Tag Archives: musicals

Aggiungi un Posto a Tavola: Peccato Che Sia Peccato

This song, the second in the show, is built around a pun. Peccato means “sin,” but the phrase Che peccato is used like the English “What a shame!” The singers are Don Silvestro, the priest, and Clementina, the mayor’s daughter, who has a crush on him (which he, secretly, reciprocates) and goes daily to confess Read More…

This song, the second in the show, is built around a pun. Peccato means “sin,” but the phrase Che peccato is used like the English “What a shame!”

The singers are Don Silvestro, the priest, and Clementina, the mayor’s daughter, who has a crush on him (which he, secretly, reciprocates) and goes daily to confess sins that she hasn’t actually committed, just to have an excuse to talk to him.

Peccato Che Sia Peccato

It’s a Shame That It’s a Sin

C: Ma perché, penso a te C: But why, I think of you
Io lo so, no non si può I know, it’s not allowed
È vietato, è proibito It’s forbidden, it’s prohibited
È peccato It’s a sin.
S: Clementina Clementina uoh uoh uoh…
C: Peccato che sia peccato, ma che peccato che sia così What a shame that it’s a sin, but what a shame that it’s that way
Peccato che il mio ideale sentimentale finisce qui What a shame that my emotional ideal ends here
Io ti sogno di notte I dream of you at night
S: Clementina
C: Io ti inseguo di giorno I follow you by day
S: Clementina
C: Io ti chiamo per nome I call you by name
Ma è un nome che significa no* But it’s a name that means “no”
Invece tu non ti accorgi di niente, se ti guardo tu niente Instead you don’t notice anything, if I look at you nothing
Se ti parlo tu niente in assoluto tu niente If I talk to you, nothing – absolutely you nothing
Ed è un peccato che proprio io And it’s a shame that precisely I
Che stupida sono io – what an idiot I am –
Dovevo innamorarmi di un uomo sbagliato accidenti a me! Had to fall in love with the wrong man, drat me!
Peccato che sia peccato, peccato What a shame that it’s a sin.
Se tu non fossi tu amarti senza scrupoli potrei If you weren’t you, I could love you without scruples
Ma se non fossi tu But if you weren’t you
Magari poi nemmeno ti amerei Perhaps I wouldn’t even love you.
Ed è un peccato che proprio io, imbroglio persino Iddio And it’s a shame that precisely I cheat even God
Al punto di inventarmi peccati mortali per parlare con te To the point of inventing mortal sins to talk to you
Peccato che sia peccato peccato! What a shame that it’s a sin.

next: Sono Calmo

Aggiungi un Posto a Tavola – An Italian Musical

I’m a huge fan of musical theater, grew up singing along with The Music Man, Camelot and Oliver. The first show I saw on stage was You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, in what must have been a local or travelling production, in San Francisco, when we were on home leave in 1969. I knew Read More…

I’m a huge fan of musical theater, grew up singing along with The Music Man, Camelot and Oliver. The first show I saw on stage was You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, in what must have been a local or travelling production, in San Francisco, when we were on home leave in 1969. I knew all these shows by heart, and by now know (and have seen) many more – most recently, Spamalot.

Italy, of course, famously has opera, and, to a lesser extent operetta, but not much tradition of modern musical theater as we know it in the US and UK. Of the few musicals produced in Italy, most are translations of English-language standards. (We saw a very good production of Grease years ago, which I enjoyed, but found the translation inadequate and distracting.) But there are a few native Italian musicals, of which the most famous is Aggiungi un Posto a Tavola (“Add Another Place at the Table”), a fable set in a mountain village somewhere in Italy, whose parish priest suddenly starts hearing the voice of God… and I’ll explain the story as I (gradually) translate the songs.

Enrico and I saw it in Spanish in Madrid (also years ago), which was a little weird as some of the Italian puns didn’t work in Spanish (though they might have added Spanish puns that I didn’t get). It has been produced in English, but never really took off, it seems, which is a pity – it’s a great show and well deserves to be better known.

Since I first wrote this piece, one or two different productions have made their way onto DVDs, sold as extras with newspapers. You might be able to pick up copies on eBay.it.

Here is a translation of the opening (and closing) song. The others that I’ve translated so far are listed below. Videos of most of the show’s musical numbers, many from the original productions starrring Johnny Dorelli, are currently (Mar, 2009) available on YouTube. There are also YouTube clips from many regional/amateur productions all over Italy.

Artisti Vari - Le Pi˘ Belle Canzoni Di Garinei & Giovannini - Aggiungi un Posto a Tavola
ritornello: refrain:
Aggiungi un posto a tavola Add another place at the table
che c’è un amico in più [because] there’s a friend more
se sposti un po’ la seggiola If you move your chair just a little
stai comodo anche tu, You’ll be comfortable, too
gli amici a questo servono Friends serve [this purpose]:
a stare in compagnia, To be together [in company]
sorridi al nuovo ospite Smile at the new guest
non farlo andare via Don’t send him away
dividi il companatico* Share your [food]
raddoppia l’allegria. Redouble your happiness.
La porta è sempre aperta The door is always open
la luce sempre accesa. The light is always on
Il fuoco è sempre vivo The fire is always lit
la mano sempre tesa. The hand is always outstretched [in welcome]
E se qualcuno arriva And if someone arrives
non chiedergli: chi sei? don’t ask him: who are you?
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
E se qualcuno arriva And if someone arrives
non chiedergli: che vuoi? Don’t ask him: what do you want?
Ma corri verso lui But run towards him
con la tua mano tesa. With your hand outstretched
e corri verso lui Run towards him
spalancagli un sorriso Flinging wide a smile
e grida: “Evviva, evviva!** And shout “Hooray!”
Evviva, evviva, evviva, evviva, evviva…
(ritornello) (refrain)
e così, e così, e così, e così così sia… And so, so, so… so be it!
* Companatico – literally “what you eat/have with your bread” ** Evviva – “long live!” or “up with!” or “hurray for!” – is often abbreviated VV (when written by hand, the two Vs overlap, forming a sort of W). Therefore the opposite (abbasso – down with) is sometimes written ^^.

List of songs in the show:

1. Aggiungi Un Posto A Tavola

2. Peccato Che Sia Peccato

3. Sono Calmo

4. Concerto Per Prete E Campane

5. Buttalo Via

6. Notte Per Non Dormire

7. Consolazione

8. Notte Per Non Dormire 2

9. L’amore Secondo Me

10. Una Formica e’ Solo Una Formica

11. Ballata Di San Crispino

12. Peccato Che Sia Peccato

13. Clementina

14. Ti Voglio

15. Quando L’Arca Si Fermera

16. L’amore Secondo Me

17. Aggiungi Un Posto A Tavola