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Passacaglia Della Vita - Italian Renaissance Song



Published
Music by Stefano Landi, vocals and arrangement by Farya Faraji. This is a song by Stefano Landi, baptized 26 February 1587 – 28 October 1639, an eminent figure of the Early Baroque School of Italian music. This specific piece is a passacaglia, a form originally from 17th century Spain characterised by a repeating, unchanging bass line forming the skeleton of the music, over which the melody and subsequent polyphonic variations are performed. Thanks a whole lot to Luinmir for having recommended this song first--I listened to it once in September and fell in love, so I had to do this one.

Lyrics in Italian
Oh come t'inganni
Se pensi che gl'anni
Non hann' da finire,
Bisogna morire

È un sogno la vita
Che par sì gradita,
E breve gioire,
Bisogna morire
Non val medicina,
Non giova la China,
Non si può guarire,
Bisogna morire

Non vaglion sberate,
Minarie, bravate
Che caglia l'ardire,
Bisogna morire
Dottrina che giova,
Parola non trova
Che plachi l'ardire,
Bisogna morire

Non si trova modo
Di scoglier 'sto nodo,
Non val il fuggire,
Bisogna morire
Commun'è statuto,
Non vale l'astuto
'Sto colpo schermire,
Bisogna morire

La morte crudele
A tutti è infedele,
Ogn'uno svergogna,
Morire bisogna
È pur ò pazzia
O gran frenesia,
Par dirsi menzogna,
Morire bisogna

Si more cantando,
Si more sonando
La Cetra, o Sampogna,
Morire bisogna
Si muore danzando,
Bevendo, mangiando
Con quella carogna
Morire bisogna

I Giovani, i putti
E gl'Huomini tutti
S'hann'a incenerire,
Bisogna morire.
I sani, gl'infermi,
I bravi, gl'inermi
Tutt'hann'a finire,
Bisogna morire

E quando che meno
Ti pensi, nel seno
Ti vien a finire,
Bisogna morire

Se tu non vi pensi
Hai persi li sensi,
Sei morto e puoi dire:
Bisogna morire

English translation:
O how you deceive yourself
if you think your time
won’t come to an end,
we have to die.

Life is a dream
that seems so pleasing
but is briefly enjoyed,
we have to die.
Of no avail is medicine,
of no use is quinine,
we cannot be cured,
we have to die.

It’s no use ranting
and railing, the bravado
that stiffens courage,
we must die.
No guiding doctrine
finds the words
to allay our fears,
we have to die.

There's no means
to untie this knot,
there's no escape,
we must die.
It’s our common fate,
no cunning ploys
can fend it off,
we must die.

Cruel death
betrays us all,
shames each of us,
die we must.
It's just lunatic
and frenetic
to tell lies about it,
die we must.

We die when singing,
we die when playing
the zither, the bagpipe,
die we must.
We die when dancing,
drinking and eating;
trapped in our bodies,
die we must.

Youngsters and toddlers
and all of humanity
are burnt to ashes,
we have to die.
The healthy, the sick,
the brave, the helpless,
all come to an end,
we have to die.

And when you are least
expecting it, you will
come to your end,
we have to die.
If it's not on your mind,
you’ve lost your senses,
and are dead, so you can say:
we have to die.
Category
History
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