The Beautiful Agony Of Anna Melato’s “Amara Me”


AmaraMe

Anna Melato – Amara me

Ever since first seeing Lina Wertmüller’s “Love & Anarchy,” in May, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with this song. In the film, the song is performed by Melato at a meal for the workers at a “Casa di Tolleranza,” which I suppose would directly translate into “House of Tolerance,” but is better described as a brothel. The scene serves a purpose within the narrative, establishing the awakening of love/passion between two of the main characters. But Melato’s performance is undeniably powerful within the context of the film. Taken outside of it, in this studio recording for the soundtrack, it’s nothing sort of stunning. In some instances, with languages that I don’t speak, it can be difficult to figure out what is being said. That was not the case with this song. I knew, mainly because of the desperation in Melato’s voice that this was a death/mourning song, and once I tracked down the lyrics, I was proven absolutely right.

Marè maje e scure maje,
Tu si muorte e jè che facce,
Mo me sciatt ‘e trecce ‘n facce,
Mo m’accite ‘n goll ‘a taie,

E mare mà, mare mà,
Mare maje e scure,
Mà, scure mà, scure maje,
Mo m’accite, mo m’accite, mo m’accite ‘n goll ‘a taje,

So’ na pechera spirgiute,
lu mundune m’ha lassate,
lu guaggiuone sembr’ abbaje,
pe la fame mo s’arraje.

E marè mà, mare mà,
Mare maje e scure,
Mà, scure mà, scure maje,
Mo m’accite, mo m’accite, mo m’accite ‘n goll ‘a taje,

Je a tinè na casarielle,
Mo so sule e abbandunate,
Senza casa e senza lette,
Senza pane e companaje,

E marè mà, mare mà,
Mare maje e scure,
Mà, scure mà, scure maje,
Mo m’accite, mo m’accite, mo m’accite ‘n goll ‘a taje

E marè mà, mare mà, mare mà,
E scure mà, scure mà, scure mà,
Amor, m’accite, mo m’accite, mo m’accite, ‘n goll ‘a taje

Sung in Abruzzese, a regional dialect in Southern Italy, “Amara Me” appears to trace it’s roots back to at least the 19th century, and tells the story of a woman who has lost the one she loves and in the process has completely lost her will to live. It’s a heartrending sentiment, just by itself, but when combined with Melato’s performance it’s one of the most terrifyingly beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.

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