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Song Parodies -> "Inferno, Canto#1: Dante's Song"

Original Song Title:

"Your Song"

Original Performer:

Elton John

Parody Song Title:

"Inferno, Canto#1: Dante's Song"

Parody Written by:

Giorgio Coniglio's Grandson

The Lyrics

Although Dante Alighieri wrote this story and lyrics 700 years ago, they have received very little play on AmIRight. Dante was a forerunner in his use of vernacular language (rather than Latin); based mainly on Tuscan dialect, his writings were critical in the development of modern Italian. To make the poetic lines singable, I had to take down Dante’s hallmark “terza rima” rhyming scheme (aba, bcb, cdc….), and rearrange it to a simpler aabb format. Other than this rearrangement, leaving out some original lines, the lyrics for the beginning of the first Canto are primarily Dante’s. My English translation follows the Italian, with some adaptations for modern readers.
Put down words to “Commedia” sev’n centuries past,
My take on life and after- seemed to take hold and last
Died exiled in Ravenna but guess I did well,
My gift is what you think about Heav’n and Hell………

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
Che la diritta via era smarrita
Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, a dir
Quanto e qual era è cosa dura

It’s a little bit funny, but in the midst of life’s road,
I got lost on the path where I’d easily strode,
Found myself without money in a dark gloomy wood –
I’d use a GPS if only I could.

Questa selva selvaggia ed aspra e forte
Tanto è amara, che poco è piu morte –
Era tanto pien di sonno com’io v’entrai
Che la verace via abandonnai.

This unyielding woodland is wild and perverse
No place to get coffee, only death might be worse
Can’t say how I got here, seems I’ve used up my stash
That I’d thought of smoking near the jogging path.

Ma dove terminava l’orribile valle
Vidi vestite di raggi le spalle d’un colle
La paura cheta, un poco cheta
Dopo notte di pièta
Per ogne calle mena dritto questa pianeta
I spotted a billboard for a roadside motel
Where a fearsome trench ended at the foot of a hill
I’d had a bad night, my credit’s quite tight,
If I had enough cash
I’d get out of this sunlight, I need a place to crash.

E come quei che con lena affannata
Si volge all’acqua perigliosa e guata;
Uscito fuor del pelago alla riva,
Cosi l’animo mio ancor fuggiva.

Like an agent who’s landed and stripped off scuba-gear
007, no tuxedo, proceeding out of fear,
From depths to some hostile shore is what I really mean,
That’s the way that my soul appeared to be fleeing.

Si volse indietro, l’animo mio
Che ancor fuggiva,
A rimirar lo passo che non lasciò persona viva.

Fearing what to find, my passing-lane mind
Paused and checked the rear-view mirror,
To peer back at that passage that leaves the living world.

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Original Song: 
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Voting Results

Pacing: 2.2
How Funny: 2.2
Overall Rating: 2.2

Total Votes: 8

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   4
 2   1
 3   1
 4   1
 5   1

User Comments

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Patrick - March 17, 2015 - Report this comment
I never studied Italian, but I know some Spanish and Latin, so I can appraise that you have done a fine job of translation. Rendering poetry from one language to another and retaining the feeling requires some genuine skill. Thus Goethe translating Shakespeare into German, a task which required a poet whose German sensitivities matched Shakespeare's English. You are quite correct when you state that most of what we believe about the concepts of Heaven and Hell come, not from Scripture, but from the works of Dante.
Dr Giorgio Coniglio dec - March 18, 2015 - Report this comment
@ Dr Louis; The greengrocer's comma's are eschewed by Obamas . / Dr. Green's grievous period is abused by a myriad. / I passed on in December (Dec.), but aw, what the heck; / it's good people like you who can still call me "dec".

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