The song was written by journalist Peppino Turco and was set by Luigi Denza in 1880. They drew the inspiration from the inauguration of the first funicular of Mt.Vesuvius. They composed this music in few hours, and in spite of that the song met with success. The famous melody was sang the first time in the rooms of Quisisana Hotel in Castellammare di Stabia. Turco and Denza presented it to the Piedigrotta’s day in the same year. The success roused contributed to diffuse Neapolitan song in the world and to recall a lot of tourists.
Peppino Turco born on 7 march 1846 and died on 14 October 1903 in naples, Italy. Initially he was a renowned journalist and poet, collaborating with the satirical newspaper Capitan Fracassa in Rome and various Neapolitan periodicals. However it is for his verses put to music that he is best known. He lived in Rome for much of his life.
Luigi Denza born on 24 February 1846 in Castellemmare di Stabia, Italy. He studied music under Saverio Mercadante and Paolo Serrao at the Naples Conservatory. After graduation, he began to compose opera music. In 1884, he moved to London to pursue his career as a composer. He was appointed Professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music in 1898. He died in London on 27 January 1922.
Original text, Neapolitan dialect
Aieressera, oi' ne', me ne sagliette, tu saie addo'? Addo' 'stu core 'ngrato cchiu' dispietto farme nun po'! Addo' lo fuoco coce, ma si fuie te lassa sta! E nun te corre appriesso, nun te struie, 'ncielo a guarda'!... Jammo 'ncoppa, jammo ja', funiculi', funicula'! Ne'... jammo da la terra a la montagna! no passo nc'e'! Se vede Francia, Proceta e la Spagna... Io veco a tte! Tirato co la fune, ditto 'nfatto, 'ncielo se va.. Se va comm' 'a lu viento a l'intrasatto, gue', saglie sa'! Jammo 'ncoppa, jammo ja', funiculi', funicula'! Se n' 'e' sagliuta, oi' ne', se n' 'e' sagliuta la capa già! E' gghiuta, po' e' turnata, po' e' venuta... sta sempe cca'! La capa vota, vota, attuorno, attuorno, attuorno a tte! Sto core canta sempe nu taluorno Sposammo, oi' ne'! Jammo 'ncoppa, jammo ja', funiculi', funicula'!
English language text
Do you know where I got on, yesterday evening, baby? Where this ungrateful heart can't be spiteful to me more! Where the fire burns, but if you run away it let you go! And it doesn't run after you, doesn't tire you, looking at sky!... Let go on, let go, let go, funiculi', funicula'! We go from the ground to the mountain, baby! Without walking! You can see France, Procida and Spain... I see you! Pulled by a rope, no sooner said than done, we go to the skies.. We go like the wind all of a sudden, go up, go up! Let go on, let go, let go, funiculi', funicula'! The head has already got on, baby, got on! It has gone, then returned, then come... It is still here! The head turns, turns, around, around, around you! This heart always sings one of these days Get married to me, baby! Let go on, let go, let go, funiculi', funicula'!