The Greengrocer (translation of an… interesting song)

I have been away for a while. Busy times, not enough time to focus on writing and nothing cheerful to write about. But now I’m back!

I will continue with the Alphabet thing, but now I am compelled to write because I have just listened to a song by Italian artists Dargen D’Amico, Fedez and Mistico. A friend was laughing when she told me to listen to it because it was a funny one, so I opened YouTube and found “Bocciofili”: here you go http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CWEuYdnPbQ . To everybody’s benefit (and because I feel like focusing strongly on something, so a good, hard translation is just what I need right now) I will report the lyrics and try and explain how they can be funny through my best attempt at a translation. It will be quite obvious how they can be offensive too -I do not know whether the artists meant for them to be ironic or not. I certainly hope they did.

Fai come l’ortolano

Fai come l’ortolano

Fai come l’ortolano

Fai come l’ortolano -ano-ano…

Do what a greengrocer does

Be like a greengrocer

Be like a greengrocer

Be like a greengrocer

Be like a greengrocer….

Quando ti vedo vado fuori di testa e sbrago

prima ti bacio e poi ti spiego il perchè

oh mamma marasciona oh mamma madonna

oh mamma ma tocco con mano come Maradona

tu sei una fuoriclasse nel ballo sulle casse

fai l’onda con la schiena, catalizzi la scena

la luna ci abbandona e il sole ci incorona

il mattino ti dona mostri quanto sei bona.

When I see you I go nuts and I get enthusiast [regional slang term; can indicate ‘excited’ with a sexual connotation]

First I kiss you then I explain

Oh God dear God oh God my God

Oh God dear God I touch with my hand like Maradona [rhymes; refers to the ‘mythical’ figure of the uninhibited footballer]

You are a champion [football terminology] at dancing on these amps

Your back ‘flutters’ wave-like, the lights are on you

The moon leaves and the sun crowns us

The morning light looks good on you, it shows how ‘fuckable’ you are

Mettimi questi meloni in mano, fai come l’ortolano

che non ne posso più di andare piano

esci quelle bocce che le voglio cospargere con l’olio

ho voglia di svuotarmi il portafoglio.

Put those melons of yours in my hands [derogatory slang term for ‘boobs’], be like a greengrocer

’cause I’ve had enough of going slow

take out those bocce [literally ‘bowls’; meaning a set of balls, each of which is usually as big as to fit in the palm of a man’s hand; here, slang term for ‘boobs’] because I want to scatter them with oil [to make the bocce run more smoothly , as the aim of the game is to throw your boccia as close to a central ‘boccino’ as possible. To be intended sexually in the context]

I want to run out of money

Entro nel locale e loro sono lì con te

mi guardano con gli occhi di chi vuole un tête-à-tête

mi chiedo se c’è un corso di danza per decolletè

perchè le tue tette ballano molto meglio di te

I enter the club and they [your boobs] are there with you,

they look at me like he who wants a tête-à-tête [direct confrontation; also, allitteration with “tette”/’boobs’]

I wonder, is there a dance course for decolletes?

Because your boobs can dance better than you

Rime per metá serie e per metaforiche

tra meloni di plastiche e verdure macrobiotiche

guarda che capisco le esigenze fisiologiche

non giri mezza nuda hai le tette claustrofobiche

bevi un cocktail che tutto passa

ma non sono come gli altri, sono sensibilissimo

Ti sembri brutta, ti vedi grassa?

Non ti preoccupare ci vedi benissimo.

Rhymes half serious and half-phorical [wordplay based on alliterations; if I come up with a good translation, I will correct this literal one]

among plastic melons [=> breast implants] and macrobiotic veggies [many possible meanings; possibly, the line relates to ‘modern women”s tendency to adopt alternative ‘healthier’ life styles; it could also refer to the female protagonist’s reluctance at sleeping with the singer, or to other men’s lack of masculinity]

You see, I understand these physiological needs:

it isn’t that you walk around half-naked: it’s that your boobs are claustrophobic.

Drink a cocktail and everything will be all right,

I am not like the others, I am so sensitive:

do you see yourself ugly, do you see yourself fat?

Don’t worry, your sight is absolutely perfect.

Mettimi questi meloni in mano, fai come l’ortolano

che non ne posso più di andare piano

esci quelle bocce che le voglio cospargere con l’olio

ho voglia di svuotarmi il portafoglio.

Put those melons of yours in my hands, be like a greengrocer

’cause I’ve had enough of going slow

take out those bocce because I want to scatter them with oil

I want to run out of money

Sia quando parli, sia quando balli

hai la folla intorno come in combattimenti dei galli

e se mi fissi a lungo, tiro dentro la pancia

e se mi chiedi il peso, mento: falso in bilancia

Ma se ne versa un altro, mostro la mia dieta in pista

Di sobrio ho solo il vestito, non saprei centrare un buco

Andiamo a letto con l’aiuto delle mappe di Google.

When you talk, when you dance

The crowd gathers around you like people at gamecocks fights

And if you stare at me long enough, I suck in my belly;

and if you ask me my weight, I lie: I cooked the books

[‘falso in bilanciO’ means ‘to commit accounting fraud’; but ‘bilanciA’ means ‘scale’]

But if I have one more drink, I will show my diet on the dancefloor

The only sober thing on me is my clothing, I wouldn’t be able to find the hole [sexual reference. Obviously]

We can make it with the help of Google Maps.

Mettimi questi meloni in mano, fai come l’ortolano

che non ne posso più di andare piano

esci quelle bocce che le voglio cospargere con l’olio

ho voglia di svuotarmi il portafoglio.

Put those melons of yours in my hands, be like a greengrocer

’cause I’ve had enough of going slow

take out those bocce because I want to scatter them with oil

I want to run out of money

E se davvero non ti piaccio

Berremo fino al punto che

Ti sembreró Gabriel Garko

e tu mi sembrerai Belen

E se i meloni non li esci

e la patana men che mai

ridammi subito i miei cashi

ci pagheró il canone Rai.

And if you really do not fancy me,

we will drink until

I will look to you like Gabriel Garko

and you will look to me like Belen

And if you don’t take out those melons,

And you’re even less likely to uncover that potato [slang for ‘vagina’. I used the gullible ‘potato’ in my translation because it is fundamental to keep the ‘greengrocer’ metaphor, although the regional slang the singer uses only comes close to the more diffused ‘pataTa’=’potato’]

Then gimme back my monies

I could pay my TV licence.

Draw your own conclusions, I feel sick.

PS: This post has not been proof read. I apologies for big mistakes; I will look over it again soon, promise.

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2 Responses to The Greengrocer (translation of an… interesting song)

  1. deedeesmiles says:

    hahaahah i always wanted to know the real meaning of this song, the “literal” meaning. I used to listen it during my student exchange in A Coruña, in Spain. My italian friends used to sing it out loud, I had a slightly idea but never knew what exactly said.
    (I still wonder who Belen is, the link didn`t work… but Gabriel Garko… he`s so DAMN!!)

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