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Sunday, July 15, 2007


Although my Italian is waaaaay far from fluent, my great-grandparents were Italian immigrants and my grandparents spoke Italian at home with their parents. However, by my mother's generation it was considered to be a bad thing to grow up speaking two languages, that it confuses the child, so she only learned a little bit of Italian that she picked up from hearing her mother and grandparents converse. No one taught me any Italian at home. I studied Italian as a college student, but by the time you're an adult, it's just too late to speak like a native and it's tough work to obtain real fluency.

But some things do pass through the generations regardless of language, and one is lullabies. I didn't know the words, but I knew the tune, and I found it on iTunes. In Italian, lullabies are called "Ninna Nannas" and just like in English there are plenty of them. The one I know is "Ninna Nanna Fiorentina."

The chorus is:

Ninna nanna ninna nanna,
il bambino è della mamma,
della mamma e di Gesù,
il bambino non piange più.

It translates to:

Rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye,
the baby is from the mama,
from the mama and from Jesus,
the child cries no more.

It's a beautiful tune, if you should ever come across it. I'm looking forward to singing it to my baby.

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