Non ti scordar di me

You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?

The first poem that come to my mind is the Pirate’s song of José de Espronceda, because I learned by heart when I was a child in school. there were other poems we had to learn by heart, but were a bit corny and I didn’t like them, so I forgot them This one was great, talking about cannons and sails and adventures on the seven seas. I used to play to the pirates with my brother and my sisters all the time. The poem brings me sweet memories from my childhood.
I found a translation made by James Kennedy. I’ll copy for you the begining of the poem so you can have an idea of how it goes:

The breeze fair aft, all sails on high,
Ten guns on each side mounted seen,
She does not cut the sea, but fly,
A swiftly sailing brigantine;
A pirate bark, the “Dreaded” named,
For her surpassing boldness famed,
On every sea well-known and shore,
From side to side their boundaries o’er.
The moon in streaks the waves illumes
Hoarse groans the wind the rigging through;
In gentle motion raised assumes
The sea a silvery shade with blue;

Wonderful verses to a child imagination. This is the Pirate’s moto that appears several times during the poem:

“My treasure is my gallant bark,
My only God is liberty;
My law is might, the wind my mark,
My country is the sea.”

About the songs, the first one I remember is always an Italian one, because it was the last one I heard my father sing before his death. He was in his hospital bed almost unable to move and talk. He was with his eyes closed as if sleeping. The TV in the room was on, and there was a program about the three tenors. Luciano Pavarotti began to sing “Non ti scordar di me” (Don’t forget about me) and suddenly my dad said: “I know this song”. And he began to sing with his frail voice to me:

Don’t forget about me:
My life is tied to you
I love you more and more
In my dream you stay

Don’t forget about me
My life is tied to you
There’s always a nest
In my heart for you

Don’t forget about me

Don’t forget about me

Three days after that, he died. That song stayed engraved in my mind for ever.


By Heart.

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