Purvari e Palli

Purvari e Palli
trad., chançon (Calabria Citra) – Domenico “Palma” Straface

Traditional song in the version of Pietro Domenico Straface aka “Palma”, born poor and who lived as a rebel bandit in Calabria Citra.
The song tells the story of the King of the Mountain, one of the most famous and uncatchable Calabrian bandits, and of his dramatic capture and condemnation.

Tira nimicu mio tira la pinna
Fussa ca nesci a morti la cundanna
Tu teni carta calamaru e pinna
E io purvari e palli a mio cummannu

Tu si lu viceré di chistu rregnu
Io sugnu ambeci u rre di la muntagna
Tandu nimicu mio, tandu m’arrendu
Quandu la capu mia mpendi a na ‘ntinna

Trovai la sorti a ddu jhumi currenti
A mmenzu sta cu tenta a travesrata
Unu si chjama Crati, unu Busentu
E io me amaru nci su capitatu

Chi mi ndi curu ca fussi valenti
Se mo di mani e pedi su ligatu
Tu sula figghja di lu presidenti
Po schjogghjeri st’affrittu carceratu

Se tu mi schjgghj sti nastri lucenti
Tu fa sarvari n’anima dannata
A mmia la morti nun mi fa spaventu
Ca ntra li voschi nci sugnu mparatu

Comu t’a jochi tu ch’i jhuri e l’erba
Io cavalliu cu li scuppettati
Li palli mi venianu a centu a centu
Eranu a mmia cumpetti nzuccarati


Use your pen, enemy of mine
I hope to be the your final sentence
Paper, pen and ink, are your weapons
Powder and bullets obey my will

You are the Viceroy of this land
I am the King of the Mountain
I will surrender,  be sure enemy of mine
Only when my head will be hanging on your flagpole

My fate met my bones amidst two running rivers
Between them is born who desire nothing but to flee
One is named Crati and one’s name is Busento
Miserable me, here I was born

What matters if I was a brave,
If now I’m in chains, bound by hands and feet
Only you, the Judge’s daughter,
This desolate prisoner can free

If you loosen this shiny ribbons
You will save a damned soul
I don’t fear Death
I’ve learnt it into the woods

Are you good at riding on the open fields?
I’ve always played with guns
The bullets rained towards on me hundreds and hundreds
They were sweet as dragees to me