Lullaby of the war (October 1914)
Trilussa (Carlo Alberto Salustri, 1871-1950) from "Lupi e agnelli" (Wolves and lambs), 1919

Sleep and rest, rest and sleep, this baby wants the tit,
sleep, sleep, dearest love, or I'll call Farfarello
Farfarello and Big Bill
2 that goes on all fours,
Big Bill and Frank-Joe
3 who stands upright by props;
by the props of an empire, half yellow and half black
Hush-a-bye, go to sleep, if you sleep you will not see
many infamies and many troubles which happen in the world,
among the swords and guns of the civilized peoples.
Hushaby, hushaby, you can't hear the wails and sighs,
of those ones that kill and die for a fool which holds the power;
that butcher and slaughter one another for the sake of the race,
or for the sake of a faith for a God we cannot see,
but which works as a shelter to the butchering Sovereign;
since that killers' den staining our earth with blood
knows very well the war is a big circuit of money
preparing resources for the thieves in the Stock Exchanges.
Dearest love, sleep and rest, just until these slaughters last:
go to sleep, tomorrow we'll see again the sovereigns
exchanging esteem, good friends like before;
they are cousins, and relatives don't stand on ceremony,
and their personal relations will return hearty as before.
And gathering together, without the slightest compunction,
they'll make us a beautiful speech on work and peace
for that foolish people spared by the gun!

NOTES: 1. the Devil; 2. William II, German Emperor; 3. Franz Joseph I Emperor of Austria; 4. colours of the House of Habsburg's flag

VETTORI Giuseppe (edited by) Canzoni italiane di protesta. Newton Compton editori, Roma, 1974.

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   page created: June 22nd 2008 and last updated: November 3rd 2009