Folk Traditions: Lullabies



Our women, especially the young mothers, know how to sing lullabies to their children
with heartfelt emotion. They are admirable for their sweet words and for the sweet cadence of
their singing.

Dormi, figghiu, ed alao..
S. Antuninu scinniti, scinniti je l’annacu e vui l’addrimmisciti lu beddru picciriddru meu ed alao..

Addrummisciti stu me figghiu ch’avi lu sunnuzzu, ed alao…
E Vui Santu Nicola, purtativillu a la vostra scola, ed alao…

E Vui San Francisco di Paula, purtativillu a la vostra tavula; datici a manciari pani e pisci chi lu picciriddru s’addummisci
E datici zuccaru e meli chi dormi megghiu lu me beni; stu figghiu me oh quantu e’ beddru s’avissi ali fora ancileddru, ed alao…
Figghiu beddru dormi ed abbenta, ciuri di gigghiu, scocca di menta, scocca di menta e di basilico, ed alao…
‘Natra sta naca ‘ngucciateddru, dormi beddru, gioia mia, dormi figghiu e fe la vo, ed alao…
Oh, figghiu quanti ti vogghiu beni!

Tu si l’apuzza e je sugnu lu meli, figghiu miu, quantu ti stimu ! Quantu Maria e Gesu Bambinu ed alao..
Ti stimu e ti stimu assai: tu si lu suli, li stiddri e li rai: figghiu beddru, ti vogghiu amari, la naca ti cunzavi p’arripusari, ed alao..
Dormi, dormi ucchiuzzi beddri, chi ti vigghianu l’ancileddri:
l’ancileddri di lu paradisu ‘namurati di lu to beddru visu, ed alao…
Figghiu miu, crisci ed allura, chi lu celu ti duna bona vintura.

Criatura priziusa, gioia di li celi ‘nta la facci assimigghi a lu ‘nnuccenti Abeli, ed alao…
Lu vuci di to mamma sarva ‘nta ssu curuzzu; murissi je centu voti pi stu figghiuzzu, ed alao…

***** ed alao’…… Note: has no meaning but used merely to keep the rhythm


Sleep child ed alao’
St. Anthony come down, come down
I rock him and you (St. Anthony) put him to sleep
My beautiful little child
ed alao’

Sleep my child who is sleepy, ed alao’
And you, St. Nicholas,
Take him to your school (teach him)
ed alao’

And you St. Francis of Paola,
Take him to your table;
Give him bread and fish to eat
So the child will sleep.
ed alao’

And give him sugar and honey
So my (treasure) will sleep better;
How beautiful is my child
If he had wings he’d be an angel
ed alao’

Sweet child sleep and quiet down,
Lily flower, (sprig) of mint,
(sprig) of mint and basil
ed alao’

In this embracing cradle,
Sleep beautiful one, my joy
Sleep child (rock a bye baby)
ed alao’

Sleep beautiful one, oh my innocent
May this cradle be made of gold
Sleep child ( rock a buy baby)
ed alao’

Oh child how much I love you!
You are the little bee and I am the honey,
My child, how much I adore you!
As much as Mary and Baby Jesus.
ed alao’

I adore you and I adore you so very much:
You are the sun, the stars and the rays (warmth) of the sun
Beautiful child, I want to love you,
I prepared the cradle for your rest.
ed alao’

Sleep, sleep beautiful little eyes,
May little angels watch over (you);
(may) little angels from Paradise
Become enamored with your beautiful face.
ed alao’

My child, grow and then
May the heavens give you (a) good future
Precious creature, joy of the heavens
(who) resembles innocent Abel. (from the Bible story)
ed alao’

May the voice of your mom (remain) in your little heart;
I would die a hundred times for this little child.
ed alao’

(Translation: Annette Chiappetta Rovello).


So many other affectionate verses are sung by the young mothers.

[This webpage is excerpted from the book: “The History of Poggioreale, Sicily – From 1640 to 1956.” Originally written in Italian by: Canonico Dottore Francesco Aloisio in 1956. Adapted and translated by: Dr. Jeremiah P. Spence, Ph.D. of Austin, Texas. 5th Edition. International Order of Genealogists Publishing. Ireland. 2019. ISBN: 9781072403371. The book can be purchased online at: ]