Tarantella del Gargano

The Tarantella del Gargano is a traditional love song, with lyrics in dialect, collected on December 10th, 1966 in Carpìno, a village on Gargano promontory, in the province of Foggia, Italy, by ethnomusicologists Diego Carpitella and Roberto Leydi, in the framework of the research started in 1954 by Alan Lomax and by the same Carpitella.
The song is a sonnet (sunèttë) in slow tarantella form, in a minor tonality, known as "alla mundanarë", i.e. "mountaineer style", meaning it was originating in the village of Monte Sant'Angelo. The original version, known as "Accomë j'èja fa' p'amà 'sta donnë" (what should I do to love this woman), was performed as a serenade by the old singers, who brought it on the streets and at the windows of the village with voice, chitarra battente ("strumming guitar"), "French" Guitar (the classical guitar) and tambourine.

The tarantella del Gargano has been performed several times by Italian groups, the version which is closest to the original is probably that of Cantori di Carpino, together with the one recorded in Bisignano, but we also remember the Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare, featuring Carlo d'Angiò, Daniele Sepe, featuring Brunella Selo, Lina Sastri and Antidotum Tarantulae, featuring Emilia Ottaviano, but also foreigners, as Owayn Phyfe, an American of Welsh origin and the Germans Amarcord.

Antidotum Tarantulae
tarantellatesti.blogspot.it http://tarantellatesti.blogspot.it/2009/09/tarantella-del-gargano-puglia.html


Sta donni, comme de' j' fari pi amà 'sta donni?
Di rose l'ej a fà nu bellu ciardini,
'ndorni p'indorni a llei a annammurari,
di prete preziosi e ori fini,
'mmezzi 'nce la cavà 'na brava funtani,
j'eja fà corri l'acqua surgentivi,
'ncoppa ce lu metto n'auciello a cantari.
Cantava e repusava bella dicevi:
e pi vui so' addivintato n'auciello,
pi farimi 'nu suonno accanto a voi bella madonna.
Me l'ha fatto 'nnammurà la cammenatura e lu parlà,
si bella tu nun c'ive 'nnammurà nun me facive,
ah uei lì uei llà.
Ah pinciué 'sta 'ncagnata che vuò da me,
mammeta lu sape e t'o voj dicere pure a te.
This woman, what should I do to love this woman?
For her I'll make a beautiful garden of roses,
All around her to make her fall in love,
With precious stones and fine gold,
In the middle of it I'll dig a beautiful fountain,
And spring water will gush from it,
I'll put on it a bird singing.
He'll sing and rest, saying "You sweetheart:
For you I became a bird,
To sleep beside you, oh beautiful lady
I fell in love with the way you walk and talk,
If you weren't beautiful I hadn't fell in love with you
Ah uei lì uei llà.
Ah, little dear, you're angry, what do you want from me,
Your mother knows it and I want to tell it to you too.

Thanks Ferdinando Cozzolino for helping me to translate the term "pinciué", quoting Salvatore Villani,an expert of Gargano tradition.

I apologize for any error in English translation:
if you want to communicate with me for corrections and/or comments, write me at:

page created on: March 29th 2017 and last updated on: May 28th, 2023