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Dear Me, You Want a Husband...

Introduction Commentary

     We have now included two songs between a mother and daughter.  “We find ourselves presented with a contrast in which the daughter is in favor of marriage, while the mother, because of her personal experience, is contrary.

     The two songs are similar.  The arguments that they carry forth, whether it’s the mother or the daughter, are many and convincing.

     The mother is more realistic and gives tangible examples to convince the young woman.  Children create tribulations and the risks that a woman runs if she meets and marries a stingy, idle and drunk man.

      The arguments of the daughter are instead based on hope, and consequently certainness, that this marriage will be serene and happy.  According to her, it’s the woman that is often times guilty in an unsuccessful matrimony.

     The difference between the two songs is in the final monologue of the daughter that backs up the motivations of her choice.  While in the first composition, she only has fear of becoming old and passing all of her life alone.  In the second, she wants to marry for religious motives.” 
taken from “alla Ricerca dei Cereghino Cantastorie in Favale” page 51


Dear Me, You Want a Husband...

Dear me, I want a husband
like this I can’t remain.
Search for me a match,
to be able to accompany me.
Twenty years I’ve completed,
twenty one, I’ve already started.
If then later I marry,
no one will want me more.

Look well my daughter,
to throw out that thought.
To take a husband
is an inaccurate and dreamlike intent.
A daughter that remains alone,
enjoys her youth,
but the married woman
always lives in slavery.

My mother you are deceived.
I’ll tell you truthfully,
a married woman
enjoys great happiness.
A husband is a fortune,
a treasure of pleasure,
and happy is the woman
that soon can have him.

If you take a husband,
you’ll have to stay up often
at night with the children.
You won’t be able to even sleep.
You’ll have to rock the cradle,
you won’t be able to ever rest.
You won’t find great fortune
in wanting to get married.

Although I’ll have children,
no shortness of breath to me will come,
and in the middle of play
my heart will rejoice.
With my dear spouse at my side,
I’ll sleep tranquilly.
If the children will cry,
my milk I’ll give to them.

If you take a husband
your family will grow,
and then you will have finished
enjoying liberty.
Your husband, at the osteria,  (tavern)
will always be drinking and rioting,
while you are at home in the fields,
and with the children to wait on

I’ll take a handsome young man.
Defects he will not have.
He’ll be good and gracious,

and to the tavern he will not go.
I’ll be a seamstress
and he’ll be a bricklayer,
and we’ll enjoy a happy life
with sincere, blessed love.

Look well at that which you do.
My daughter, I say to you,
if you get married,
you’ll have much to mourn.
As long as your dowry lasts
your husband will love you,
and after that, day and night
he’ll beat you.

I’ll take a good young man
that will know well how to toil.
My dowry with respect,
he’ll know how to conserve well.
We’ll pass the happy days
with joyful and glad hearts,
and we’ll always be friends
with a sincere, true love.

My daughter, I come to warn you,
and I add still some more advise.
If you want to get married,
you’ll always be in slavery,
with your foot always at the cradle
with children to tend.
You won’t be free anymore
to go out to take a stroll.

My mother, I don’t have a fear
my husband will love me.
Day and night, and every hour,
he will entertain me
with my babies in my arms.
Every day I’ll go out
with my friends and neighbors,
and I’ll entertain myself always.

If you take a husband,
you’ll always have to labor,
and then you will never
be able to rest.
You’ll always be discontent
and reduced to poverty.
You’ll have to eat polenta
and very little it will be.

I’ll take a good husband
that will know well how to toil.
He will give me an honest diet,
and he will not leave me lacking.
My dear handsome spouse,
with toil, he will make
a minestra, bread and wine,
that I’ll never be lacking.

I advise you, dear daughter,
and again I turn to say,
that raising a family,
with babies to dress
with a lack of clothes,
leaves a married woman
in great desperation.

A husband is a treat,
a treasure of pleasure,
and the greatest joy
that a woman can have.
Many wives around here,
I see them to be jubilant.
They bless the day
that they were married

My daughter I’ll let you well know
and I say in truth,
a husband is purgatory.
She who hasn’t tried, doesn’t know.
Many poor women here,
and you hear it everyday,
curse the priest
that had them say, I do.

Those are shameless women
that do not know how to govern.
They have the serpents tongue
and no one can speak to them.
All day they stay with their friends
to amuse themselves,
and the poor husband,
they do not want to obey.


But if I will take
Antonio as a husband,
and him I will love,
and if he will be angry,
I will caress him.

If the woman of a house
wishes to have true peace,
when the man is angry
his wife will calm him.

A woman, her husband
doesn’t have to disgust.
When he wants to be served,
she must not delay.
I for sure will do much
for the husband I’ll find,
and if I can have him at my side,
never will I disgust him more.

Oh my, no more waiting!
I want to get married,
and soon procure
my dowry to prepare.
I want him to join me
so that I won’t suffer more.
If I wait to marry,
my life will end


Written in Favale the year 1889
Actual property of Andrea Cereghino and sons


Translated by:
Corey Hyer of Kaysville, Utah.  A student of Italian at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.