Learn Italian in Song: La Terra dei Cachi


The Land of Persimmons

By
Elio e le Storie Tese, who also did Fossi Figo. This song was a huge hit when it first came out in 1996, with its punning, ironic references to topics such as Mani Pulite and various hospital scandals. (Pity not much has changed since… )

I don’t know if cachi (persimmons) has any special significance, unless it’s a pun on caca (poop).

 

 
Parcheggi abusivi, applausi abusivi,   Illicit parking, illicit applause,  
villette abusive, abusi sessuali abusivi;   Illicit houses, illicit sexual abuse;  
tanta voglia di ricominciare abusiva.   So much illicit desire to start over  
Appalti truccati, trapianti truccati,   Rigged bids, rigged transplants,  
motorini truccati   Tricked-out scooters  
che scippano donne truccate;   that purse-snatch made-up women;  
il visagista delle dive e’ truccatissimo.   The divas’ make-up artist is extremely made up.  
Papaveri e papi, la donna cannolo,   Poppies and popes, the cannolo woman  
una lacrima sul visto:   a tear on the face:  
Italia si’ Italia no   Italy yes, Italy no  
Italia bum, la strage impunita.   Italy bang, the unpunished massacre  
Puoi dir di si’ puoi dir di no,   You can say yes, you can say no,  
ma questa e’ la vita.   but this is life.  
Prepariamoci un caffe’,   Let’s make ourselves a coffee  
non rechiamoci al caffe’ :   Let’s not go to the cafe’  
c’e’ un commando che ci aspetta   There’s a command awaiting us  
per assassinarci un po’.   to kill us a bit.  
Commando si’ commando no,   Command yes, command no  
commando omicida.   homicidal command  
Commando pam commando papapapapam,   Command bang, command bang bang bang [machine gun sound]  
ma se c’e’ la partita   but if there’s a game  
il commando non ci sta e allo stadio se ne va,   The command won’t tolerate it/won’t be there, and it goes to the stadium  
sventolando il bandierone non piu’ sangue scorrera’   waving the big flag, no more blood will flow  
infetto si’ ? Infetto no? Quintali di plasma.   Infected, yes? Infected, no? Tons of plasma  
Primario si’ primario dai, primario fantasma,   [hospital] head of department yes, head of department ghost  
io fantasma non saro’ e al tuo plasma dico no.   I won’t be a ghost and I say no to your plasma  
Se dimentichi le pinze fischiettando ti diro’   If you forget the forceps, whistling i will say to you:  
"fi fi fi fi fi fi fi fi ti devo una pinza,   [whistling] I owe you a forceps  
fi fi fi fi fi fi fi fi, ce l ‘ ho nella panza".   [whistling] I have it in my tummy  
Viva il crogiuolo di pinze.   Hooray for the crucible of forceps  
Viva il crogiuolo di panze.   Hooray for the crucible of tummies  
Quanti problemi irrisolti ma un cuore grande cosi’.   So many unresolved problems but a heart as big as this.  
Italia si’ Italia no   Italy yes, Italy no  
Italia gnamme, se famo du spaghi*.  

Italy yum, if we make some spaghetti

* Roman dialect: "We’ll make two spaghetti"

 
Italia sob Italia prot,   Italy sob, Italy [fart sound]  
la terra dei cachi.   the land of persimmons  
Una pizza in compagnia, una pizza da solo;   A pizza in company, a pizza alone  
un totale di due pizze e l’Italia e’ questa qua.   A total of two pizzas and Italy is this here.  
Fufafifi’ fufafifi’ Italia evviva.   [whistling] Hooray for Italy  
Italia perfetta, perepepe’ nanananai.   Perfect Italy [music]  
Una pizza in compagnia, una pizza da solo:   A pizza in company, a pizza alone  
in totale molto pizzo, ma l ‘ Italia non ci sta.   In total a lot of bribes  
Italia si’ Italia no, Italia si’   Italy yes, Italy no, Italy yes  
Perche’ la terra dei cachi e’ la terra dei cachi. No.   Because the land of persimmons is the land of persimmons. No.  

One thought on “Learn Italian in Song: La Terra dei Cachi

  1. Cox

    Mistranslation: There’s a pun at the line “Una lacrima sul visto”, it sounds almost like an old song “Una Lacrima sul Viso” (A Tear Upon the Face) but the word “visto” means visa, permission 🙂
    Good job though!

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