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Vietato Morire Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 in Music

Every year since 1951 the Festival di Sanremo or Festival della Canzone Italiana showcases the ‘best’ of Italian pop music. The festival is used as a vehicle for choosing Italy’s entry into the Eurovision Song Contest, and has launched the careers of artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Giorgia, Laura Pausini, and many other top Italian singers.

Traditionally the Sanremo Music Festival takes place around the period of Valentine’s Day, so, as you can imagine, the majority of songs tend to fall into the soppy amore/cuore category. This year’s Festival was unusual, however, in that all of the top three songs had alternative themes:

Number 1

Artist: Francesco Gabbani
Song: Occidentali’s Karma
Theme: Here’s a very good analysis of Occidentali’s Karma (in English)

Number 2

Artist: Fiorella Mannoia
Song: Che Sia Benedetta
Theme: Here’s an analysis of Che Sia Benedetta (in Italian)

Number 3

Artist: Ermal Meta
Song: Vietato Morire
This is my personal favourite of the three.

Ermal Meta was born in Albania, the son of two classical musicians. At the age of 13 he emigrated to Italy with his mother and sister. He’s written many songs for important Italian artists. Vietato Morire, like many of his songs, is autobiographical: his father was a violent alcoholic. The song is written in the form of a dialogue with his mother. Here are the lyrics with our English translation.

Ricordo quegli occhi pieni di vita
e il tuo sorriso ferito dai pugni in faccia
Ricordo la notte con poche luci
ma almeno là fuori non c’erano i lupi
Ricordo il primo giorno di scuola
ventinove bambini e la maestra Margherita
tutti mi chiedevano in coro
come mai avessi un occhio nero
La tua collana con la pietra magica
io la stringevo per portarti via di là
e la paura frantumava i pensieri
che alle ossa ci pensavano gli altri
E la fatica che hai dovuto fare
da un libro di odio ad insegnarmi l’amore
Hai smesso di sognare per farmi sognare
le tue parole sono adesso una canzone

I remember those eyes full of life
and your smile wounded by punches in the face
I remember the night with few lights
but at least there weren’t wolves out there
I remember the first day of school
twenty nine kids and the teacher Margherita
they all asked me
why I had a black eye
I held your necklace with the magic stone tightly
to take you away from there
and fear was shattering my thoughts
whilst others took care of the bones
And the effort you had to make
to teach me love from a book of hatred
You gave up dreaming to let me dream
your words are now a song

Cambia le tue stelle, se ci provi riuscirai
e ricorda che l’amore non colpisce in faccia mai
Figlio mio ricorda
l’uomo che tu diventerai
non sarà mai più grande dell’amore che dai

Change your stars, if you try you’ll succeed
and remember that love never hits you in the face
My son remember
the man you’ll become
will never be greater than the love you give

Non ho dimenticato l’istante
in cui mi sono fatto grande
per difenderti da quelle mani
anche se portavo i pantaloncini
La tua collana con la pietra magica
io la stringevo per portarti via di là
ma la magia era finita
restava solo da prendere a morsi la vita

I haven’t forgotten the moment
in which I became an adult
to defend you from those hands
even if I still wore shorts
I held your necklace with the magic stone tightly
to take you away from there
but the magic had ended
all that remained was to tear at life

Cambia le tue stelle, se ci provi riuscirai
e ricorda che l’amore non colpisce in faccia mai
Figlio mio ricorda
l’uomo che tu diventerai
non sarà mai più grande dell’amore che dai

Change your stars, if you try you’ll succeed
and remember that love never hits you in the face
My son remember
the man you’ll become
will never be greater than the love you give

Lo sai che una ferita si chiude e dentro non si vede
Che cosa ti aspettavi da grande? non è tardi per ricominciare
e scegli una strada diversa e ricorda che l’amore non è violenza
Ricorda di disobbedire e ricorda che è vietato morire, vietato morire

You know that a wound will close and you can’t see inside
What did you expect when you grew up? it isn’t too late to begin again
and choose a different road and remember that love isn’t violence
Remember to disobey and remember you’re not allowed to die, you’re not allowed to die

Cambia le tue stelle, se ci provi riuscirai
e ricorda che l’amore non ti spara in faccia mai
Figlio mio ricorda bene che
la vita che avrai
non sarà mai distante dell’amore che dai
Ricorda di disobbedire
perché è vietato morire.

Change your stars, if you try you’ll succeed
and remember that love never shoots you in the face
My son remember well that
the life you’ll have
will never be far from the love that you give
Remember to disobey
because you’re not allowed to die.

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Comments:

  1. Franco Campanello:

    Ho jia perduto mio fratello de l’alchohol. Era una violenza passiva. Questa canzone mi tocca al cuore. Granzie. Scuzi, mia linguaggia e brutta. Francuccio

  2. Linda Chopra:

    Intense lyrics, indicative of our times, unfortunately. Now I want to hear the music.

  3. Cecilia:

    Che bella canzone! L’amore di una mamma é il più grande amore…

  4. June:

    Abbiamo guardato il Festival di San Remo qui in Virginia via RAI International. Stupendo!


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