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Era De Maggio

Meaning “It Was of May” in Napuletano – Both the lyrics were written by Salvatore Di Giacomo and the music composed by Mario Costa in 1885. My favorite recording of it was by Roberto Murolo some time in the 1950s:

With the fact that the Coronavirus may keep us stuck isolated until May, it seems far too appropriate.

Era De Maggio

in Neapolitan

Viersetto 1

Era de maggio e te cadeano ‘nzino
a schiocche a schiocche li ccerase rosse,
fresca era ll’aria e tutto lu ciardino
addurava de rrose a ciente passe.

Era de maggio; io, no, nun mme ne scordo,
na canzona cantàvemo a ddoje vvoce;
cchiù tiempo passa e cchiù mme n’allicordo,
fresca era ll’aria e la canzona doce.

E diceva: «Core, core!
core mio, luntano vaje;
tu me lasse e io conto ll’ore,
chi sà quanno turnarraje!»

Rispunneva io: «Turnarraggio
quanno tornano li rrose,
si stu sciore torna a maggio,
pure a maggio io stonco ccà».

Viersetto 2

E sò turnato, e mò, comm’a na vota,
cantammo ‘nzieme la canzona antica;
passa lu tiempo e lu munno s’avota,
ma ammore vero, no, nun vota vico.

De te, bellezza mia, mm’annammuraje,
si t’allicuorde, ‘nnanze a la funtana:
ll’acqua llà dinto nun se secca maje,
ferita d’ammore nun se sana.

Nun se sana; ca sanata
si se fosse, gioia mia,
‘mmiezo a st’aria ‘mbarzamata
a guardarte io nun starria!

E te dico: «Core, core!
core mio, turnato io sò,
torna a maggio e torna ammore,
fà de me chello che vuò!».

It Was of May

my English translation

Verse 1

It was of May, and they were falling into your lap
bunches and bunches of red cherries,
Fresh was the air and all of the garden
was scented with rose, for a hundred paces.

It was of May; I, no, I don’t forget
a song sung with two voices;
more time passes and more I remember
fresh was the air and the sweet song.

And she said: “Love, love!
my love, you’re going far away;
you’re leaving me and I count the hours,
who knows when you shall return!”

I responded: “I will return
when the roses return,
if this bloom returns in May,
then in May I will be here.”

Verse 2

And I returned, and now, like that time,
we sing together the old song;
time passes and the world turns,
but true love, no, that doesn’t change course.

Of you, my beauty, I fell in love,
if you remember, in front of the fountain:
The water there inside never dries,
and a wound of love never heals.

It never heals; that healed
if it could be, my joy,
amidst this perfumed air
I would not be looking at you!

And I say to you: “Love, love!
my love, returned I have,
May returns and love returns,
do with me what you wish!”

Featured image.

Napuletano Preposition/Article Combinations

I’ve been compiling these from the songs and classical poetry I’ve been reading lately, and I figure that they should be put all in one place for reference.

The most used prepositions in turn-of-the-century Napuletano (Neapolitan, or Southern Italian) are:

Napuletano Italian Meaning & Notes:
d’ / ‘e di “of”, d’ in front of vowels, ‘e everywhere else.
a a “to,” triggers doubling of the next consonant.
da / ‘a da “from”, often just as da
‘n in “in,” usually prefixed on the word it precedes (e.g. ‘nciello).
ncoppo su “on”

These combine with the definite articles:

  • ‘o – masculine
  • ‘a – feminine
  • ‘e – plural
  • ll’ – preceding a vowel

And these combinations are are completely different from Standard Italian:

‘o ‘a ‘e ll’
sing. pl.
d’/’e d”o d”a d”e ‘e ll’ (same as sing.)
a ô â ê a ll’ (same as sing.)
da/’a da ‘o da ‘a da ‘e ‘a ll’ (same as sing.)
‘n dint”o dint”a dint”e dint’all’ dint’ali’
ncoppo ncopp”o ncopp”a ncopp”e ncopp’all’ ncopp’ali’

For da/’a, very often (especially in older Napuletano) it will provoke the article to keep its l (e.g. da lo, da la, da le, da ll’).

Other prepositions in Napuletano follow similar patterns too, such as pe, nfino, etc. and I’ll update this article here with more later.

6lb Common Carp Catch

So back on Tuesday, my sister Liz was over and feeling down so I said, “What the hell, let’s go fishing!” so we went to Johnson Park – my usual spot for bluegill. It was cold, the fish weren’t biting. After about an hour – and trying nearly every lure in my box and a quarter loaf of bread – we had plenty of nibbles, but only caught one 3-4″ gill. It was a bit disheartening.

On the side I decided to bait a hook with a bread ball and throw on a large 1/4″ splitshot and let it sink to the bottom, hoping to go after a bigger bluegill. A couple casts and drops didn’t pull anything up, and in the normal way of things, I forgot about the rod.

Fast forward about 10 minutes: We get our second fish: Another puny 3-4″ bluegill, and before we’re able to get him off the hook and toss him back, we hear the drag on the forgotten rod start to squeal, and the rod start to work its way over the dock’s rail.

Something big was on it.

We strung the small gill up above the water and I grabbed the rod before we lost it and started reeling in… and if you were there you probably heard a panicked exchange somewhere along the lines of:

“Get the net!”
“Where’s the net?”
“In the cart!”
“I don’t see a net!”
“It’s the collapsed thingy!”
“The collapsed thingy?!”
“Take the rod!”
“Got it!”
“Don’t let it get away!”
“I’m trying!!”
“I’ve got the net!”
“Get it over here!”
“I’m trying!”
“Get it! Get it! Get it!”

etc.. 🙂

It kept pulling on the drag and trying to go under the dock, but by some miracle (the fish was 6 pounds – and the line was 4 pound test, and it fought the whole damn way) we managed to net it and bring it up onto the dock. It was too big for the bucket, and at nearly 23″ it was by far the largest freshwater fish either of us had ever caught.

It was a freaking Pokémon.


Stan Theory

I have a theory when it comes to predicting the “end of days” within Christian tradition. I believe that…

There is an Angel somewhere — we’ll call him “Stan” for convenience — who has a great scroll. Written upon that great scroll is the Calendar of the Universe with every day that was, and is, and has yet to be.

When someone down on earth says, “The world will end on this day!” The Lord turns and says,

“Stan, strike that day from the Great Calendar!”

And he does so.

When someone down on earth says, “The world will end soon!” The Lord turns and says,

“Stan, strike that year from the Great Calendar!”

When someone down on earth says, “The world will end in our lifetimes!” The Lord turns and says,

“Stan, strike that generation from the Great Calendar! No man nor son of man shall know when the End comes. It shall be like a thief in the night!”

Or that’s my theory. 🙂


Non-ID’d Old Family Photos

Getting Nook Simple Touch (software 1.1.0) to work on Mac OS X Internet Sharing

So, this took me a day of grinding teeth to figure out, so I figure I might as well post it here for others to appreciate.

Long story short, my wife got a new, free Nook Simple Touch with a subscription to the New York Times, and it is awesome. Wonderful, easy to read display, very responsive screen (both to touch and refreshing), and we were both very very satisfied with it… until the 1.1.0 software update downloaded itself and broke its wifi access, and apparently we’re not the only ones complaining.

Our home network is managed by our iMac (running Snow Leopard), which acts as out base station via the Internet Sharing option in Mac OS X. In essence, it takes our Internet connection and turns itself into a wireless router so we can use all of our devices through it. The update doesn’t seem to want to play well with it at all as it changed some very low-level code with how it negotiates with a DHCP server (the piece of software that assigns IP addresses).

Mac OS X’s DHCP server, by default, ignores requests with a reply threshold of 4 seconds or less, and the Nook’s update apparently fails those criteria. However, I have found a way to fix this on the Mac end, and allow the Nook to connect anyways.

Step 1: Start Internet Sharing. In the Sharing panel of the System preferences. This creates the file we’re going to have to tinker with named bootpd.plist.

Step 2: Make a temporary copy of bootpd.plist. Go to the Terminal and type in:

cp /etc/bootpd.plist /etc/bootpd.plist

Step 3: Shut down Internet Sharing. This causes the DHCP server to delete its copy of bootpd.plist as it doesn’t need it anymore.

Step 4: Edit our copy of bootpd.plist. Go back to the terminal and type:

pico /tmp/bootpd.plist

In the text editor that shows up find the text:


and change the 4 to 0. Then press [ctl]-X to prompt closing the file, “Y” to confirm writing over it, and then the return key to save it.

Step 5: Substitute our copy of the file for where the DHCP server expects it. In the Terminal, type:

sudo cp /tmp/bootpd.plist /etc

It’ll prompt you for your password, so enter it. This is the step that makes the changes permanent. If you simply edit the bootpd.plist file that’s already there, it’ll be deleted and re-written by the DHCP server.

Step 6: Restart Internet Sharing. Now that there’s *your* file there, the DHCP server doesn’t have the permissions to mess with it, so it reads it as-is.

Step 7: Re-connect the Nook. It should work.