Italian Language Blog

In Your Own Way Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

If you’ve ever seen Quentin Tarantino’s film Django Unchained you’ll have heard the lovely voice of Italian singer songwriter Elisa performing the song ‘Ancora Qui’ by Ennio Morricone.

Elisa Toffoli, better known simply as Elisa, was born in Trieste in north-eastern Italy. Growing up in the border area of Monfalcone, (only 15 km from Slovenia and 120 km from Austria) she experienced various different languages and cultures from an early age. This was to influence her later creative development and ability to sing in multiple languages: she writes and sings many of her songs in English, but she has also sung in Spanish, French, Slovenian and Kurdish.

Elisa’s moving single ‘A Modo Tuo’, the subject of this blog, was written by the famous Italian musician Luciano Ligabue. Elisa says of this track: Questo brano l’ha scritto interamente Luciano, dedicato a sua figlia Linda, e lui ha voluto sentirlo cantare da una mamma”. “This track, dedicated to his daughter Linda, was written entirely by Luciano, and he wanted to hear it sung by a mother”.

She goes on to say: Io ritengo che questo sia uno di quei brani “incantabili” perché ti commuovi dopo le prime righe e non riesci ad andare avanti … Come mamma lo senti molto …” “I believe this to be one of those ‘unsingable’ songs because it moves you after the first line and you can’t continue … As a mother you really feel it …”

Here’s A modo Tuo, sung by Elisa, with my English translation.

Sarà difficile diventar grande
prima che lo diventi anche tu
tu che farai tutte quelle domande
io fingerò di saperne di più
Sarà difficile
ma sarà come deve essere
metterò via i giochi
proverò a crescere

It will be difficult to grow up
before you grow up as well
you who will ask all those questions
I’ll pretend to know more
It will be difficult
but it will be as it should
I’ll put my games away
I’ll try to grow up

Sarà difficile chiederti scusa
per un mondo che è quel che è
io nel mio piccolo tento qualcosa
ma cambiarlo è difficile
Sarà difficile
dire tanti auguri a te
a ogni compleanno
vai un po’ più via da me

It will be difficult to ask your forgiveness
for a world that is what it is
I’ll try in my small way to do something
but it’s difficult to change it
It will be difficult
to say Happy Birthday to you
as each year
you move a bit further from me

A modo tuo
a modo tuo
camminerai e cadrai, ti alzerai
sempre a modo tuo
In your own way
you’ll go
in your own way
you’ll walk, you’ll fall, you’ll get up
always in your own way

Sarà difficile vederti da dietro
sulla strada che imboccherai
tutti i semafori
tutti i divieti
e le code che eviterai
Sarà difficile
mentre piano ti allontanerai
a cercar da sola
quella che sarai

It will be difficult to see you from behind
on the road that you’ll take
all the signals
all the prohibitions
and the queues that you’ll avoid
It will be difficult
whilst you slowly move away
searching alone
for what you’ll become

A modo tuo ecc.

Sarà difficile
lasciarti al mondo
e tenere un pezzetto per me
e nel bel mezzo del
tuo girotondo
non poterti proteggere
Sarà difficile
ma sarà fin troppo semplice
mentre tu ti giri
e continui a ridere

It will be difficult
to give you to the world
and keep a piece for myself
and right in the middle of
your ring ‘o’ roses
not be able to protect you
It will be difficult
but it will also be very simple
whilst you turn around
and keep laughing

A modo tuo ecc.

N.B. Ligabue’s original version of this song also contains the following chorus variation:

A modo tuo
a modo tuo
dondolerai, salterai, cambierai
sempre a modo tuo

In your own way
you’ll see in your own way
you’ll swing, you’ll jump, you’ll change
always in your own way

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  1. Rita Kostopoulos:

    Magnifica canzone che mi ha toccato il cuore, grazie mille (You made my day)

  2. theò:

    Canzone cosi toccante. L’ho dedicata attraverso facebook a mia figlia. Grazie alla condiviso con noi

    • Geoff:

      @theò Non c’è di che! A presto 🙂

  3. June Radicchi:

    Very beautiful lyrics.
    Yes, the path to “allowing” a daughter, or son to grow up is a mixture of faith, relief and belief in them.

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