Chi chi li chi (Orlando di Lasso)

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  • CPDL #28043:         
Editor: Gerd Eichler (submitted 2013-01-14).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 108 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Mensural notation, original key and note values. musica ficta clearly marked, clefs modernized. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Chi chi li chi
Composer: Orlando di Lasso

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicings: SSATTB or SSATBB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Languages: Neapolitan, Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First Published: 1581 in Libro de villanelle, moresche et altre canzoni, no. 20.

Description: Based on an earlier anonymous 3-voice composition, possibly by da Nola. Lasso's arrangement is not to be confused with Chi chi li chi (Andrea Gabrieli), published seven years earlier.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Neapolitan.png Neapolitan and Italian.png Italian text

Original text:
Chi chilichi? Cucurucu!
U, scontienta, U, beschina,
U, sportunata, me Lucia!
Non sienta Martina galla cantara?
Lassa canta, possa clepare!
Porca te, piscia sia cicata!
Ia dormuta, tu scitata.
Ba con dia, non bo più per namolata.
Tutta la notte tu dormuta
Mai a me tu basciata
Cucurucu! Cucurucu!
Che papa la sagna
Metter’ ucelli entr’ a gaiola
Cucurucu, cucurucu!
Leva da loco, Piglia Zampogna
Va sonando per chissa cantuna.
Lirum li, lirum li

«Sona, se vuoi sonare»

Lassa carumpa canella
Lassa Martina, Lassa Lucia!
U, madonna, aticilum barbuni
U, macera catutuni,
Sona, son’o non gli dare,
Lirum li, lirum li.
(La mogliere del peccoraro:
Sette pecore a no danaro:
Se ce fussa Caroso mio
Cinco peccore a no carlino:)
Auza la gamba, madonna Lucia
Sauta no poco con mastro Martino.
Lirum li, lirum li.
 

English.png English translation

[note: chilichi and cucurucu are chicken sounds. Think "cock-a-doodle-doo."]

"Who's crowing chilichi? - "Cucurucu"
"O, unhappy, o, miserable,
O, unfortunate me, Lucia!
Don't you hear Martino your cock singing?"
"Struth, your song can go to hell,
You pig, you shitface!
I was asleep, now you've woken me!
Go with God, I am not in love any longer.
You slept all night long,
Never once did you give me a kiss."
"Cucurucu, cucurucu!"
"If Papa knew,
Birds like you would land in jail.
"Cucurucu, cucurucu!"
"Get away from here, go and squeeze your bagpipe,
Go and sing your song to someone else."
"lirum lirum… li!"

"(Then play if you want to!)"

"Oh, for pity's sake, you dog!
Alas, Martino, alas, Lucia!
O, My Lady, to thy heaven,
O, grind it up.
"Play, play, but don't give him anything!"
Lirum li, lirum li.
The shepherd's wife
Has seven sheep and no money;
If it was my beloved,
There'd be five sheep and not a farthing.
Raise your leg, my lady Lucia
Reach me your hand, take the bagpipe,
Have a good romp with Master Martino!
Lirum, lirum li…
 

English.png English translation

Alternate translation:

A COCK: Cock-a-doodle-do? Cock-a-doodle-do!

LUCIA: O woe is me, woe is me,
O poor Lucia!
Martino, don't you hear the cock crowing?

MARTINO: Let him crow, may he die,
you bitch, you pisser, I only wish you'd go blind!
I was asleep and you woke me up.
The devil take you, you're bothering me.

LUCIA: You slept all night
without making love to me a single time.

A COCK: Cock-a-doodle-do! Cock-a-doodle-do!

MARTINO: If the Pope heard about it,
he'd have that bird put in a cage.

A COCK: Cock-a-doodle-do! Cock-a-doodle-do!

LUCIA: Away with you,
take your pipes
and go play somewhere else.
Lirum, lirum, li.

MARTINO: Well, play if you want to play,
But watch out for the pipe.
Poor old Martino!

LUCIA: Poor Lucia.

MARTINO: O, my lovely one.

LUCIA: Go and get stuffed!

MARTINO: My little pussy!
Go on then, either play or leave me alone.
Lirum, lirum li.
     'The shepherd's wife
     wanted a penny for seven sheep;
     if it had been my little loved one,
     it would have been a pug for five sheep.'
Lift up your legs, fair Lucia,
stretch out your hand and touch my pipe,
dance a little with Master Martino*,
Lirum, lirum, li.

  • (in dialect, Master Martino was a synonym for male genitalia)