Mr. J.V. Presogna
Presogna Productions

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"Santa Lucia"
See the Lyrics Below

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You can listen to Santa Lucia sung by Enrico Caruso.
The links below for MP3 files offer the internet archive of Caruso recordings.

Caruso Archive 1 (Free MP3) | Caruso Archive 2 (Free MP3)

JVP-Pix Mobile | JVP-SingAlong

Below is my original translation of Santa Lucia, which provides matching syllabic content for an arrangement I have done. In order to translate a song from Italian to English, it must be made to flow with the same melody and accents. The melody line cannot change. Therefore, a literal translation is many times not possible.

For example, the word "Napoli" has 3 syllables, and the translation to "Naples" has only 2 syllables. Obviously they couldn't both be sung the same way, so in this case we leave Napoli as Napoli.

There is, however, much room for the translation of the message of the line, and that is the intent of every translation of songs from one language to another. The notes have to match from one language to the other so the same melody can be sung without alteration.

My translation is indeed accurate, even if it supplies some extra words for phrasing to make the notes match.

As a matter of fact, the stanza which includes the mention of supper does indeed mean that supper is set aside for the beauty of Napoli. It is not about eating supper, but rather being enraptured by Napoli so much that supper is forgotten.

The word for sails is not actually included in the original, because the word used describes tents or awnings, not sails. It appears, however, that the context of the song does mean that there is a tent on the ship, or some canvas covering. Otherwise, it would seem to point to someone on shore instead of the vessel. It seems unlikely, however, that the shore was the target of the sentence. Therefore, sails were substituted for tents or awnings on the ship.

Both the Italian and English versions below should be able to be sung fluently with the same arrangment that I have put together.


NOTE: A lot of people have come to this web page since 2010. So many people have come searching for the "literal translation," I have included the "literal translation" in the middle column below on January 21, 2012. As you can plainly see, it would be difficult to sing fluently. That was the entire reason I did my own translation. For the person who came searching for the "official" translation, there is none. The Italian language has many nuances. In the original version there are 3 words just for "wind." So, you see, it loses a little in translation.


Complete lyrics
SANTA LUCIA
Teodoro Cottrau, 1835
Transcribed and Published 1849

(Stanza 1)
Sul mare luccica, l'astro d'argento
Placida è l'onda, prospero il vento;
Sul mare luccica l'astro d'argento
Placida è l'onda, prospero il vento;
Venite all'agile barchetta mia;
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Venite all'agile barchetta mia;
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

(Stanza 2)
Con questo zeffiro così soave,
O, come è bello star sulla nave.
Con questo zeffiro così soave,
O, come è bello star sulla nave.
Su passeggeri, venite via;
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Su passeggeri,venite via;
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

(Stanza 3)
In' fra le tende bandir la cena,
In una sera così serena.
In' fra le tende bandir la cena,
In una sera così serena.
Chi non dimanda,chi non desia;
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Chi non dimanda, chi non desia;
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

(Stanza 4)
Mare sì placido, vento sì caro,
Scordar fa i triboli al marinaio.
Mare sì placido, vento sì caro,
Scordar fa i triboli al marinaio.
E va gridando con allegria:
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
E va gridando con allegria:
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

(Stanza 5)
O dolce Napoli, O suol beato,
Ove sorridere volle il creato,
O dolce Napoli, O suol beato,
Ove sorridere volle il creato,
Tu sei l'impero dell'armonia,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Tu sei l'impero dell'armonia,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

(Stanza 6)
Or che tardate? Bella è la sera;
Spira un'auretta fresca e leggiera;
Or che tardate? Bella è la sera;
Spira un'auretta fresca e leggiera;
Venite all'agile barchetta mia;
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Venite all'agile barchetta mia;
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

Literal Meaning of
SANTA LUCIA lyrics
Translated by Mr. J.V. Presogna
Posted January 21, 2012

(Stanza 1)
Upon this glittering sea, a star of silver,
Calm is the wave, prosperous the wind.
Upon this glittering sea, a star of silver,
Calm is the wave, prosperous the wind.
Come with agility, my small boat,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!
Come with agility, my small boat,
Saint Lucy, Saint Lucy!

(Stanza 2)
With this zephir so sweet,
Oh, how beautiful it is staying on the boat,
With this zephir so sweet,
Oh, how beautiful it is staying on the boat,
On, passengers, come away,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!
On, passengers, come away,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!

(Stanza 3)
Within the tent, putting aside supper,
In an evening so serene.
Within the tent, putting aside supper,
In an evening so serene.
Who wouldn't demand, who wouldn't desire,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!
Who wouldn't demand, who wouldn't desire,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!

(Stanza 4)
The sea is calm, the wind is dear,
Forget what makes tribulations for the sailor,
The sea is calm, the wind is dear,
Forget what makes tribulations for the sailor,
And go shout with merriment,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!
And go shout with merriment,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!

(Stanza 5)
Oh, sweet Naples, Oh, blessed soil,
Where to smile desires its creation,
Oh, sweet Naples, Oh, blessed soil,
Where to smile desires its creation,
You are the empire of harmony,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!
You are the empire of harmony,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!

(Stanza 6)
An hour to linger? Beautiful is the evening,
A spiral, a gentle breeze, fresh and light,
An hour to linger? Beautiful is the evening,
A spiral, a gentle breeze, fresh and light,
Come with agility, my small boat,
Saint Lucy! Saint Lucy!
Come with agility, my small boat,
Saint Lucy, Saint Lucy!

Complete lyrics
SANTA LUCIA
Translated by Mr. J.V. Presogna
© 2010

(Stanza 1)
Upon this brilliant sea, a star of silver,
Across the gentle waves, the wind is sweeping.
Upon this brilliant sea, a star of silver,
Across the gentle waves, the wind is sweeping.
Come help my little boat sail swiftly to the shore,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Come help my little boat sail swiftly to the shore,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

(Stanza 2)
Full sail with breezes fair, so gentle are they,
Oh, how this ship can feel, so fine beneath me,
Full sail with breezes fair, so gentle are they,
Oh, how this ship can feel, so fine beneath me,
All passengers aboard, come sail the sea with me,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
All passengers aboard, come sail the sea with me,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

(Stanza 3)
Between these sails that pull, forgetting supper,
Oh, pleasant skies above, how I adore you.
Between these sails that pull, forgetting supper,
Oh, pleasant skies above, how I adore you.
There are no grave demands, to quench desire,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
There are no grave demands, to quench desire,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

(Stanza 4)
A sea that is so calm, a wind that's playful,
A sailor's guarantee, forget what ails you,
A sea that is so calm, a wind that's playful,
A sailor's guarantee, forget what ails you,
And he shouts from his heart, with all affection,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
And he shouts from his heart, with all affection,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

(Stanza 5)
Oh, my sweet Napoli, Oh, blessed soil,
Where nature smiles upon all of creation,
Oh, my sweet Napoli, Oh, blessed soil,
Where nature smiles upon all of creation,
You are the harmony, you are the empire,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
You are the harmony, you are the empire,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

(Stanza 6)
Each hour to linger more, this lovely evening,
Each breath is filled with air, so fresh and welcome,
Each hour to linger more, this lovely evening,
Each breath is filled with air, so fresh and welcome,
Come help my little boat sail swiftly to the shore,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!
Come help my little boat sail swiftly to the shore,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!



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