This week’s episode of The Sopranos (season six, episode 19 or 84th, The Second Coming) not only excelled in writing, it also had this amazing Italian song at the end. Truly one of the most beautiful gems I’ve heard in a while.
Thanks to The Playlist, I found the song is called “Ninna Ninna”, artist unknown (although one source on the hbo boards claims the artist might be Pia Calamai). The song is an old Calabrian folk song, sung and interpreted by many artists.
Listen or download the song here.
UPDATE: the song also appears on a CD titled, “Italian Folk Songs and Dances,” at the Smithsonian Global Sound site. You can buy the cd or only the song on their website.
Explanation of the song goes as follows (and beautifully applies to Tony’s relationship with A.J. as well):
The mother sings to her little boy. His father, a brigand, escaped to the mountains and is being followed. She sings, “Antoneddu, little Anton, I’d rather see you dead than a bandit in the mountains.” So she will not have to disclose her husband’s whereabouts, she too will go into the mountains. Her son sings, “Mama, Mama when I live in the mountains, I won’t fall into dishonor.” In the third stanza, the ghost-like voice of the father is heard, “Sing o beautiful, sing o beautiful, all around me it’s quiet and I only hear you singing.”