Mario Lanza recorded the Neapolitan song 'Na Sera 'e Maggio ("One Evening in May") for his U.S. radio show in April 1952. The conductor was Constantine Callinicos.
This version, which is heard here in the form that it was originally broadcast, is one of a number of takes made that month at two separate sessions (three weeks apart), and was probably recorded on April 24, 1952.
'Na Sera 'e Maggio was composed in 1937 by Giuseppe Cioffi (1901-1976), with lyrics by his regular collaborator and fellow Neapolitan, Gigi Pisano (1889-1973).
#22 'Na Sera 'e Maggio (RCA, 1958)
Mario Lanza re-recorded 'Na Sera 'e Maggio in Rome in December 1958 for his only all-Neapolitan concept album, Mario! (best heard on the 2006 Super Audio CD Mario! Lanza At His Best). The conductor was Franco Ferrara, of Rome's Academy of Santa Cecilia, and the arranger was Carlo Savina.
After you've listened to and rated these two recordings, you may be interested in reading our forum discussion.
'Na Sera 'e Maggio
Quanno vien'a 'appuntamento, Whenever we meet, guarde 'o mare, guarde 'e ffronne. you look at the sea; you look at the leaves. Si te parlo, nun rispunne, If I speak to you, you don't respond, staje distratta comm'a che. I see how distracted you are. Io te vengo dint' 'o core, I have you in my heart, songo sempe 'nnammurato. I am still in love with you. Ma tu invece pienze a n'ato, But you instead are thinking about another, e te staje scurdanno 'e me... and you are forgetting about me... Quanno se dice: "Sì," When one says, "Yes," tienelo a mente... you must remember... Nun s'ha da fa murì nu core amante... One should not cause another heart to die... Tu mme diciste: "Sì," 'na sera 'e maggio... You said to me: "Yes," one evening in May... E mo tiene 'o curaggio 'e mme lassà! And now you have the courage to leave me!
St'uocchie tuoje nun só sincere Those eyes of yours are insincere comm'a quanno mme 'ncuntraste, unlike when we met, comm'a quanno mme diciste: and you said to me: "Voglio bene sulo a te." "I love only you." E tremmanno mme giuraste, And, trembling, you swore to me, cu na mano 'ncopp' 'o core: with your hand on your heart: "Nun se scorda 'o primmo ammore!" "One doesn't forget one's first love!" Mo te staje scurdanno 'e me. But you are forgetting about me. Quanno se dice "Sì," When one says "Yes," tiènelo a mente. one remembers it. Nun s' ha da fá murì nu core amante. You mustn't cause a loving heart to die. Tu mme diciste "Sì," na sera 'e maggio, You told me "Yes," one May evening, e mo tiene 'o curaggio 'e mme lassà! and now you have the courage to leave me!