Matona, mia cara (Orlando di Lasso)

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General Information

Title: Matona mia cara
Composer: Orlando di Lasso

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1581 in Libro de villanelle, moresche et altre canzoni, no. 12

Description: The original text is sung by a German soldier who can speak very little Italian. This fact is given very well in the lyrics, which resemble exactly a strong German accent (even in modern Italian) and include some French words which the soldier seems to mistake for Italian – bon, compagnon – and ‘follere’, which means nothing in Italian but closely resembles the vulgar verb fottere. It also may be from Late Latin, the present active infinitive of folleo, to puff out like a bellows (suggesting the soldier wants to sing a song of bragging or puffery). (Dictionary reference here: http://www.wordsense.eu/folleo/#Latin) The text has many double meanings, extremely difficult to transpose into other languages. The skill of the author exploits the limited language of the soldier, using simple expressions that help him to achieve an extremely funny monologue. The strong language has led to ‘adjusted’ versions that have replacements for the most offensive words, ficcar (baciar) and urtar (ballar).

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Matona, mia cara, Mi follere canzon,
Cantar sotto finestra, Lantze bon compagnon.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Ti prego m'ascoltare, che mi cantar de bon,
E mi ti foller bene, come greco e capon.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Comandar alle cacce, cacciar, cacciar con le falcon,
Mi ti portar becacce, grasse come rognon.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Se mi non saper dire, tante belle razon,
Petrarcha mi non saper, Ne fonte d'Helicon.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Se ti mi foller bene, mi non esser poltron,
Mi ficcar tutta notte urtar, urtar, urtar come monton,
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Czech.png Czech translation

Má drachá pani, já fám pisnyčku zaspífat.
Pod fokno pšijit, já tobrá lancknecht.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Ty poslouchat, das já spífat moc cheski
a milofat tě jako tobrá kapoun.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Dyž já jít to boje, jít s kochoutem,
a přinýst pošádný kus masa.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Neumim šikat žadný pěkná fěci,
neznát Petrarka ani Funténa z Heligónu.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Esli ty mě milofat, já fůbec ne líná,
sčerstva celou noc vydršet přirášet jak beran.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Dutch.png Dutch translation

Translation by Nico de Glas

Matonna lief, mij willen liedje zingen,
zingen voor raam van jou. Mij vriend en goed soldaat
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Ik vraag je, hoor mij aan, ik zingen lang niet kwaad,
Ik lief voor jou zijn als een Griek of een kapoen.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Als ik op jacht gaan, jagen met de valk
Ik breng jou eend, zo vet als nierenvet
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Ik heb niet mooie woorden en ik geen dichter zijn
Petrarca mij niet kennen en ook niet Helicon
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Jij mij wel willen? Dan ik ook geen slome sok!
Ik hengsten heel de nacht en rammen als een bok.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

(Noot: Grieken en kapoenen staan voor ongevaarlijke
en onechte mannen, maar zie r. 10)

English.png English translation

My lovely Lady, I want a song to sing
Under your window: this lancer is jolly fellow!
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Please listen to me, because I'm singing well
And I'm as fond of you as a Greek is of a capon!
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

When I go hunting, I hunt with the falcon,
And I'll bring you a woodcock, as fat as a kidney
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

I cannot tell you many elegant things,
I know nothing of Petrarch, nor the Fountain of Helicon
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

If you'll love me I won't be lazy
I will fuck all night long, I will thrust like a ram
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Esperanto.png Esperanto translation

Damo mia kara

Al damo mia kara, mi kanti sub balkon’:
jen mi, german’ bonkora, soldat’ en garnizon’.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Bonvolu min aŭskulti, mi bona bariton’,
kaj mi vin ami multe, obstine, sen rezon’.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Kaj ĉasi per la falko, mi vera ĉampion’,
kaj mi al vi skalopojn, pli dikajn ol melon’.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Se la kanzon’ mizera, mi peti pri pardon’,
ne koni Kaloĉajon, nek verkojn de Gaston’.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Se vi min reciproke, ne esti mi poltron’,
kisadi tutan nokton, jen danco de stalon’.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Translation by Dario Besseghini

German.png German translation

Landsknecht-Ständchen

He, Fräulein, meine Liebe, ich singe dir ein Lied.
Sing’ unter deinem Fenster, der Lanze ist guter Freund.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Tu du mich doch erhören, ich bin so schön am Singen,
Und ich werde dich lieben wie Widder und Schaf.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Wenn wir ans Jagen gehen, dann mit dem Falkentiere.
Ich bring’ dir eine Schnepfe, so fett wie eine Niere.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Wenn ich nicht Worte finde zu solchen schönen Sachen,
Kann nicht Petrarch und nicht der Quell von Helikon es besser machen.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.

Wenn du mir lieb sein werdest, will ich nicht träge sein:
Ich ficke bis zum Morgen und rammele wie’n Widder.
Don don don, diri diri don don don don.