I'm not a huge country music fan, but there are some numbers which I can't help but adore. One of my favorite country songs is Reginella Campagnola, the title of which can best be translated as "little country queen". The music to the song was composed by Eldo Di Lazzaro in 1939, and the original lyrics were written by Bruno Cherubini. The song is a celebration of the simple life of a country girl who travels with her donkey down through the golden, flowering valleys of Abruzzo to the city on a feast day, and then regales her friends with tales of what she's seen:
The chorus of the song, written while Italy was in the grip of a fascist regime, is a poignant one:
Oh campagnola bella tu sei la reginella
Negli occhi tuoi c’è il sole c’è il colore
Delle viole delle valli tutte in fior
Se canti, la tua voce
È un’armonia di pace
Che si diffonde e dice:
“Se vuoi vivere felice devi vivere quassù!”
Oh, beautiful country girl, you are the little queen.
In your eyes, there is the sun, the color
Of all the blooming violets of the valley.
If you sing, your voice is a harmony of peace
That rings out and says,
"If you want to live happily, you have to live up here!"
If only the country had been ruled by una reginella campagnola rather il Duce, the world would have been a happier place.
Di Lazzaro's music formed the basis of the harmless, goofy Woodpecker Song, which is inferior to the Italian original. Contrary to the proclamations of the Andrews Sisters, woodpeckers are not happy, though they can sometimes be placated with suet.