Italian Language Blog

Non Potho Reposare Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Culture, Italian Language

Non Potho Reposare (I Cannot Rest) is  the title of a famous Sardinian song. In 1915 Salvatore Sini (1873 – 1954), a Sardinian lawyer from Nuoro who enjoyed writing, composed a love poem entitled “A Diosa” (To the Goddess). Later, in 1921, Giuseppe Rachel, who was the conductor of the local band, composed a melody for pianoforte and tenor to accompany the poem, which in its song form became known as Non Potho Reposare, taken from its first line. The song was first recorded in 1936 by the tenor Maurizio Carta, but it only became famous in Sardinia and Italy in 1966, when it was contemporarily recorded by two folk choirs. Since then it has been performed by various artists, including a version in 2004 recorded by the pop-folk Sardinian singer Andrea Parodi, accompanied by the American guitarist Al Di Meola (of Italian origins).

My favourite version was recorded by Maria Carta (Nuoro 1934 – Roma 1994), with her beautiful emotional voice. You can listen to it by clicking on the photo below:

Carta 1
Click on the photo to listen to Non Potho Reposare

Here are the original lyrics in Sardinian, alongside an Italian translation, followed by my translation into English:

Non potho reposare amore e coro
pensende a tie so donzi momentu,
no istes in tristura prenda ‘e oro
nè in dispiaghere o pensamentu.
T’assiguro ch’a tie solu bramo
ca t’amo forte t’amo, t’amo, t’amo.

Si m’ essere possibile d’anghelu
s’ispiritu invisibile piccabo
sas formasa e furabo dae chelu
su sole sos isteddos e formavo
unu mundu bellissimu pro tene
pro poder dispensare cale bene.

Ojos tristos cun delicios e ammentos
che umbras mi lassades su manzanu
preguntende a dogni coro amadu
a immagine chi si formant in beru
si idu an’in su mundu tantu amore
ca amare tantu est sì tantu dolore.

Si idu an’in su mundu tantu amore
ca amare tantu est sì tantu dolore.

Non posso riposare, amor del cuore
sto pensando a te ogni momento,
non essere triste, gioiello d’oro,
nè addolorata o in pensiero,
ti assicuro che desidero solo te
perchè fortemente t’amo, e t’amo e t’amo…

Se fosse possibile prenderei
dell’angelo l’invisibile spirito,
ruberei dal cielo il sole
e le stelle in tutte le loro forme
e foggerei un mondo bellissimo per te 
per poterti regalare ogni bene.

Occhi tristi, con ricordi deliziosi
come ombre che scompaiono al mattino come immagini che diventano realtà,
chiederei ad ogni cuore innamorato
se hanno visto al mondo tanto amore,
e perchè tanto amare provoca tanto dolore.

se hanno visto al mondo tanto amore,
e perchè tanto amare provoca tanto dolore.

I cannot rest, love of my heart
I’m thinking of you all the time,
don’t be sad, golden jewel,
nor in pain or worried,
I assure you that I desire only you
because I really love you, I love you, I love you

If it were possible I would take
the invisible spirit of the angel,
I would steal the sun from the sky 
and the stars in all their shapes
and I would create a beautiful world for you 
to be able to give you every good thing

Sad eyes, with delicious memories
like shadows that disappear in the morning
like images that become reality,
I would ask every heart in love
if they’ve ever seen so much love in the world,
and why so much loving creates so much pain.

N.B. Sardinian is not a dialect but a proper language which I’m not familiar with. I had to rely, therefore, on Italian translations which I found on the internet. I apologise if there are any mistakes.

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  1. andreas:

    Ciao Serena!
    Il sardo è interessantissimo. Ha conservato ‘c’ sempre come k. Si dice che abbia la pronuncia più vicina al latino.
    Anche la canzone è bella.
    Saluti da Andreas

  2. Jackie:

    Thank you so much for this beautiful song.

    Just a small translation suggestion (from Italian to English). In the following lines, assicurare can be translated to ‘guarantee’ or ‘assure’. The word ‘ensure’ would not be used as it appears here in the song. The translation into English would be “I assure you that I desire only you”, or “I guarantee it is only you that I desire”.

    I ensure you that I desire only you
    ti assicuro che desidero solo te

    Thanks for your great blog.

    • Serena:

      @Jackie Grazie Jackie, ho subito corretto la traduzioe. Geoff wasn’t feeling well when he checked my post, so he must have missed it (he suffers from stomach problems). Grazie ancora e a presto.

  3. Luigi Palummo:

    una melodia che è un poema. Grazie

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