EMAIL THE BEEKEEPER
1. So Ben Mi Ca Bon Tempo
9/29/2003 (updated 6/7/2011)

Paul Agosti writes:
Would it be possible to put the lyrics for the songs from
"1000 years of Popular Music" on the web site?

Because of the lack of lyrics, i have been forced to improvise
when i try to sing any of the songs on the album.

EXAMPLE:


SO BEN MI CA BON TEMPO

"THIS SONG IS IN ITALIAN,
THIS SONG IS IN ITALIAN,
FA LA LA LA
LALALALALALA

BUT I DON'T KNOW THE WORDS,
BUT I DON'T KNOW THE WORDS,
FA LA LA LA
LALALALALALA

MY GRANDPARENTS WERE FROM THERE,
MY GRANDPARENTS WERE FROM THERE,
FA LA LA LA
LALALALALALA

BUT I DON'T KNOW A WORD,
BUT I DON'T KNOW A WORD,
FA LA LA LA
LALALALALALA"

And so forth-clearly you can see my dilemma.
Seriously, now-it would be nice to have the lyrics. Thanks.



To which RT responds:

For those of you struggling with the early Italian -
here are lyrics for "So Ben" to sing in the shower.


"So Ben Mi Ca Bon Tempo"
written by Orazio Vecchi in about 1460.


So ben mi c'ha bon tempo
Il so ma basta mo

So ben che favorito
Ahime! No'l posso dir

O s'io pottessi dire
Chi va chi sta chi vien

La ti dara martello
Per farti disperar

Saluti e baciamani
Son tutto indarno a fe


John Horton translates it as:

I know a lucky fellow
I know but I won't tell

I know that he's in favour
I'm sorry I can't say

I wish that I could tell you
Who goes, who stays, who comes

I'm sure you would be jealous
And maybe you'd despair




Some editions have the apostrophe in line 1 as "ch'a" - I don't know what's
right - probably the other way. Also in verse 1, sometimes "al so". Again, I
don't know - perhaps Alfredo Marziano could give us some clues. I've added
another verse from another source - something about "I salute you and kiss your
hand" - but that's as far as I've got. Horton comments, "So be mi...belongs to
the balletto type with its fa-las, so cleverly imitated in English by Thomas
Morley". Good luck!! - RT