arc is something other than the Apenines, but... well, what can you do, "from mountain to the sea" as she says, da Porto a lu Pennino. []
  4. From Spanish for "pretty", guappo is what Italian-American translates with "wise guy" or "goodfella" (and likely the precursor of "wop"). []
  5. Here's a doozy. So, because Saint Martin carries a short sword, the underworld cant of Naples decided to call stilletos (and omologated equivalents) "Martins".

    That aside for a moment : one of the best comedies ever to come out of what's called "septentrionale" in Italy is "E tre guappe ammartenate con Pulcinella", which could mean "three scamps (ie, broadly unattractive, tomboyish vagrants who survive by using presumed or putative prostitution as a decoy for theft ; coincidentally (?) a Schelling point for young (especially if neglected) female modes of sexuality) in Pulcinella masks".

    Now we have the place in which to set the key : most anyone who was anyone on the street in the time and place had a scar on their face, by virtue of everyone being, sooner or later, fallen, and weak, and prone. And so then... here's how "an eye for an eye makes everyone blind" works out in practice :


    Now we're in a position to understand what's being said here : in the plainest and most direct of senses, ammartenato denotes one (and ammartenata denotes... another one) whose face has been cut in the particular fashion displayed (from the ear or outside eye fold to the mouth) and therefore bears that scar. This is then a mask, because every accident of the human figure is false in that particular sense, being artificial, the product of artifice. Substantially then, the ammartenati are those who wear the mask [of the indignity of earthly existence] proudly, or at least with all the pride due ; in other words "La mafia è la coscienza del proprio essere, l’esagerato concetto della forza individuale, unica e sola arbitra di ogni contrasto, di ogni urto d’interessi e d’idee".

    The similarity to female life, given that women are by nature so blessed and thereby so divided, into women and subhumans, should be striking -- after all it is a cut we're here discussing, and it looks just like a cut. Some try and hide it, though, because apparently they imagine we don't know or something ? Aaanyways... []

  6. Street urchins, basically, children who spend most of their day on the sidewalk. []
  7. The term is rare as such, if also self-explanatory ; what exactly it self-explains though... let's put it like this : when men run households you get the Roman empire ; when women run households you get halfway houses and the "Mother Superior" of junkie dens, faggot houses, "art collectives" etcetera. I suspect you know exactly what I'm talking about, and even though you may not like what history shows, you still have to contend with history showing it. []
  8. The term is ambiguous -- in the masculine (especially as "piciotto d'onore") it denotes young aspirants to life (and, metonymically, all those alive, by virtue of once having been young) ; in the feminine as encountered here it may simply denote pre-menstruation (or pre-copulation, if this is at all distinct) females, or else, more nobly regarding the matter (which is to say, bowing to the obvious -- that female maturation is also a subjective process, not merely natural but equally deliberate) it could denote the future whores, as only respectable form of womanhood, counterdistinct from pantsuitards & the spwarling rest of the failures. []
  9. Also known as contadine in Italian, women with a small agrarian property of some kind. Not exactly poor, at least not in the abject sense, but also not exactly urban. []
  10. Piangere, chiarnire, samew difference []
  11. Avete perdude il Sole, you've lost your man (yes, man and sun are interchangeable concepts). []
  12. Straight up Latin, second-person plural present active imperative of curro, from proto-Italic *korzo, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱers-, to run. How about that! []
  13. Pull out your hair []
  14. Piccirille means small, figlie is daughter as in "si ci pigghia la fantasia mi sasizzia la figghia mia", asequie is... well, let's put it this way, esequie means funeral rites. So dealer's choice, bring your daugthers to the slaughter, take your daugthers to safety, whatever it is. Something or the other, amirite ? []
  15. Who can now defend you, and without that defense what'll you be doing ? To whom will you run now, when in trouble ? When the time for clucking's done, what then ? []
  16. Vucava of course stands for bucava, to bore holes. []
Category: Cuvinte Sfiinte
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5 Responses

  1. F F E Yeo-Thomas`s avatar
    F F E Yeo-Thomas 
    Wednesday, 29 July 2020


  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 29 July 2020

    Sa fie primit.

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