ti fan veglia...?

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H-anna
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Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:58 pm

ti fan veglia...?

Post by H-anna » Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:24 am

I am a big fan of the song La guerra di Piero, and although I know the translation, I don't understand the grammar in the line "che ti fan veglia dall'ombra dei fossi"... Specifically the use of "fan".. Can someone please explain this for me? I haven't come across it as a conjugation before.

Kind regards
:D

Geoff
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: ti fan veglia...?

Post by Geoff » Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:26 am

Fan is a contraction of fanno. I would translate "che ti fan veglia dall'ombra dei fossi" as "that watch over you from the shadow of the ditches/trenches" but I am not absolutely certain about that as I thought it should be "ti fanno la sveglia".

H-anna
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Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:58 pm

Re: ti fan veglia...?

Post by H-anna » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:28 pm

Geoff wrote:Fan is a contraction of fanno. I would translate "che ti fan veglia dall'ombra dei fossi" as "that watch over you from the shadow of the ditches/trenches" but I am not absolutely certain about that as I thought it should be "ti fanno la sveglia".
Ahhh okay I see what you mean! So it's quite simple really and I just overlooked.. Assuming you meant to write veglia not sveglia, why do you think la should be included?

I'm just curious because perhaps you'll introduce me to a grammatical rule that I'm not familiar with. Otherwise I would say, well, it's a verb. Why would one say ..... "it's not the rose, it's not the tulip, that do the watch over you from the shadow of the ditches" ... I'm not sure, but I think I have kind of answered my own question.. are you treating "veglia" as a noun? Because then I see how it might make sense in English, as you can be a guard and you can guard.. but vegliare is a verb and so it's not common that you would put a la/lo/il in front of it.

If anything, I would wonder why it isn't "che ti fan vegliare", considering that the conjugation is already made with the verb fare, is it necessary to also conjugate vegliare? I don't know!.. Maybe you know, maybe someone can explain. Unless it just sounds better for the sake of the song..?

Well, those are my thoughts but don't feel obliged to respond to the discussion if you don't want to! :oops:

Geoff
Posts: 244
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:55 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: ti fan veglia...?

Post by Geoff » Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:13 am

Yes, I did mean to write veglia, not sveglia.

Veglia is a noun. It means vigil, watch. It can also mean the state of being awake or a party (festa). There is an expression fare la veglia a qualcuno which means to maintain a vigil over someone, typically a person ill in bed but also, I think, a wake (una veglia funebre). Fare veglia without the direct article I haven't seen before so I am only guessing.

Dylan Thomas
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:08 pm

Re: ti fan veglia...?

Post by Dylan Thomas » Sat Sep 17, 2016 11:22 pm

This is an almost literal translation:

You sleep buried in a wheat field
it’s not the rose, it’s not the tulip
that have a wake over you (or: that watch over you) from the shadow of the ditches
[Geoff is right: “ditches” stands for “trenches”]
but a thousand of red poppies.

As Geoff wrote, “che ti fan veglia” should be “che ti fanno la veglia (funebre)” or “che vigilano su di te”. De André’s choice of words (and the omission of the definite article “la”) is just for the sake of rhythm.

The song writer refers to a dead soldier during the First World War. I suppose there are red poppies because the war was also fought on the Western Front, which included the Flanders, whose landscape was characterised by red poppies. The poppies grew over the soldiers’ graves.

DT

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