’O Sole Mio

’O sole mio is a Neapolitan song which has justifiably been called “La canzone più famosa del mondo” (“The most famous song in the world“). It was first published in 1898 when it won one of the two second prizes at the festival of Piedigrotta. Its lyrics were written by the Neapolitan poet Giovanni Capurro (1859–1920).

Until 1972, the Neapolitan musician, Eduardo di Capua (1865–1917), was the only composer known to the world at large as having played any role in creating the music for the song. In November of that year, however, the daughter of Alfredo Mazzucchi (1878–1972), shortly after her father’s death, lodged a declaration with Italy’s Ufficio della proprietà letteraria artistica e scientifica, seeking to have her father recognised as a co-composer of the music. His co-authorship has now been legally established in a ruling issued by a court in Turin in 2002.

Resources

Since the melody of this song is still under copyright in Australia, no downloadable scores of it will be made publicly available on this site.

Wikipedia article on the song.

Performances on YouTube

Luciano Pavarotti
Enrico Caruso
Giuseppe di Stefano

Neapolitan lyrics

Che bella cosa na jurnata ’e sole,
n’aria serena doppo na tempesta!
Pe’ ll’aria fresca pare già na festa
Che bella cosa na jurnata ’e sole.

Ritornello:
Ma n’atu sole cchiù bello, oi ne’,
’o sole mio sta nfronte a te!
’o sole, ’o sole mio
sta nfronte a te, sta nfronte a te!

Lùcene ’e llastre d’’a fenesta toia;
’na lavannara canta e se ne vanta
e pe’ tramente torce, spanne e canta,
lùcene ’e llastre d’’a fenesta toia.

(Ritornello)

Quanno fa notte e ’o sole se ne scenne,
me vene quase ’na malincunia;
sotto ’a fenesta toia restarria
quanno fa notte e ’o sole se ne scenne.

(Ritornello)

English translation*

What a beautiful thing is a day of sunshine,
The calm after a storm!
With the air so fresh, it already seems like a holiday.
What a beautiful thing is day of sunshine!

Refrain:
But another sunshine even more beautiful, oh sweetheart,
My own sunshine, is your face!
The sunshine, my own sunshine,
Is your face; it’s your face!

Your window panes are shining;
A washerwoman is singing and boasting about it
And as she wrings the clothes, hangs them out to dry and sings,
Your window panes are shining.

(Refrain)

When night falls and the sun is setting,
A melancholy almost steals over me;
I’d linger below your window
When night falls and the sun is setting.

(Refrain)

Creative Commons License  2018
*This translation, by David Wilson, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.