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Song about California, the Priests in the City and in the Mountain

They all go to Merica”, even risking their own life, to escape from misery, but the rich California can be found even without crossing the ocean.  One has to become a priest and take a parish of wealthy but ignorant people.  Always criticizing these “stingy priests” (Don Cristoforo Repetti).  The Cereghinos remind us still that there are some who are better, willing to do some good for the needy.

“They would go to America, they would go there for a month or two and would make a little bit of money, then they would come here to sow and they would sow, do what they had to do, and then they would go back there.”


There are many that go to America,
and they go there by sea,
risking their life
even to die.
These people are naive,
there’s nothing more to say.
If it’s all about studying a plan,
America is here too.

To learn a good plan
you need to study.
To study to become rich,
to live well ,
take a parish   (In Italy)
that can profit well
instead of going to America
and being a priest over there.

Take a parish
of wealthy people,
of rich people
but who are all ignorant,
because the expert
does well among the ignorant.
Down there in California
you can be a priest in the parish.
Some come looking for San Rocco,
and some for San Joseph,
and some for San Antonio,
and some for Saint Paul.
Some are looking for souls,
some look for the Lord,
but in the end it all goes
in the belly of the priest.

If you have a good lamb
or a good capon,
take it quick to the priest
because it’s a good bite.
Because being priest
he has a consecrated belly
and he cannot eat
cabbage and vegetables.

Now there are some priests
in the Fontanabuona
who eat Pope’s excommunications
for dessert.
They have already traded
the property of their people,
and they have already sold them,
and they have already taken the money.

It is true that among the priests
there are many stingy ones,
but there are also some
who are good ministers
who live righteously and just
followers of the Lord.
Once they have food and clothes
they don’t look for more.

I have seen myself some priests
with such merciful hearts.
They take off their blanket
and give it to those in need,
instead of having big meals.
Instead of a tendency to eat well,
they succor the needy
and their poor parishioners.

Translated by: Lorenzo Cella, a native Italian attending Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.