‘A Nanna’, a Corsican lullaby

a Corsican woman

Did you know ?

‘A nanna’ means lullaby in Corsican. ‘A nanna’ (monody) : lullaby taking two forms in Corsica.

These two structures can be found in the ‘lamenti’, the arrival and the departure in life, forming an identical pattern.

This approached theme is important; a grandmother relates family life to her descendants, and with inspired respect describes a bright future.

The Corsicans used to improvise quite a lot, thus each family possessed a specific version of the lullaby.

From grandmothers to their grandchildren, or from mothers to their daughters, the most important verses were handed down, often known regionally to which was added a source that was/was not kept, following the impact it had on the population. The songs improved in this way, from generation to generation.

She says: To be listened to before peacefully going to sleep

When I was young, I was told that this lullaby was symbolic. ‘Indeed, a bandit of honour being sought after by the police was hiding in a cradle, whilst his wife pretending she was the mother of the baby, sang this lullaby, stating ‘father is in the country’ – which meant, hidden in the maquis, in order to lead those who were looking for him, on a wrong track …’


Source text: Corse Passion
Photo credit : D. Brunati Copyright ©

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