Tich toch ò Zanni (Orazio Vecchi)

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  • (Posted 2006-06-12)  CPDL #11858:  IMSLP.png
Editor: Christian Mondrup (submitted 2006-06-12).   Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 63 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Tich toch ò Zanni
Composer: Orazio Vecchi

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SSATT
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Languages: Italian, Lombard
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1590 in Selva di varia ricreatione, no. 6
    2nd published: 1606 in Hortus musicalis (ed. Michael Herrer) – sacred contrafact, Book 1, no. 30

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian and Lombard.png Lombard text

- Tich toch [1]
- Ch’è quel?
 - Ò Zanni
- Che diavol’ è i lò?
- Vien fora
 - à suù in cantina
 - Ascolt’un poco
- à digh chas ù in cantina [2]
- Ascolta dico
- à sù chi lò
- Zanni, che fai con la tua Franceschina?
- A stagh mal ò Signur ch’ul me Patrum,
 M’hà cazat fo di cà con un bastu
- Hor che pensi di fare
 Che non hai pan da mangiare?
- A i ho pensat, Messir, d’andà pel mond
 E darm co me Muier plasir giocond
- Che ti farà le spes’ hor di meschino?
- Merlot’ à no savi ch’à i ho un bel Barbui
 Che darà spasso à ciascuna persona
 E me Muier po mostrara la Mona [3]
- Lascia veder’ un poco la Mona e’l Babuino
- Salta, salta poltru!
 Messir l’è orb chal no ghe ved bocu
- O bel animaletto!
 O com’e vezzosetto
- O Fomna, ò Muier,
 Mostra la mona a un zentil cavaller
- O bella mona
 Dho bel Babuino
 Balla la Mona
 E salta il Babuino [4].

English.png English translation

(Knock knock) [1]
- Who is it
 - hey Zanni!
- Who the devil is it?
- Come out!
 - I am in the cellar [2]
 - Listen a little!
- I am in the cellar, I say!
- Listen I say Zanni!
- Here I am, let's go!
- What are you doing with your Franceschina?
- I'm feeling ill, Sir, because my master
 chased me away from home with a stick.
- Now, what are you going to do,
 with no bread to eat?
- I thought, Sir, to travel around the world
 and have joyful pleasure with my wife.
- Who will pay the costs for you now, tell me, you miserable fellow?
- Fool, don't you know I have a fine baboon,
 that will give pleasure to everybody?
 And my wife will afterwards show her monkey [3]
- Let me see a little
 The Monkey and the Baboon
 Jump, jump lazybones!
- Is Sir blind and he can't see at all?
- O fine fine little animal
 O how delightful it is
- Hey woman, hey wife
 show your monkey to this gentleman!
- Hey beautiful monkey, come on baboon!
 The monkey dances and the baboon jumps [4].

Thanks to Luigi Cataldi for the English translation.

[1] Probably from a Commedia dell'Arte sketch. The dialogue presents two characters: Zanni, talking a mixed dialect (Zanni is a mask depicting Bergamo labourers working in Venice), and a conversation partner, 'un zentil cavaller' ('a gentleman') talking Italian. When asked how to make ends meet, driven out by his master, Zanni reveals his future prospects. He will be a sort of manager, whilst his wife and his trained baboon will be the stars of an itinerant performance.

[2] Probably 'wine cellar'

[3] The funny aspect of the situation originates from the equivocal meaning of the word 'mona'. Florio's 1611 Italian/English Dictionary: Móna, a nickname for a woman, as we say, Gammer, or goodie such a one, Also a Pug, an Ape, a Kitlin. 'Mona' is a venetian word used and understood in all Italy. Its meaning is not as obscene as the Italian (Tuscan) 'fica' ('pussy'). In addition it is used in a lot of popular expressions: meaning of `stupid' in 'va in mona' ('go to the devil') and in the derived noun 'monada' or 'monata' ('stupid trick'). Zanni says 'E me Muier po mostrarà la Mona' meaning that she will show the baboon, but the gentleman understands that Franceschina will show her pussy, so he asks for a demonstration. Zanni replies that the gentleman is blind, because, in the meantime, the baboon accompained by Franceschina has appeared on the stage. Just at that moment the gentleman realizes his misunderstanding. We should observe that the public has the same point of view as the gentlemen and the author of the sketch the same point of view as that of Zanni.

[4] In the last cue the gentleman, now aware of the circumstance, plays on the double entendre, because he refers to Franceschina and not to the baboon as 'mona' (translated here as 'monkey').