The Greatest Italian Love Song

And now the award for the Greatest Italian Love song , chosen from among the hundreds if not thousands of great Italian love songs of which I know at least three,, drum roll please, and the envelope,  lets hear it for my lovely assistant..  And the award goes to;  Ti Amo by Umberto Tozzi

Ti Amo, is a sumptuous  song which is wonderful example of what I call the Italian hug and slap.  A word like Bella is pronouced bel la.. The Bel is  the hug. Its warm and sweet and comforting  and the la is the slap. It’s quick and sharp. Consider the word Ti Amo.  The ti is the slap and the amo is the hug. This combination creates a very interesting tension, and its a lot of fun to listen to and to sing.

Here are the lyrics in both Italian and English as best as I can render them. I try not interpret the Italian too much for it is after a love poem and poetry at its best is always somewhat ambiguous  and interactive.  Each of us is charged with searching out the meaning of the poem for ourselves.

Italian lyrics                                                                    English Lyrics

Ti amo, un soldo, ti amo, in aria, ti amo;
se viene testa vuol dire che basta, lasciamoci.
Ti amo, io sono, ti amo, in fondo un uomo
che non ha freddo nel cuore,
nel letto comando io, ma tremo davanti al tuo seno
ti odio e ti amo
è una farfalla che muore sbattendo le ali…
l’amore che a letto si fa,
prendimi l’altra metà
oggi ritorno da lei. Primo maggio, sù, coraggio.
Io ti amo, e chiedo perdono
ricordi chi sono…
apri la porta a un guerriero di carta igienica e
dammi il tuo vino leggero,
che hai fatto quando non c’ero
e le lenzuola di lino, dammi il sonno di un bambino
che fa, sogna cavalli e si gira
e un po’ di lavoro,
fammi abbracciare una donna che stira cantando
e poi fatti un po’ prendere in giro,
prima di fare l’amore
vesti la rabbia di pace, e sottane sulla luce
io ti amo… e chiedo perdono
ricordi chi sono, ti amo, ti amo, ti amo, ti amo…
E dammi il tuo vino leggero,
che hai fatto quando non c’ero
e le lenzuola di lino
dammi il sonno di un bambino che fa,
sogna… cavalli e si gira,
e un po’ di lavoro
fammi abbracciare una donna che stira cantando
e poi fatti un po’ prendere in giro
prima di fare l’amore;
vesti la rabbia di pace,
e sottane sulla luce
Io ti amo,
e chiedo perdono
ricordi chi sono
ti amo, ti amo, ti amo, ti amo…

I love you
a coin
I love you                                                                 in the air                                                                   I love you                                                                  Heads up it says that its over we’re leaving each other

I love you), I am
(I love you), deep down a man
I do not have any coldness in my heart

In bed I command
but I tremble before your breast
I hate you and I love you

the love that is made in bed
is a butterfly that moves
beating its wings together
be my other wing,

today I return to her
the first day of May,
get up courage!

I love you
and I ask forgiveness
remember who I am
open the door to a soldier made of tissue paper

give me your summer wine                           that you made when I was not there
wrap me in sheets of linen
give me the sleep of a child
let me dream of horses that run around
and (give me) some  task
let me hug a woman
who sings as she irons
and then let yourself be teased a little
before we make love
dress your anger with peace
and your petticoats with light
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you   I love you.

This is a song about a man, a soldier made of tissue paper, desiring to return to his wife, his beloved.  And he is afraid.. he is sorry, and he is pleading for forgiveness.. dress your anger with peace. There is an allusion to some past wrong. Perhaps he had an affair.   There are some very beautiful images in this song.   Give me your summer wine , as a metaphor for her affection A butterfly beating its wings together as a metaphor for sex.  Put me to bed like a child as a metaphor for reconciliation and peace.
I love the phrase.. let me hug a woman who sings as she irons.   It perfectly captures the sense of marital happiness.  This soldier knows what he has lost and he is fighting desperately to regain it.   What he is desiring  to regain is Shalom. Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace and it means far more than the absence of conflict.  It has the sense of richness, fullness, prosperity,  community and relationship.
This is what the Lord desires to give to each one of us, and He will, if we will let Him. But to have this peace, this shalom , we must submit to His lordship, accept his boundary lines, trust His providence,  and do what He commands.  As much as I love this song, Ti Amo, I know that just singing a beautiful song won’t create Shalom.  It takes faith, expressed in love, through  obedience to the word of God.
Allow me to pray for you.
Dear Lord,  grant to my reader your wisdom, that they may come into line with you, and so experience the beauty and richness of a relationship with you.  I pray that as they are founded on you, the rock, that you will guide them into your shalom, and may they come to know the joy of ” hugging a woman who sings as she irons.”  In the name of Jesus your son I pray.. Amen
Blessings
Jack
Oh and BTW    Buon San Valentino
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