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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
(Second Song)

Mother, I want a husband
because like this I cannot be.
Can you find me a good match
that can accompany me?
I am twenty-one,
and I am sure
that If I wait to get married,
no one will want me.

Many times I’ve warned you
to get rid of that thought.
Taking a husband
is a misleading intent
Daughter, you are fortunate
to enjoy your youth,
but the married woman
always lives in slavery.

Mother, you are misled.
I can say for sure
that a married woman
enjoys plenty of happiness.
A husband is a fortune,
a treasure of pleasure,
and happy is the woman
that soon will have him.

If you will take a husband,
the family will grow,
and then you will be done
enjoying your freedom.
Night and day, rocking the cradle,
you will never rest.
You will take the great fortune
of wanting to marry

Mother, I am not afraid.
My husband will love me
day and night, and every hour,
and he will console me.
With my dear spouse nearby,
I will sleep peacefully,
and if the children cry,
I will give them my milk

Marriage at first
brings great consolation,
but later it becomes a bother
that gives you many tribulations.
At first there’s love,
and that brings great delight,
but after, there is pain
that takes away every pleasure.

I am your pure daughter,
and if I want to do well
and follow nature,
I have to get married.
I am your daughter and
this is the truth,
just as you did
I have to do it too.

I have been fortunate
because I married a good Christian.
He married me at an early age,
and with him I ate good bread.
I don’t know if you will be as fortunate
to find a good hearted young man,
instead of one who pretends to be good,
with whom you’ll experience pain.

As long as your dowry lasts,
perhaps you will find some delight.
And then day and night comes
and your husband will be at the hostelry,
always drinking and eating.
And you will be at home with company,
suffering with the children.

I will take a handsome young man
filled with goodness.
He will be flawless,
and he will not go to the bar.
I will take a good husband
that will know how to work.
And an honest meal
he will not make me miss.

My dear sweet spouse
because he will have a job,
he will never let me miss
soup, bread, or wine.
For my part,
I will never idle,
and with my husband’s company
I will always want to work.

I warn you dear daughter,
and I tell you again,
that as the family grows
there are children in need of clothes.
Some will need pants,
some will need shirts,
and for the poor mothers
it is a great worry.

We are born in this world
that we should never be idle,
and with a joyful heart
we should always work.
If God will allow me (a husband),
I will be a good spouse,
and together, with my partner,
I will always be happy.

Because of your amusement   (being naive)
you will have a lot to suffer.
You will experience great torment
that fully I cannot describe.
Your husband will be squandering,
always playing at the bar,
and you will be at home sighing
with nothing to eat.

I will take a lovely boy,
full of good intent.
Day and night and every hour
he will always have true love.
If he goes to the hostelry, (tavern)
he will bring home some good wine
and we will drink merrily,
all together with the children

MotherMy dear daughter I warn you,
it will be difficult
to find such a sweetheart,
that has so much charity.
Among the boys,
there are many clever ones
that seem sweet and nice,
but they are real rascals.

Once they’ve taken a wife,
they make her suffer
and stay up late.
They make her fast,
and then they give into vice
by going to the hostelry to eat and drink,
while they leave their wife and children
to suffer with hunger and pain.

They will get home at midnight,
drunk with good wine,
and they will rarely give the wife dinner.
Dear daughter watch out,
and do not take a tyrant.
so that his children will be heirs
of misery and a sad ending.

I have good hope
that God will help me.
He will give me the power
to overcome adversity.
I will be obedient
in doing my duties,
and I will not be idle.

I will take care of my family
and I will lead them to good works.
And if I will have a daughter,
I will take good care of her.
If she will want to marry,
I will never stop her,
but I will find her a good match
and help her with my whole heart.

I see some married women
suffering every day.
I see them miserable,
always sighing
that they had so many children.
Now they will have to languish,
but if they were not married
they would not have to suffer.

A mother with children
has the blessing of God.
Although seemingly in great peril,
she has God comforting her.
A woman with no husband
can be compared

to a tree with no fruit,
only good for fire wood.

Marriage is consecrated,
and God has ordained it.
It is the virtuous altar (sacrament)
that God decreed.
Having children is a great gift
and a rich inheritance.
I hope that God, as a good father,
will give them to me too.

It is all true my dear daughter,
getting married is a great joy.
But there is a painful penalty
that destroys any delight.
At first there is love,
a great lasting joy,
but later sorrow comes
and every one suffers.

Even if you want it or not,
I want to take a husband.
I know that men give pleasure
and this way I cannot be.  (remaining single)
I am young, and I have hope
I will  find a handsome man
and that I will conduct a holy life,
always together with my spouse.

Look daughter at what you do,
and I repeat again,
if you will take a husband,
you will always have to suffer.
You will take a daredevil,
an idler, or a slacker,
You should enjoy being alone
and eating good food.

The weekly earnings
he will waste at the party,
together with some vain woman,
performing impurities,
while you, the poor and miserable,
will stay at home sighing.
You will go to bed with no dinner,
crying with your children.

I always pray the almighty
will send me a handsome face,
a good boy for my taste,
to enjoy a good destiny.
I hope to find a good husband
that will work hard,
and that will not fail
to give me good provisions.

And for my part,
I will never idle.
I will govern the blessed house,
and will complete my duty.
Some of the women of today
don’t want to work.
They go around telling stories,
and waste a lot of time.

I will never stop my desire
to want a husband,
even if the fashion changes,
and husbands aren’t in fashion.
If I will get married,
I will love my husband,
and when he gets angry,
I will embrace him.

My daughter, I point out to you,
and I tell you the truth,
a  husband is a purgatory. (life of anguish)
Those who don’t try it, don’t know
that there are plenty of women
you hear all day long,
cursing the priest
that made them say yes.

Those idling women
don’t want to work.
They are shameful,
and dishonest in their works.
While the husband is at work ,
sweating and slaving,
they go with a partner
day and night to make love.

If I take a good husband,
I will always love him.
If he wants to be served,
I will serve him from my heart.
Always ready for his requests,
I will always serve with my heart
and be with him in the world,
and I will never leave him.

Here I put an end
and I stop my talking.
You got married
and I want to get married.
Matrimony is a sacrament
ordained by the Lord.
Those who try to prevent it,
are making an affront to the creator.


Written in Favale in 1889 and the property of Andrea Cereghino and his children.


Translated by:
 Lorenzo Cena, a native Italian
attending Brigham Young University

in Provo, Utah.