【E外桃源】From West to East, “O Mio Babbino Caro” to “Butterfly Love

楼主 (文学城)
From West to East - From “O Mio Babbino Caro” to “Butterfly Lover"


I wish I could sing “O Mio Babbino Caro” in Soprano, to vividly feel what a nearly heartbroken young girl back in Medieval Europe could feel, when She was in great risk of losing her sweet-heart because of tensions between her father Schicchi and the family of Rinuccio, the boy she loves.

She sings

O mio babbino caro,               
- Oh my dear papa,
Mi piace, è bello, bello
- I like him, he is so handsome.
Vo’ andare in Porta Rossa
- I want to go to Porta Rossa
-我要到 Porta Rossa 去
A comperar l’anello!
- To buy the ring!
Sì, sì, ci voglio andare! 
- Yes, yes, I want to go there!
-是的,是的,我要到那里去买戒指 !
E se l’amassi indarno,           
- And if my love were in vain,
- 如果我的爱情化作乌有, 
Andrei sul Ponte Vecchio,       
- I would go to the Ponte Vecchio,
- 那我就会跑到Ponte Vecchio
Ma per buttarmi in Arno!       
- And throw myself in the Arno!
- 从桥上跳入Arno河自尽!
Mi struggo e mi tormento!     
- I am anguished and tormented!
- 我为情所困,痛不欲生!
O Dio, vorrei morir!                 
- Oh God, I would want to die!
- 哦主啊,我想了却我的一生!
Babbo, pietà, pietà!                 
- Father, have pity, have pity!
- 爸爸,求求您!
Babbo, pietà, pietà!                 
- Father, have pity, have pity!


Ponte Vecchio is a medieval stone bridge over the Arno River in Florence. The girl threatened her “Babbo”that she would commit suicide by jumping down the bridge if her love with the boy were in vain.

In the “Butterfly Lovers”, Legends say that Liang, the boy and Zhu, the girl who lived in Jin Dynasty (265 - 420 AD) in China fell in love during their scholarly pursuits. Liang failed to marry Zhu because Zhu's father had already arranged for her to marry a wealthy merchant. Heartbroken Liang died shortly. In her wedding day, Zhu throwed herself into the Liang's grave to join Liang, and both of them morphed into a pair of butterflies flying out of the grave.

In Chinese tradition, woman could not express her willingness for whom She wants to marry with, and only in the past 100 years with assimilation of western culture has this tradition started to fall apart.

Hypocrisy, jealousy and feuding it may be in medieval Florence, but a woman could truly and freely express herself without fearing of harsh punishment.  

Difference of Tradition in West and East contract sharply in these two stories, this could be one of the reasons why the renaissance and modernity did not start in the East.