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Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)

Related thread:
little shoemaker - timing question (16)


Genie 01 Jul 08 - 04:51 AM
Genie 01 Jul 08 - 04:53 AM
polaitaly 01 Jul 08 - 05:23 AM
Genie 01 Jul 08 - 06:16 PM
GUEST,Roy 15 Oct 10 - 12:51 AM
Genie 15 Oct 10 - 02:09 AM
GUEST 07 Nov 11 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Nov 11 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,999 07 Nov 11 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Nov 11 - 12:25 PM
Genie 07 Nov 11 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,999 07 Nov 11 - 04:09 PM
Genie 08 Nov 11 - 03:31 PM
Monique 08 Nov 11 - 04:28 PM
Genie 08 Nov 11 - 09:24 PM
Monique 09 Nov 11 - 03:28 AM
Monique 09 Nov 11 - 04:20 AM
GUEST,leeneia 09 Nov 11 - 10:16 AM
Genie 09 Nov 11 - 03:28 PM
Monique 09 Nov 11 - 04:27 PM
Genie 09 Nov 11 - 04:37 PM
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Cool Beans 09 Nov 11 - 07:41 PM
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Cool Beans 10 Nov 11 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Nov 11 - 11:07 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Genie
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 04:51 AM

OK, this isn't a folk song, but it's a song that caught my fancy when I was about 12, and I still kind of like it, but I've never been able to figure out the exact Italian lyrics.   (I'm doing better now, since I spent some time in Italy in the '70s and learned some Italian, but I'm still not sure of these lyrics.)

Here are the English lyrics, along with the supposedly "Italian" lyrics.   It's clear to me that whoever posted them on the "innertubes" first got Italian mixed up with Spanish, and it seems the errors have made their way around the world before the truth (the real lyrics) had a chance to put its proverbial pants on.

I'm hoping if we have any Italian Mudcatters or catters who are proficient in Italian, they can listen to this You Tube of The Gaylords singing this song and tell me what they are singing in Italian.

THE LITTLE SHOEMAKER
Sung by The Gaylords

English words by Geoffrey Clarmont Parsons, Nathan Korb, and John Turner, 
Phillips 
Music by Rudi Revil


Peaked at # 2 in 1954


Tap, tap, stitch and tap
,
Making a pair of shoes



Lei scarpini de bailare, bailare.

Bailaremos tutusi.

Lei scarpini de bailare, bailare.

Bailaremos con cosi.

In the shoemaker's shop this refrain would never stop

As he tapped away, working all the day.

At his bench, there was he, just as busy as a bee,

Little time to lose with the boots and shoes.


But his heart went "pop" inside the little shop

When a lovely girl set him all awhirl.

She had come to choose some pretty dancing shoes

And he heard her say in a charming way,



"Shoes to set my feet a-dancing, dancing,

Dancing, dancing all the day.

Shoes to set my feet a-dancing, dancing,

Dancing all my cares away.



Then he tapped and he stitched, for his fingers were bewitched,

And he sewed a dream into every seam,

Making shoes, oh, so neat, just like magic on her feet,

And he hoped she'd know that he loved her so.


But she danced, danced, danced, as though she were entranced,

Like a spinning top all around the shop.

On her dainty feet she whirled into the street

And he heard her say as she danced away,



[This is what it sounds like to me, and more in keeping with Italian, but I'm not sure of parts.]
Le scarpine per ballare, ballare,
Ballaremo tutt' il vie,

Le scarpine per ballare, ballare.

Balleremo en cocusi.

*

Shoes to set my feet a-dancing, dancing
Dancing all my cares away

All my cares away!!

Can someone provide the official Italian lyrics or transcribe them from?

*What I'm sure of is that it's "per ballare," not "de bailare," and I'm pretty sure it's "Ballaremo" or "Balleremo" "tutt' il vie" but I'm not sure if the "vee" sound is a contraction (e.g., for "vita").    I'm also not sure if it's "scarpine." I thought "shoes" would be "scarpiti" or something like that.   And I'm really having trouble with the last "co cosi" or "cocusi" part.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Genie
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 04:53 AM

Oops. Forgot the YouTube link:
The Gaylords/The Little Shoemaker


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: polaitaly
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 05:23 AM

Le scarpine per ballare, ballare
Balleremo tutto il dì
Le scarpine per ballare, ballare
Balleremo ancor così

Little shoes for dancing, dancing
We will dance all day
Little shoes for dancing, dancing
We will dance again that way


polaitaly


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Genie
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 06:16 PM

Grazie, Pola!

I feel like "Duh!" - Of course it's "... tutt' il dì ..." (all the day) they are singing, even if it kind of sounds like "tutt' il vi."   

I'll see if I can send the correct lyrics to some of the sites that currently have the wrong (mostly Spanish) lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: GUEST,Roy
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 12:51 AM

I've always remembered the Italian lyrics as:-

Voglio due scarpini per ballare, ballare per ballare tutt' il di
Due scarpini per ballare, ballare balleremo tutt' il di.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Genie
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 02:09 AM

Those may be the lyrics on a different recording, Roy, but they're not the ones sung by The Gaylords in their popular US recording. Those are as Pola posted above.

The only difference is that some of the words are contracted, thus:

Le scarpine per ballare, ballare,
Balleremo tutt' il dì.
Le scarpine per ballare, ballare
Ballerem' ancor così.

Either way, the chorus says pretty much the same thing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 08:05 AM

le scarpine per ballare, ballare...
balleremo tutto il di'...

the little shoes for dancing, dancing..
we will dance the whole day thru...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 09:31 AM

Hi, Genie. Thanks for reminding me of this song! I can't wait to see how it sounds on a dulcimer. If that doesn't work, piano.

The link you gave to a video has expired, so here's another one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijV4Z1YBsaM

By the way, a couple people at YouTube say the song was originally French. It would be interesting to hear how the French perform it.


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Subject: ADD: Le petit cordonnnier (Rudi Revil)-Shoemaker
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 12:10 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=oULA_vHosTg

LE PETIT CORDONNIER
(Rudi Revil)

Un petit cordonnier qui voulait aller danser
Avait fabriqué de petits souliers
Une belle est entrée qui voulait les acheter
Mais le cordonnier lui a déclaré:
Ils seront à vous sans qu'ils vous coûtent un sou
Mais il vous faudra danser avec moi

Petit cordonnier t'es bête, bête
Qu'est- ce que t'as donc dans la tête, tête
Crois-tu que mon cœur s'achète, chète
Avec une paire de souliers

Mais la belle accepta , elle emporta sous son bras
Les petits souliers pour aller danser
L'cordonnier tout réjoui a mis ses plus beaux habits
Et s'est pomponné pour la retrouver
Mais hélas quand il voulut la faire danser
Elle lui rit au nez d'un p'tit air futé.

Petit cordonnier t'es bête, bête...

Mais à peine la belle avait-elle fait trois pas
Que ses p'tits souliers furent ensorcelés
Elle se mit à tourner comme une toupie déréglée
Et les musiciens n'y comprenaient rien
Elle tourna, tourna jusqu'au petit matin
Et tout épuisée se mit à pleurer

Petit cordonnier arrête, rête
Tu me fais tourner la tête, tête
Tu ne dois pas être bête, bête
Pour m'avoir ensorcelée

Petit cordonnier arrête, rête
Que ta volonté soit faite, faite
Toute ma vie le cœur en fête, fête
Dans tes bras je vais danser
Gentil petit cordonnier


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 12:25 PM

Thanks, 999. Clearly there's more to the story when it's done in French!


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Subject: The Little Shoemaker - French lyrics
From: Genie
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 02:56 PM

Thanks for the French lyrics, 999.   
I'm having a little trouble figuring out how they scan with the tune on the chorus part.

Or are the French lyrics sung to a different tune?

Genie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 04:09 PM

Welcome, leeneia.

Genie, the lyrics are from a different place than the video. That may be making the difference, Genie. Perhaps Monique will be able to handle that question properly. My own French is terrible.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Genie
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 03:31 PM

I can kind of see how the French lyrics scan with the tune, but the chorus tune has to be modulated slighty (adding a syllable at the end of the second line).

Monique can no doubt translate the idioms better than I can, but here's my stab at translating the French lyrics into somewhat normal-sounding English (not a "singable translation" though):

Un petit cordonnier qui voulait aller danser
Avait fabriqué de petits souliers.
Une belle est entrée qui voulait les acheter,
Mais le cordonnier lui a déclaré:
Ils seront à vous sans qu'ils vous coûtent un sou,
Mais il vous faudra danser avec moi.

A little shoemaker who wanted to go dancing
Had made some little shoes.
A lovely girl came in who wanted to buy them,
But the shoemaker told her:
They will be yours without costing you a penny,
But you will have to dance with me.

Petit cordonnierm t'es bête, bête.
Qu'est- ce que t'as donc dans la tête, tête?
Crois-tu que mon cœur s'achète, 'chète
Avec une paire de souliers?

Little shoemaker, you're daft (stupid), daft.
What's gotten into your head, head?
Do you think my heart can be bought, bought
With a pair of shoes?

Mais la belle accepta, elle emporta sous son bras
Les petits souliers pour aller danser.
L'cordonnier tout réjoui a mis ses plus beaux habits
Et s'est pomponné pour la retrouver,
Mais, hélas, quand il voulut la faire danser
Elle lui rit au nez d'un p'tit air futé.

But the beautiful girl agreed, she took the little shoes
In her arms to go dancing.
The shoemaker was delighted to put on his best clothes
And was decked out to find her again,
But alas, when he wanted to get her to dance
She laughed in his face with a clever little air.

Petit cordonnier t'es bête, bête ...

Little shoemaker, you're daft, daft ...

Mais à peine la belle avait-elle fait trois pas
Que ses p'tits souliers furent ensorcelés.
Elle se mit à tourner comme une toupie déréglée
Et les musiciens n'y comprenaient rien.
Elle tourna, tourna jusqu'au petit matin
Et tout épuisée se mit à pleurer

But no sooner had the beauty taken three steps
When her little shoes were bewitched.
She began to spin like a wild top
And the musicians didn't understand it at all.
She turned and spun until dawn
And, completely exhausted, began to cry.

Petit cordonnier, arrête, 'rête.
Tu me fais tourner la tête, tête.
Tu ne dois pas être bête, bête,
Pour m'avoir ensorcelée.

Little shoemaker, stop, stop.
You're making my head spin, spin.
You must not be crazy (stupid), crazy,
For you have bewitched me.

Petit cordonnier arrête, 'rête.
Que ta volonté soit faite, faite,
Toute ma vie le cœur en fête, fête
Dans tes bras je vais danser
Gentil petit cordonnier

Little shoemaker, stop, stop,
May your wish be done, done.
All my life, my heart celebrating, celebrating,
I will dance in your arms,
Kind little shoemaker.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Monique
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 04:28 PM

French rendition.
Genie, your translation is very good!
"Que ta volonté soit faite" is the very sentence in the Lord's Prayer = "Your will be done"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Genie
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 09:24 PM

Thanks, Monique. That's good to know.

I realize that ""Que ta volonté soit faite" can be translated "Thy will be done" -- which is the way Google Translate translated it.   (My translation came from my own studies of French + Google translate + my native familiarity with American English verbal expressions.) I just didn't think "Your (Thy) will be done" fit the story line of this song, largely because it does sort of connote something one would say to God.   I took it more as the beautiful girl saying to the shoemaker something to the effect of "OK. You win. Whatever you want. I'll gladly dance with you the rest of my life."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Monique
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 03:28 AM

Genie, I agree with you about the connotation. We wouldn't actually say it in real life either, we'd probably say what you mention "C'est bon, tu as gagné, c'est comme tu veux". Btw we wouldn't say "ainsi soit-il" (let it be) either, which was -is?- said at the end of prayers before saying amen, but we could write "qu'il en soit ainsi" (let it be -thus-).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Monique
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 04:20 AM

I forgot to mention that the youtube I linked to above was by the guy who wrote the original French lyrics. I remember the song from my childhood, it was one of the songs in a chocolat Poulain album: there were the lyrics and rectangles where you glued the images you found in the chocolate tablets (brand Poulain) between the wrapping paper and the tin foil (scroll down the page at the link).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 10:16 AM

"She turned and spun until dawn
And, completely exhausted, began to cry."



There's love for you - not. I'm glad that I heard a different version as a child.


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Subject: The Little Shoemaker - French lyrics, translation
From: Genie
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 03:28 PM

Thanks for the link and the expansion on the idioms, Monique.

My issue with "Thy (your) will be done" as an English translation is that it's basically from the King James version of the Bible - English as spoken several centuries ago. (The New International Reader's Version of the Lord's Prayer translates that line as "May what you want to happen be done on earth as it is done in heaven." Various translations of The Lord's Prayer

You're right, leeneia, that the French lyrics don't seem very clearly to be about love, but suggest a power struggle and ultimate submission to a magical master.    And maybe in that context "Your will be done [Master]" fits the story better.   But could also be taken as that she looked down her nose at the humble shoemaker, thought he was stupid or insane to think that she would stoop to dancing with one so lowly, but when he showed his power and cleverness via the "bewitched" shoes, she saw him in a different light and really did fall in love with him.   
The former interpretation seems to draw on the old Grimm fairy tale of Snow White, in which the wicked Queen, Snow White's stepmother, is eventually punished being made to step into a pair of heated iron shoes and dance until she drops dead.    Le P'tit Cordonnier, of course, is a much more benevolent variation on that theme, but it still suggests the use of magical shoes to conquer a woman by making her dance wildly.

Of course, in the English version, the woman gets the shoes that set her feet a-dancing and leaves the shoemaker heartbroken.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Monique
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 04:27 PM

Ladies, is the expression "you make my head spin" related to love in English? It is in French -Cf Edith Piaf's "Tu me fais tourner la tête, mon manège à moi c'est toi...". When we say "He makes my head spin" it means "he's driving me mad"/"I'm mad about him". So were the shoes any sort of magical love potion or did she fall in love because he was smart enough to make such fabulous shoes... she'll never tell us!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Genie
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 04:37 PM

If something/someone "makes your head spin," it sort of means it's "stunning" or overwhelming. It's not necessarily a good thing -- it can mean that you're just made dizzy by something happening too fast and furious -- but it's often used in context of love, such as being "head over heels" in love or being "knocked off my feet."

I get the feeling that this is part of the magic of the little shoemaker's dancing shoes (in the French version): they made her dance wildly and made her fall "madly in love" with him.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Monique
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 05:06 PM

Then it's the same in both languages, in the context of love and in the "too much, too fast, too..." context.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Cool Beans
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 07:41 PM

That song was the source of my first mondegreen. It was popular when I was a little kid in Brooklyn and I thought it was about Wayne Belardi, who played for the Dodgers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Genie
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 09:09 PM

LOL, CB!

When we kids first heard the song we too mis-heard "ballare."   We'd just sing "ba-la-day, ba-la-day" not knowing how it was spelled or what it meant.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Cool Beans
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 09:49 AM

Much later in life I got to know the Gaylords: Ron Fredianelli and Burt Bonaldi. They were back in Detroit, their hometown, and were doing their first stage play, Neil Simon's "The Sunshine Boys," about an old vaudeville duo who had broken up years before but were getting back together for a TV comedy special. The real-life Gaylords had never broken up and had been together longer than the play's fictional performers. Fredianelli died a few years later; Bonaldi is still alive.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 11:07 AM

That's interesting, Cool Beans. Thanks.

I've been playing this song on my dulcimer. The music where the words are "Shoes to set my feet a-dancing..." is magical. It's only a change from a D to Em, but somehow it seems to leave the earth and float in the air.

It's definitely a keeper.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Genie
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 01:40 PM

I still have one vinyl Gaylords LP and another Gaylords cassette album, but neither one has The Little Shoemaker On It. I still enjoy listening to their music.

I've also begun to use their arrangement of The Little Shoemaker in some of my retirement community programs and occasionally in folk music song circles.    Now I have to think about adding some or all of the French version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Cool Beans
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 05:32 PM

The Gaylords did a slew of singing commercials for businesses in Detroit. One that ran for years was for an auto dealer named Roy O'Brien to the tune of "The Little Shoemaker." I remember only the first couple of lines:
Roy O'Brien keeps 'em coming and coming,
They come from many miles away....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Shoemaker (Italian portion)
From: Cool Beans
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 05:39 PM

Here's the Gaylords' Roy O'Brien commercial. Turns out my memory was imperfect.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa0WsxWACuc


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Subject: ADD: Little Shoemaker (1954 Gaylords Recording)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 05:20 PM

With all the information posted above, I think we should have a post with corrected lyrics. Here's what I glean from the recording, and from the posts above:

THE LITTLE SHOEMAKER
Sung by The Gaylords

English words by Geoffrey Clarmont Parsons, Nathan Korb, and John Turner, 
Phillips 
Music by Rudi Revil


Peaked at # 2 in 1954


Tap, tap, stitch and tap
,
Make me a pair of shoes



Le scarpine per ballare, ballare
Balleremo tutto il dì
Le scarpine per ballare, ballare
Balleremo ancor così

In the shoemaker's shop this refrain would never stop

As he tapped away, working all the day.

At his bench, there was he, just as busy as a bee,

Little time to lose with the boots and shoes.


But his heart went "pop" inside the little shop

When a lovely girl set him all awhirl.

She had come to choose some pretty dancing shoes

And he heard her say in a charming way,



"Shoes to set my feet a-dancing, dancing,

Dancing, dancing all the day.

Shoes to set my feet a-dancing, dancing,

Dancing all my cares away.



Then he tapped and he stitched, for his fingers were bewitched,

And he sewed a dream into every seam,

Making shoes, oh, so neat, just like magic on her feet,

And he hoped she'd know that he loved her so.


But she danced, danced, danced, as though she were entranced,

Like a spinning top all around the shop.

On her dainty feet she whirled into the street

And he heard her say as she danced away,


(CHORUS - Italian, then English)


Notes from the YouTube Recording of the 1954 Gaylords Version (2:36 minutes): Originally a French tune called "Le Petit Cordonnnier." French was not the chosen language for the one verse in the tune where the boys sang in a different language, however. No, they were Italian fellows and most of their songs contains a verse of Italian.Wonder how that would work today.
Hugo Winterhalter also recorded this with his orchestra with a "friend." Of course, we all knew it was Eddie Fisher but his name did not appear on the label. Winterhalter's version got as high as #9 on Billboard's charts.

Notes from the YouTube Recording of the "Original" (?) Gaylords Version (2:16 minutes): "The Little Shoemaker" was adapted from a French song entitled "Le petit cordonnier," by Rudi Revil. English lyrics were later added, and the best-selling version of this song was recorded by The Gaylords and was a hit for most of the summer of 1954. At about the same time a recording by Petula Clark became her first chart hit in the U.K. The Gaylords would have several more hits before breaking up and becoming just a duo billed as "Gaylord and Holiday". This recording became so popular with kids that even the Captain Kangaroo tv show used it for several segments during its morning run in the 50's.

Wikipedia Page


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Subject: Little Shoemaker: lyrics, origin
From: Genie
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 05:58 PM

It's good to have the full lyrics to the Gaylords' version all in one place, Joe. Thanks.
However, they do not sing "... tutto il di," they contract it as " ... tutt' il di."

That's part of what made it hard for me to be sure what they were singing.

I'm glad the thread title no longer restricts the topic to the "Italian lyrics," but I don't think the discussion is limited to the Gaylord's recording either. It seems now to be about the original version as well as any other recordings.


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Subject: Origin: Little Shoemaker (1954 Gaylords Recording)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 06:49 PM

[sigh]

Now, I have been known to be wrong at times, but I believe that tutto il di and tutt' il di are the same thing and mean the same, and are usually pronounced the same way. It's just like the decision whether to use "singing" or "singin'" when posting lyrics.
I choose the former.

De gustibus non est disputandum. As we used to say back home in Wisconsin, "Same difference," or "six on one and half a dozen on the other," or "from twelve o'clock to noon."


As for the thread title, I included the reference to the Gaylords because most of us speak English here and are familiar with English-language popular music more than French, and that might help people recognize the song. The thread title is subject to change. I experiment to see what works best. I may well change it to Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian) in a few days.

This is not an exact science.

[sigh, again]


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Subject: Little Shoemaker: lyrics, origin, versions
From: Genie
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 04:31 AM

(sigh) ; ) And "tutto il di" is not pronounced the same way as "tutt' il di" any more than   "C'e 'na luna ..." is pronounced the same as "C'e una luna."    When song lyrics call for a contraction, in order to fit the meter/tune, they are routinely written as contractions. (Check out "O Sole Mio," for example. It's full of contractions.)


I've seen the lyrics printed as "... tutt' il di," which corresponds to the way The Gaylords sing the song, and seems also to sound more natural (less awkward).    I just don't want people to think they need to pronounce the final "o" in "tutto," because it's awkward, and the Gaylords don't pronounce it.

You're right, it's not an exact science. And I do hope you'll change the thread title, to be more inclusive, since the discussion and information have moved far beyond my initial query and beyond the Gaylords' recording.

Thanks,

Genie


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (1954 Gaylords Recording)
From: Genie
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 04:40 AM

Also, "ancor" should be written as "ancor'" because it too is a contraction (of "ancora").

Not that it makes much difference, but I'm also quite sure The Gaylords sing "... making a pair of shoes" at the beginning, not "make me a pair of shoes."   Listen carefully to the YouTube video/audio and I think you'll agree." That also fits the story better (as told in the first verse).


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: Genie
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 02:40 PM

Hmmm. Not sure what happened to my apostrophe, but " ancor " should be written as " ancor' "


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: Monique
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 02:52 PM

It's stuck to the quotes


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 07:01 PM

Scanning of Italian verses comes quite close to an exact science, since Dante's time.

Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me
scans for exactly eight notes, any more would be a mistake.

French versology is another science, and no longer obeyed by modern songwriters.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: Genie
Date: 03 Jan 12 - 09:05 PM

I've noticed that, Grishka. Same is true for English - different singers sing lyrics sometimes quite differently in relation to the melody notes.


BTW, I just found this recording of Rosemary Clooney singing 'The Little Shoemaker', with her first chorus sung in French. But it's not the same French chorus as in the original song.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: GUEST,Sanjay Sircar
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 06:11 AM

I always thought that the plot of this song as I knew it in English (in what was none of the "top of the pops" versions but the "children's version") was incomplete (cf. "Just Plain Folks"): and I always thought she was jilting the shoemaker, not just waltzing away in joy.   As the translation from French above makes it clear, it is a faily close version of Andersen's "The Red Shoes" (cognate with the folktale mentioned above: see also, probably by pure accident the student video of the song on the www, where the girl's feet are mutilated, albeit before she gts the shoes). This makes it clear why there is a Danish translation of the song: it is "their" story... I would like to render the remaining stanzas to fit the standard English translation, but I suppose copyright rules would render this forbidden.

Somehow, I will bet that there must have ben a German translation/recorded interpretation of this, as well one in Chinese...

Sanjay Sircar


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 02:43 PM

1. In a song of French origin, why does the/an English translation/interpretation have the chorus in Italian? Was there an in-between Italian form, too? The function of such quasi-macaronic mixture, as with Rosemary Clooney mixing English with French when she sang it, must be to provide an additional ersatz "Continental ethnic" rustic folksiness to the text (see the cover illustration to the sheet music, as well), unlike the bilingual Japanese interpretation or interpretations, which simply work to clarify meaning (and assert some degree of cultural hybridity and assimilation by the appropriating culture).

2. Speaking of "folklorisation" in the sense of mutation/substitution and the role of imperfect memory in oral transmission, Mrs "Florrie" Philomena Shreshtha of Ootacamund had this as part of her standard repertoire at the YWCA there in the 1970s, and a line had moved from the set text to "...as though his fingers itched", which accords with the original sense.   

3. Along the lines of appropriation of the tune for an advertisement, which is invaluable information of the sort one doesn't know till one is told: In non-negative parody (using a basic narrative for a new purpose not necessarily at odds with the oiginal), pointing to gender-differentiated roles in men's work and women's work, in a seminar in c. 1984/5 at the University of Queensland Department of English, I sang, using only the second stanza, of how, in return for doing my mending, a male "I" (egomorphism, also a feature of folktale mutation), "sewed and I stitched..." "making things oh so neat, just like magic swift and fleet" (substitutions to avoid the shoemaking), "*Then* she danced, danced, danced...", "*Now* come hear her say, as she sings it bright and gay...", "I gave her..." ---- and then what was intended to be an unexpected movement from qhat had been implied to be clothes, back to shoemaking and gender roles, "shoo-ooes to set her feet", and the interlocutor (doubling the speaker, also part of folklorisation) took up the chorus, "He gave me...shoo-oooes to set my feet a-dancing..."

Sanjay Sircar


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Subject: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: Genie
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 08:57 PM

Sanjay, in the Gaylord's version and Petula Clark's, it's obvious that the "lovely girl" is rejecting the shoemaker's attempt at wooing and she simply dances away with his gift, without a backwards glance.

And I'm guessing the Gaylords included the Italian lyrics in the chorus because they were an Italian-American vocal group. Most of what they recorded either had some Italian lyrics or some sort of Italian theme or both.   Same reason Freddie Fender included a Spanish verse in his recording of "Before The Next Teardrop Falls" and Julio Iglesias did a Spanish segment in his duet with Willie Nelson on "Spanish Eyes."


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 05:12 AM

How nice of you to reply, and so commonsensically.

1. Yes, she dances away down the street in all the English renditions, which use the same translation, but in English he only hopes she'd know that he loved her so, he does not make it edxplicit, and her dancing away in delight might be seen as her not understanding his intention. I always hoped as a child that she would come back for another pair, he woul;d state his intention, and that things would turn out well. But in the enchantment is in his fingers only in Englsh, and thus arguably metaphorical and minor; BUT it is explicitly in the shoes themselves in French, as is his stated bargain; ditto her breaking it, her punishment, and her pleading for mercy as a result (though the final horrible results are open here, not explicit as in Andersen). The rejection is there but mild and can be explained away through the plot gaps in English; crystal clear and punished in French and in Andersen. Convincing?

(a) Because of the more explicit enchantment in French, his "littleness" moves from Maerchen third-son hero "slightness" to accrete a more sinister/wizened-up/faerie inflection than in English, helped by the "Elves and the Shoemaker"), so that "elvish" is one of the words just automatically and unselfconsciously used for him in discussion - though not above), and not so mucgh by the seven-at-one-blow brave little tailor but other hunchbacked spiteful tailors in fairy tales (I cannot think of a concrete example, now, so i might be wrong)... Yes?

(b) not in English, but as with the Grimms' stepmother, and as with Andersen, her explicit punishment is clearly "the girl's fault" (cf. Andersen and punishment of female by feet-pain in "The Little Mermaind", but here it is her willed sacrifice for love). So don't we have here a movement from folktale motif )"Snow White"), through folktalish art-tale ("The Red Shoes") to a slightly sanitised art-narrative ballad based on it (the French Little Shoemaker) to a much more sanitised/inexplicit/non-punitive/Oscar-Wilde-like "ache in the heart of unrequited love" form in English (the English Little Shoemaker)? I will bet the Japanese follows the English/American...

2. I note that there is another "Shoemaker" thread in this forum, but not linked to this one, which has the Italian/Spanish-sounding Italian lyrics in full. So this must have come between the French and Englsh versions, tob leave an Italian trace in the Gaylords, just as the French original left a French trace in Petula Clark. But who recorded this Italian/Spanish-sounding translation and when? After I submit this I will copy and paste from that (if I try to go back, I lose what I have written).

3. Was there then a separate Spanish translation?

4. You are probably right that the Gaylords were ethnically Italian, hence the Italian favour they included - this complements my "rusticising" point, I think. Then, P Clark's Frenchified version would be just "poshing up/cosmopolitanising" her rendition, similarly "to show she could"?

I find this all very interesting. Thank you again.

Sanjay Sircar


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: GUEST,Sanjay Sircar
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 05:50 AM

Two mistakes on my part.

1. When I said "left a [French] trace in Petula Clark" I meant "left a {french] trace in Rosemary Clooney".

(a) What then, is the difference between the original French refrain and the Clooney French refrain?

2. No, there is no thread on mudcat cafe giving a whole story about the "Little Shoemaker" in Italian, such as that to which I referred: I must have been dreaming. I think what I must have been thinking of was

http://www.superlyrics.com/lyrics/kGRU0h7DW2@H@HQ/The_Little_Shoemaker_lyrics_by_The_Gaylords.html


Introductory line:
"Tap, tap, stitch and tap, making a pair of shoes."

CORRECT First & last chorus (in Italian, not Spanish):

Le scarpine per ballare, ballare,
Balleremo tutt' il dì.
Le scarpine per ballare, ballare,
Balleremo ancor' così.

INCORRECT (Spanish?) lyrics:
Lei scarpini de bailare, bailare.
Bailaremos tutusi.
Lei scarpini de bailare, bailare.
Bailaremos con cosi.

quotation ends

But all this is old news and upthread and settled.

(a) So we are then to conclude that there was never any full Italian tranalation of this song, nor any Spanish, at any time? Is the incorrect Spanish (as the Gaylords did *not* sing it), grammatically correct as transcribed?

3. I would dearly love to sing the song to the dulcimer, as set for it by the poster who wrote in here, wouldn't you?

Sanjay Sircar


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Subject: Chords: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: Genie
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 04:09 PM

Sanjay, what do you mean by saying you'd love to sing the song to the dulcimer "as set for it by the poster who wrote in here?

The chords are quite simple (basic 1-4-5, with an optional 7th thrown in). But I'm guessing you meant something other than that.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: GUEST,Mrr sans computer
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 04:46 PM

I thought this would be about the petit cordonnier who was the princess' only love and he asked her to sleep with him in a giant bed with a river flowing through it etc? This is a much more interesting tale, and I think I knew it in French at some point...


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: Sanjay Sircar
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 08:56 PM

I must apologise: senility overlaying an always overhasty tendency to babble are a bad combination when it comes to trying to make one's meaning clear, but they are a combination I am stuck with.

1. I cannot read music or play an instrument, so I meant, I would like to try my hand at singing thesong, accompanied by the accomplished musican who has newly set the song for the dulcimer, thus taking the song out of a 1950s ambience of clappers, noise and syncopation, into a more ersatz medieval-ish one, a more silvery sounding one; more magical too, in that any dulcimer after Coleridge and 1798 is that ("in a vision" once he saw "a damsel with a dulcimer, on the slopes of Mount Abora")... Are you the dulcimerist, "Genie"?

2. New thoughts on the dramatis personae and plot:
(a) English: you cannot be jilted unless you have made your intentions clear; for simply tongue-tiedly "hoping" someone will "know you love them so" when you render them services will not automatically get the job done...   You the lover "hoped she know", "but" she did not, and she she "danced away", in self- and possession-absorbed joy. Inarticulate love, unknown and thus unreciprocated, leads to pathos as a result of not being cared for, but not female rudeness-to-heartlessness on the one hand and punitive male cruelty on the other...

French: you attempt clearly to make a bargain (you need not pay for my goods, but must love me"; you are quite as clearly rejected (you are daft to think I would make this bargain!); you go on ahead regardless; you still do not get your way, but in exchange for what you have given; but you have ensured you will get a payment (blackmail of a sort?); your victim agrees and pleads with you... But how far her capitulation is genuine (see the interpretation above in this thread: "she now realises...") or enforced and desperate is unclear, probably the latter (cf "the girl in Don't be Cross, it cannot be!"); unclear too is what happens then, unlike Grimm/Andersen; and so it remains open: does he let her off, does she truly love him, do they marry or do they part (she having learnt her lesson, but not he, either way)?

(b) evidence for the English betwitchment of the fingers being minor or altogther metaphorical is its effect: the girl danced "AS THOUGH" she "were entranced", the trace of the actual french sorcery becomes a metaphor... Of course, "as though" could mean "because she was" indeed entranced, but need not necessarily mean this...

There is a potential article here :-)

3. What I desperately am now yearning for is the non-original Rosemary Clooney French refrain to see what it does with the story... (cf. the nun in a "The Simpsons" episode singing NEW French words to "Dominque", thus the third set of these). Won't the original translator upthread, or any other, oblige? The song is accessible on the www... The refrain is only four lines long...   

3. Mrr sans computer reinforces my point about the magicality of little French shoemakers in contes, and the to-our-minds excessive demands/force they make/employ. What is this other story with the giant bed and the river and where is it and can it be got in translation?

Sanjay Sircar


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: beeliner
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 12:52 AM

I had that record, and as I recall, the flip side also had some lyrics in French.

I don't know if the Gaylords could get by with that name today.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: Sanjay Sircar
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 07:17 PM

Can you remember what the song was?

French, or Italian? Important, because if Italian, it indicates only their own ethnicity/language; if French, then more "foreignness"/poshness/Maerchen-like "distancing" of the tale.

Ah well, a translation of the Clooney French refrain will turn up when it turns up.      

I will try when I can to put the rest of the French story into metrical for, and I will write up a note on the difference between original and English derivation and see if anyone wants to print it.

Sanjay Sircar


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: GUEST,Carl Ellis
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 11:47 PM

S. S. - The other one you are now interested in is "Aux Marches du Palais" (on Mudcat) a.k.a. "La Rève du Cordonnier", my CD of which I can't find when I want it (As Usual), & thus can't give you a decent transcription of the words more familiar to me.

This thread also reminds me of a brief Cajun tune "La Petite Anna", which sounds to me as though it could be possibly be a relation, tho much of the story has disappeared:

C'est la p'tite Anna, de Mozenne Meaux,
Qui s'en va-t-en declinant.
C'est la p'tite Anna, de Mozenne Meaux,
Qui s'en va-t-en declinant.
Ça va pire, il n'en restera pu',
Il ne reste proche pu', il ne rest proche pu'.
Ça va pire, il n'en restera pu',
Il ne reste proche pu', il ne rest proche pu'.

I'reste pu', que son rouleau;
Que son rouleau, et son ruban rouge.
I'reste pu', que son rouleau;
Que son rouleau, et son ruban rouge.
Ti' Mozenne Meaux, il va la tuer,
Il la tourne trop vite, Il la tourne trop vite.
Ti' Mozenne Meaux, il va la tuer,
Il la tourne trop vite, Il la tourne trop vite.

I have it on a tape of an early David Greeley recording, can't say where you might find that. My apologies to French grammarians, I don't pretend to be good at it, but it should serve.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Little Shoemaker (French/English/Italian)
From: Genie
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 12:59 AM

Sanjay, I'm not a dulcimerist - though I know a couple.


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