Na tazz ‘e café- a cup of coffee. New afternoon appointment with CantaNapoli, our section dedicated to the Neapolitan song. The first column of April is dedicated to one of the best known compositions of the early 1900s, “Na tazz e cafè”.
This passage was written in 1918 by Giuseppe Capone, as well as author of “Comme Facette Mammeta” (how your mum didi), and tells of his strange love story.
The young Giuseppe worked as a waiter in a bar, the Caffè Portoricco, which was located in via Guglielmo Sanfelice, in the center of Naples. In that bar also worked the woman with whom she had fallen in love, a certain Brigida, who was a cashier renowned for her grumpy character, but nevertheless loved by many men.
While Brigida refused all the men who wanted to chat with her, Giuseppe Capone took pen and paper, and started writing the song that we all know today. A poem where Brigida is compared to a cup of bitter coffee but able to become sweet in the case of adding sugar.
A love story of which, however, we do not know the ending, the poetry was later set to music by Vittorio Fassone and became a song.
We have many versions of this song: the most famous is that of Roberto Murolo, but there are many others. From Claudio Villa to Bruno Venturini, also passing through Renzo Arbore. We also have various covers, including a Ska made by Frank Tellina.
After all this wonderful story, it is time to take a cup of coffee!