Learn Italian in Song: Eri Piccola Cosi’

You Were Small, Like This

music by Fred Buscaglione, lyrics written by/with Chiosso
Fred Buscaglione ( the Italian version of this wikipedia bio is much better). Buscaglione invented a stage persona drawn from Damon Runyon, Mickey Spillane, et al – the cigarette-puffing, whiskey-drinking tough with a weakness for bad women, as in this example.

T’ho veduta. I saw you.
T’ho seguita. I followed you.
T’ho fermata. I stopped you.
T’ho baciata. I kissed you.
eri piccola, piccola, piccola, You were small, small, small
così! Like this!
M’hai guardato. You looked at me.
Hai taciuto. You didn’t speak.
ho pensato: I thought:
“Beh, son piaciuto”. Well, I was liked [she liked me]
Eri piccola…
Poi, Then
é nato il nostro folle amore, Our crazy love was born,
che, That
ripenso ancora con terrore. I still remember with terror.
M’hai stregato. You bewitched me.
T’ho creduta. I believed you.
L’hai voluto. You wanted it.
T’ho sposata. I married you.
Eri piccola…
T’ho viziata, coccolata, I spoiled you, coddled [you]
latte, burro, marmellata. Milk, butter, Jam.
Eri piccola…
E cretino sono stato, And I was stupid
anche il gatto m’hai venduto. You even sold my cat.
Ma eri piccola,

eh gia’, piccola, piccola,

But you were little, yeah, little…
fumavi mille sigarette.
You smoked thousands of cigarettes
facevo il grano col tresette.
I made money with Three-Seven [card game]
Poi un giorno Then one day
m’hai piantato You left me
per un tipo spappolato [svaporato?] For a mushy / stale guy
T’ho cercato, I looked for you
l’ho scovato, I found him
l’ho guardato, I looked at you
s’é squagliato. He legged it.
Quattro schiaffi t’ho servito, I gave you four slaps
Tu mi hai detto:”Disgraziato!”. You said to me: “Wretch!”
La pistola m’hai puntato, eh, You pointed the pistol at me, eh
ed un colpo m’hai sparato. And fired a shot at me
E sì Ah, yes
Spara (bang). Shoot
Spara (bang),
e spara (bang)
khoff, khoff , khoff, khoff , (colpi di tosse) [coughing]
E pensare che eri piccola, And to think that you were little
ma piccola, But little
tanto piccola, So little
così! Like this!

Some years ago my daughter Rossella and her friends began making their own video of the song:


  1. thank u so much. i really am learning italian.
    i had the idea i could by song & found you. thank u thank u

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