Matona, Mia Cara


Orlando di Lasso

Matona mia cara, mi follere canzon
 cantar sotto finestra, Lanze bon compagnon.
 Don don don diri diri don don don don  
 Ti prego m'ascoltare che mi cantar de bon
 e mi ti foller bene come greco e capon. 
 Don don don diri diri don don don don 
 Com'andar alle cazze, cazzar con le falcon,
mi ti portar beccazze, 

grasse come rognon
 Don don don diri diri don don don don 
 Se mi non saper dire tante belle rason
 Petrarca mi non saper, ne fonte d'Helicon.
 Don don don diridiridon don don don 
 Se ti mi foller bene mi non esser poltron;
 mi ficcar tutta notte, urtar come monton
Don don don diri diri don don don don.

German Translation: 



Spanish Translation:

Señora mía querida, yo os quiero cantar cantar bajo la ventana, soldado en buena compañía;

Te pido que me escuches, que mi canto es bueno y yo te quiero bien, como griego y capon;

Cuando vaya a la caza, cazaré con halcón, y te traeré becadas, gordas como cochinillos;

Si no te se decir tantas bellas razones, es que no tengo el saber de Petrarca en la fuente de Helicon ;

Si tu me quieres bien, no seré perezoso; me quedaré toda la noche al pie de tu balcon."

With thanks to Josefina Carrascón of Grupo Coral Accento


Catalan Translation:

Dama meva estimada, jo voler cançó, / cantar sota finestra, / soldat bon company. Dom dom dom...

Et demano m'escoltis, que jo cantar / bé; i jo t'estimo com un grec i un / tossut. Dom dom dom...

Quan anar a la caça, caçar un falcó. / Jo portar-te becades grosses / com porquets. Dom dom dom...

Si jo no saber dir tantes belles coses / és perquè no conèixer Petrarca ni les / fonts d'Helicon. Dom dom dom...

Si tu m'estimes jo no em faré pregar. / Empenyeré tota la nit com un marrà. / Dom dom dom...


English Translation:

My dear Lady, I'd love to sing a song below your window.

I'm a lancer, and a good lad.  Please listen to me, for I sing well, and I love you greatly, as a Greek does his capon.  

When I go hunting, hunting with a falcon, I'll bring you woodcocks as fat as a kidney.

Though I do not know so many elegant phases, and know nothing of Petrarch, or the fountain of Helicon, if you'll have me, I'm no laggard, I'll make love to you all night long, thrusting like a ram.


Early and modern Italian-based pidgins contemporaneous with Mediterranean Lingua Franca came other foreigner-talk varieties of Italian which have sometimes been confused with Lingua Franca by scholars, and which probably constituted a continuum of Italian-derived contact languages in use throughout southern Europe and the Mediterranean . Italian Renaissance literature made reference to greghesco `Greek' approximations to Italian, which were similar or identical to specimens identified as Lingua Franca. This term was also applied to other parodies of Middle Easterners' pidginized Italian. Italian madrigals of the 16th century represented the language of German mercenary soldiers and merchants, known as lanzichenecchi (< German Landsknechte), and their broken Italian was called todesche (cf. modern Italian tedesco `German'). The madrigal `Matona mia cara' by Orlando di Lasso has often been taken as a specimen of Mediterranean Lingua Franca, but as Coates (1970) demonstrates, the verses parody German speakers' halting attempts at speaking Italian:

Mi follere canzon `I want (?) a song'

Si ti mi foller bene, mi no esser poltron `If you love me, I won't be a boor'

Other todesche texts show similar traits, including use of root infinitives and subject mi

(Migliorini 1966: 331):

Noi trincare un flasche plene `We drink a full glass'

Mi non biver oter vin `I won't drink more wine'

Pidgin German and German foreigner-talk routinely use the root infinitive, which may have reinforced the use of the infinitive in todesche speech. Modern German-based pidgins as used by foreign workers and border communities typically use the German infinitive (Holm 1989: 610- 620; but see Meisel 1983 for data suggesting more accurate verbal usage); however, the infinitive is usually identical to the first person plural and the third person plural, the latter also being used in the deferential second-person singular. The infinitive has also been used in most forms of German foreigner-talk and literary imitations of `exotic' L2 German (Mühlhäusler 1984). Thus the text frequency of the German `infinitive' is vastly higher than in Spanish or Portuguese.

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