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Nicola di Bari



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Nicola di Bari was born of very humble origins on 29 September 1940, in Zapponeta, a small town in the south of Italy. Nicola (his true name is Michele Scommegna) worked as an office helper, a shoe-shine boy, and an icecream salesman. At 19, seeking better things, he moved to Milan. He started singing a year later but his particular tone of voice takes time to assert itself. Although he is naturally shy, by age 23 Nicola was able to get a contract with RCA to record several singles.
By 1965 he was invited to compete at San Remo - a great honour - but had no success. He returned in 1970 and won 2nd prize, then in 71 and 72 he won first prize.
Although he is fairly well known in Italy, Nicola is far better known throughout America. He taught himself Spanish on the streets of Latin America and is equally at home singing in that language.
He has recorded about 20 albums, but many of them are compilations.

para ver en español


4 Marzo 1943

Dice che era un bell'uomo
e veniva, veniva dal mare...
parlava un'altra lingua...
però sapeva amare;

e quel giorno lui prese mia madre
sopra un bel prato..
l'ora più dolce
prima di essere ammazzato.

Così lei restò sola nella stanza,
la stanza sul porto,
con l'unico vestito
ogni giorno più corto,

e benché non sapesse il nome
e neppure il paese
m'aspetto' come un dono d'amore
fino dal primo mese.

Compiva sedici anni quel giorno
la mia mamma,
le strofe di taverna
le cantò a ninna nanna!

e stringendomi al petto che sapeva
sapeva di mare
giocava a far la donna
col bimbo da fasciare.

E forse fu per gioco,
o forse per amore
che mi volle chiamare
come nostro signore.

Della sua breve vita, il ricordo,
il ricordo più grosso
e' tutto in questo nome
che io mi porto addosso.

E ancora adesso che gioco a carte
e bevo vino
per la gente del porto
mi chiamo Gesù bambino.

E ancora adesso che gioco a carte
e bevo vino
per la gente del porto
mi chiamo Gesù bambino.

Lucio Dalla





4 March 1943

They say he was an attractive man
and he came, he came from the sea...
he spoke another language..
but he knew how to love;

and that day he took my mother
up to a beautiful meadow....
the time even sweeter
before being killed.

So she stayed alone in the room,
the room above the port
with her only dress
getting shorter each day,

and though she did not know his name
and not even his country
she waited for me as a gift of love
from the first month till the end.

She turned sixteen that day
that mother of mine.
The tavern songs
sang her the lullabyes

and clutching me to her breast that knew,
knew about the sea,
she played at being a woman
with a baby to dress.

And perhaps it was a game
or perhaps it was through love
that she wanted to call me -
like Our Lord.

Of her short life, the memory,
the strongest memory
is all in this name
that I now carry

And though now I play cards
and drink wine,
for the people of the port
my name is Baby Jesus.

And though now I play cards
and drink wine,
for the people of the port
my name is Baby Jesus.

El Corazón Es Un Gitano
F. Migliacci

Herido por su amor y su cariño,
sufría, sufría.
Le dije "no me mientas”
y mentía, riendo, riendo,
Mi vida se tornó en negra noche,
Sabiendo que se iba de mi.
No quise ni mirarla los ojos
y me dejó cantando así:

Hoy mi corazón gitano se ha vuelto a sentir,
Y quiero volar por siempre muy lejos de ti,
Contigo yo sé que nunca sería feliz
Por eso no me importa tu dolor
Y solo diré “adiós”, tan sólo diré.

La vi después de un año
la otra noche, lloraba, lloraba.
Noté mi corazón que
nuevamente latía, latía.
Me dijo que a su lado volviera.
Qué ganas de decirle que sí.
Y entonces sin mirarla los ojos
yo la dejé cantando así:

“Hoy mi corazón gitano se ha vuelto a sentir
Y quiero volar por siempre muy lejos de ti,
Contigo yo sé que nunca sería feliz
Por eso no me importa tu dolor
Y solo diré “adiós”, tan sólo diré.

The Heart Is a Gypsy


Wounded by her love and her affection,
I suffered, I suffered.
I said “don’t lie to me”,
and you lied laughing, laughing.
My life turned upside down on a
black night, knowing she was leaving me.
I didn’t want to even look in her eyes.
She left me as she sang these words:

“Today my heart feels like a gypsy again,
And I want to fly forever far from you,
I know I would never be happy with you,
So Your pain means nothing to me;
I’ll just say “goodbye”, that’s all I’ll say. “

I saw her again the other night
after a year, crying, crying.
I noted my heart
again was beating, beating,
She asked if I would come back to her.
How much I wanted to say “yes”.
And then without looking at her eyes
I left her as I sang these words:

“Today my heart feels like a gypsy again,
And I want to fly forever far from you,
I know I would never be happy with you,
So Your pain means nothing to me;
I’ll just say “goodbye”, that’s all I’ll say. “

Il Cuore E' Uno Zingaro
Nicola di Bari e Nada

Avevo una ferita in fondo al cuore,
soffrivo, soffrivo...
Le dissi non è niente, ma mentivo,
piangevo, piangevo.

Per te si e fatto tardi è già notte.
Non mi tenere, lasciami giù,
mi disse non guardarmi negli occhi
e mi lasciò cantando così:

"che colpa ne ho se il cuore è uno zingaro e va,
catene non ha il cuore è uno zingaro e va
finché troverà il prato più verde che c'è,
raccoglierà le stelle su di sé e si fermerà,
chissà... e si fermerà."

L' ho vista dopo un anno l'altra sera,
rideva, rideva, mi strinse,
lo sapeva che il mio cuore batteva, batteva,
mi disse stiamo insieme stasera,
che voglia di risponderle sì,
ma senza mai guardarla negli occhi
io la lasciai cantando così:

"che colpa ne ho se il cuore è uno zingaro e va,
catene non ha il cuore è uno zingaro e va
finché troverà il prato più verde che c'è,
raccoglierà le stelle su di sé e si fermerà,
chissà... e si fermerà."


The Heart Is a Gypsy
(This song won first prize at the 1971 San Remo Festival.)

I was wounded to the depths of my heart,
I suffered, I suffered..
I said to her it's nothing, but I lied,
I cried, I cried.

For you it's done, it is late and already night.
Don't hold me, let me go,
she told me, without looking me in the eyes
and she left me singing thus:

"It's not my fault if my heart is a gypsy one and leaves,
the heart doesn't have chains, it's a gypsy one and goes
until it finds the greenest pasture there is,
it will gather the stars over itself and will it be stopped,
who knows... and will it be stopped."

I her saw after a year the other evening,
she laughed, she laughed, I pinched myself,
I knew that my heart was beating, beating,
she told me we could stay together tonight,
how much I wanted to answer her yes,
but without ever looking her in the eyes
I left her singing thus:

"It's not my fault if my heart is a gypsy one and leaves,
the heart doesn't have chains, it's a gypsy one and goes
until it finds the greenest pasture there is,
it will gather the stars over itself and will it be stopped,
who knows... and will it be stopped."

I Giorni dell'Orcobaleno


Erano i giorni dell'arcobaleno,
finito l'inverno tornava il sereno
E tu con negli occhi la luna e le stelle
sentivi una mano sfiorare la tua pelle

E mentre impazzivi al profumo dei fiori,
la notte si accese di mille colori
Distesa sull'erba come una che sogna,
giacesti bambina, ti alzasti già donna

Tu adesso ti vedi grande di più
Sei diventata più forte e sicura
e iniziata la avventura.
Ormai sono bambine le amiche di prima
Che si ritrovano in gruppo a giocare
e sognano ancora su un raggio di luna

Vivi la vita di donna importante
perché a sedici anni ai già avuto un amante
ma un giorno saprai che ogni donna è matura
all'epoca giusta e con giusta misura.
E in questa tua corsa incontro all'amore
ti lasci alle spalle il tempo migliore

Erano i giorni dell'arcobaleno,
finito l'inverno tornava il sereno

 

The Rainbow Days
(This song won first prize at the 1972 San Remo Festival.)

They were the rainbow days,
Winter had finished, the good weather was returning.
And you with the moon and stars in your eyes
felt a hand graze your skin,

and while you went mad with the perfume of the flowers
the night lit up with a thousand colours.
Lying on the grass like someone in a dream.
you lay down a girl and got up a woman.

You now see yourself more grown-up than before,
you have become stronger and more secure,
the adventure has begun.
Your former friends are still but children
that gather in groups to play;
and they still dream of moonbeams

You live the life of an important woman
because at sixteen years you have had a lover
but one day you will know that every woman
is mature at the right time and in the right measure.
And in this race of yours to find love
You have left behind you the better time.

They were the rainbow days,
Winter had finished, the good weather was returning.

Nació el 29 de septiembre de 1940 en Zapponeta, pequeño pueblo al sur de Italia. De origen humilde, Nicola di Bari (su verdadero nombre es Michele Scommegna) tuvo que trabajar de mandadero, lustrabotas y vendedor de helados. Buscando mejores horizontes, a los 19 años se trasladó a Milán. Comenzó a cantar en 1960, pero su particular tono de voz tardó en imponerse. Para 1963, venciendo su timidez llegó a los estudios de RCA, donde lo contrataron para grabar sus primeros discos simples.

En 1965 le invitaron a participar en el Festival de San Remo - un gran honor - pero no tuvo éxito. Volvió en 1970 y logró el segundo lugar, y en 1971 y 1972 lo ganó.

Pese a ser bastante conocido en su país natal, llama la atención el hecho de que su nombre sea mucho más popular en América. "... aprendí a hablar español en las calles latinoamericanas". Puede cantar igual en ambos idiomas.
Ha grabado como 20 álbumes, pero muchos son recopilaciones.