NUN C’ERA ALTIRNATIVA / IT WAS NOT AN OPTION

Burgatedda - The village

NUN C’ERA ALTIRNATIVA

Risulenti burgatedda

chi ti specchi, trimulanti,

supra l’unni di lu mari

azzurrinu e spumiggianti.

 

T’arrusbigghi la matina

di lu suli a la livata,

assai tristi e silinziusa

comu amanti abbannunata.

 

Pensi forsi a la to genti,

chi custritta ad emigrari

ti lasso` sula sulidda

senza mancu salutari?

 

Ma nun c’era altirnativa,

siddu partiri o ristari,

c’era sulu lu bisognu,

tanti vucchi di sfamari!

 

Burgatedda risulenti,

senti a mia, nun ti allarmari,

sti gintuzzi a lu partiri,

sannu gia` c’hannu a turnari.

 

  E sarà gran festa quannu

rivirrannu li to mura,

tali e quali a primavera

rinineddi migratura.

 

Peppino Collurafici

IT WAS NOT AN OPTION

Smiling simple little village,

Your trembling image mirroring

In the waves of your sea,

Blue when calm or white when cresting.

 

In the morning you wake up

With the sun at the hint of dawn

Very sad, lonely and hushed

As a much forsaken lover.

 

Maybe you wonder about your people

Who compelled to emigrate,

Left you alone for foreign lands,

With not even a sad good-bye?

 

It was not for us an option

For the leaving or the staying,

It was the great need

For so many mouths to feed.

 

Smiling simple little town,

Listen here, don’t be dismayed,

These people when they left,

Already knew they will be back.

 

A jubilee will be the day,

They will return to your walls,

As when in spring come back,

The ever migrant happy swallows.

 

Translation by  Nino Russo

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