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A Rainy Italian Love Song Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Grammar, Music

We’re having a really rainy spring this year: Madonna come viene giù! So when I heard the song Piove by Jovanotti in ‘The Sopranos’, one of our favourite TV series, I immediately thought ‘BLOG!’ It wasn’t until I listened to the song properly later on, and read the lyrics, that I realised that it was a love song. I also realised that it had a few interesting grammatical points that would benefit from an explanation.

So, here’s the song, with my translation. Click on the photo below to listen to it whilst you’re reading the lyrics. You’ll see that I’ve highlighted some words and phrases, for which I’ve given explanations at the end of the blog.

jovanotti

Piove
Senti come piove
Madonna come piove
Senti come viene giù
Piove
Senti come piove
Madonna come piove
Senti come viene giù

It’s raining
listen how it’s raining
Madonna how it’s raining
listen how it’s coming down
It’s raining
listen how it’s raining
Madonna how it’s raining
listen how it’s coming down

Hai visto che piove?
Senti come viene giù
Tu che dicevi che non pioveva più
Che ormai non ti saresti mai più innamorata
E adesso guardati: sei tutta bagnata
E piove
Madonna come piove
Sulla tua testa
E l’aria si rinfresca
E pioverà fin quando la terra non sarà di nuovo piena
E poi si rasserena

Have you seen that it’s raining?
listen how it’s raining
you who said that it wouldn’t rain any more
that now you wouldn’t fall in love any more
and now look at you: you’re all wet
And it’s raining
Madonna how it’s raining
on your head
and the air is getting fresh
and it’ll rain until the soil is full again
and then it will clear up

Piove
Senti come piove
Madonna come piove
Senti come viene giù
Piove
Senti come piove
Madonna come piove
Senti come viene giù

It’s raining … etc.

Senti le gocce che battono sul tetto
Senti il rumore girandoti nel letto
Rinascerà
Sta già nascendo ora
Senti che piove
E il grano si matura
E tu diventi grande e ti fai forte
E quelle foglie che ti sembravan morte
Ripopolano i rami un’altra volta
É la primavera che bussa alla tua porta
Piove
Madonna come piove
Prima che il sole ritorni a farci festa
Senti, senti come piove
Senti le gocce battere sulla tua testa

Listen to the drops beating on the roof
Listen to the noise while you turn over in your bed
It will be born again
It’s already being born right now
Listen, it’s raining
And the grain is ripening
And you’re growing and making yourself strong
And those leaves that you thought were dead
Repopulate the branches once again
It’s Spring knocking at your door
It’s raining
Madonna how it’s raining
before the sun returns to make us celebrate
Listen, listen how it’s raining
Feel the drops beating on your head
 

Piove
Senti come piove
ecc. ecc.

Tu che credevi che oramai le tue piantine
Si eran seccate e non sarebbero cresciute più
Hai aspettato un po’, ma senti come piove
Sulla tua testa, senti come viene giù
Non eri tu che ormai ti eri rassegnata
E che dicevi che non ti saresti più innamorata?
La terra a volte va innaffiata con il pianto
Ma poi vedrai la pioggia tornerà

You, who thought that by now your little plants
had died and wouldn’t grow any more
You waited a while, but listen how it’s raining
On your head, but listen how it’s coming down
Wasn’t it you who had given up now
And who said that you wouldn’t fall in love again?
The ground sometimes has to be watered with tears
But then you’ll see that the rain will return

Explanation of highlighted words/phrases:

Madonna = commonly used as an exclamation, like “mamma mia”, or “caspita!” (wow!)

non pioveva più = in colloquial Italian the imperfect tense is often used instead of the past conditional, which in this case would have been “che non avrebbe piovuto più” (that it wouldn’t rain any more)

fin quando la terra non sarà = “non” in this case is a false negative (known as the pleonastic non), as is, therefore, not translated. For further explanation see this blog

farci festa = “fare festa” means “to celebrate”, hence “farci festa” means “to make us celebrate”

Senti le gocce battere sulla tua testa = “sentire” means “to sense”, and is used for the following senses: “to listen, to taste, to feel, to smell, to touch”. The meaning should be clear from the context in which it is used, e.g. senti quel profumo (smell that perfume), senti che chiasso (listen to that racket), senti questa stoffa (feel this cloth), etc.

Si eran seccate = when talking about plants we use “secco” (dry) and “seccare” (to dry) to mean “morto” (dead) or “morire” (to die), e.g. “quell’albero è secco” (that tree is dead)

con il pianto = “il pianto” comes from the verb “piangere” (to cry), and should not be confused with “la pianta” (plant)

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Comments:

  1. Jodina:

    Salve!
    One of my students, knowing that I am una grande fan di Jovanotti, shared your Piove blog with me. I did a post on this song, too. Here it is: h
    ttp://italianowithjodina.com/2010/10/piove-italian-music-musica-italiana/.
    In that post, there’s also a link to another on Italian terms for rainy weather.
    Complimenti per il Suo blog divertente e benfatto!
    Dove vive in Italia?
    Jodina

    • Geoff:

      @Jodina Salve Jodina, e grazie per il suo commento. Noi siamo vicino a Pontremoli in Lunigiana, provincia di Massa Carrara, e lei, è sempre a Milano? Ha scritto anche lei un bel blog su ‘Piove’ di Jovanotti, complimenti. Molto interessante il discorso di ‘sentire’ (feel, hear, smell etc.) vero?

      Saluti da Geoff

  2. Muhammad:

    Nice I really enjoy it…


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