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Agricantus – “NSUNNAI” (Music Video)

Here’s a little something special I felt like sharing as it carries a message that must be heard by the world…

The latest single from one of my favorite Sicilian musical groups, “Agricantus” – a group based from Palermo, Sicily that performs modern Sicilian music with World/Ethnic rhythms, including a strong North African influence that is well preserved in Sicily’s unique culture (especially in the West coast, which has a large North African [Tunisian] minority)

The song is entitled, “Nsunnai”, which means “I Dreamt” in the Sicilian language…and the song shares an inspirational story: about the burning desire for world peace and being free from the wrongful injustices and cruelties of humanity…a deep and powerfully inspirational song that speaks volumes – about the human condition. – *lyrics are translated below* –

Words from one of the band members:
“This is “Nsunnai”, last single published in spring, 2014 march 21. Dedicated to our dream for which we fight every day in the hope that they can achieve.” –

Agricantus” – is a group that is comprised of musicians hailing from all places in the world and a project spanning across many years…promoting a message of love, world peace and humanity –





Mani nuri
mani nuri nsunnai
mani nuri pi canziarimi ‘i guai
mani nuri
mani nuri nsunnai
pi fari li cosi p’un fari chjanciri mai

Peri nuri
peri nuri nsunnai
peri nuri pi ju curriri assai
peri nuri
peri nuri nsunnai
pi ghiri luntanu e nun firmarimi mai


Mi nsunnai ri stari n paci
‘mmenzu a omini ca nun ghjettanu vuci
mi nsunnai a taci e maci
runni nuddu veni cchjù misu n cruci
e tuttu chistu mi ccunta
com’u rumani sara

R’ntra u sonnu veni ‘i stari
ca vivennu ‘a virità
funnu niuvuru a tuccari
sulu ‘a sorti pi campa’
si mi chiamanu cumpari
ma ‘u cutieddu m’azziccaru
sunnu genti ‘i malaffari
c’u surrisu marinaru
nascivi cu picca xelu
‘mmenzu a quarteri ‘i xittà
agghjuttuti r’u ximentu
rina, asfaittu, favusità
mi custrincinu a ammuttari
aria e fumu ch’i vastuni
mentri ‘u munnu sta a firriari
nenti c’è ca mi ‘nni veni


English translation


Bare hands, I dreamt of bare hands.
Bare hands to keep me far from trouble.
Bare hands, I dreamt of bare hands
to get things done, never to make anyone cry.

Bare feet, I dreamt of bare feet.
Bare feet for running far.
Bare feet, I dreamt of bare feet
to travel far and never return.


I dreamt of living in peace
in the midst of men who never cry out.
I dreamt privately,
of a place where no one is ever crucified,
and all of this speaks to me
of what tomorrow brings.

I want to stay in this dream,
because in the real world
the deepest black is always within reach
and I am left with only good fortune to survive.
He who calls me best friend
and then stabs me in the back
is a dishonest person
wearing an ambiguous smile.
I was born without seeing much of the sky,
in the quarters of the city
swallowed by concrete,
sand, asphalt, deceitfulness.
They force me to push away
air and smoke with my cane,
as the world continues to turn
and nothing comes to me.


John Pisciotta’s Life in Palermo (Sicily) – “A true story”

HERE IS A “MUST WATCH” VID – that i wanted to share – in response to the still growing conditions of poverty and human rights violations in the land of my paternal heritage – the island of “Sicily” – Sicilia. UPDATE: THE VIDEO HAS BEEN DELETED.

As i’ve shared before in a previous post – I’ve discussed about the many economic and political hardships (as well as cultural) Sicilians have been faced with for many many years – The island of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean….(located between Southern Italy to the Northeast and across the sea from Tunisia to the West) – has been a land that has seen it all – from thousands of years of ancient history, invasion after invasion from many different tribes and ethnic groups that have conquered and occupied the island (from the ancient Greeks, to the Arabs, Normans, Spanish, Phoenicians….and such) – and as a result: creating the very essence of the ethnic Sicilian identity – a land that, while currently annexed to Italy politically and administratively, is quite a distinct entity to itself – a land  that is unique and rich in its own culture, history and even its traditions, cuisine, flag, and language (Sicilian being its own separate Romance tongue…..in fact, many Sicilians are bilingual in both standard Italian and native Sicilian)

An island that was its own nation-island, as a Kingdom for centuries (Kingdom of Sicily) – which at one point enjoyed a period of flourishing success and wealth during its rule….(since the Hellenistic period….Sicily saw places such as the city-state of Syracuse – “Siracusa” – rival that of Athens itself)

Today though – sadly is quite the opposite picture – While still a land that holds onto its natural picturesque beauty which attracts many visitors on vacation (blessed by its sunny Mediterranean climate) – remains one of the poorest and least developed “regions” of Italy…..Ever since Sicily became a part of the Italian state in 1946 (and even earlier, “unofficially” during the “Risorgimento” [Ressurgence] Era of the 18th century led by Giuseppe Garibaldi) – it has faced such extreme conditions of poverty and hardship, further aggravated by local crime and corruption – especially back in the day when the Mafia held control of much property by its illegal doings – and also, the Italian government’s continued neglect and failed promises to improve conditions for the Sicilian people – (despite making Sicily an autonomous region….it still fails to recognize and implement the full laws of the “Sicilian Statue” – of autonomy within govt) – and has led to the mistreatment of Sicilians [along with the still prevalent discrimination & prejudice against the people] – lack of resources, practically no welfare service and poor health care…etc…forcing folks to do whatever is necessary to survive – including sometimes violent protesting against the state – and living illegally in the local impoverished areas of the main cities, called ironically, “ZEN” (in Italian, stands for: “Zona Espansione Nord – Northern Zone Expansion” –


Below is a video that was created by John Pisciotta – a local street vendor (a friend whom i’ve been in contact with for about a year or so now…) – who lives in one of the impoverished ZEN’s of Palermo (Zen di San Filippo Neri) – a real life true story personal tale of life in today’s Sicily – and showing the truly terrible conditions that exist right now….what many people are largely ignorant about – A Human Rights issue that direly needs to be addressed –

In the the vid – John talks about his own personal story and shows the grounds of San Filippo Neri – as well as clips of the brutal protests against the Italian state and police (much of the protests which he has also orchestrated as well…) – and lastly, of the community project that would help benefit the people….little by little – [i just heard recently….sadly the grounds have been abandoned and became a “lost cause” – which just totally breaks my heart – I’ve been supporting such great things like this!]

The vid is narrated in Sicilian, Italian and English – (the part in the very beginning with video footage of the protest – is John shouting out loud at the government police in the Palermo dialect of Sicilian) – the rest is conducted in Italian and lastly…in English – (translation provided)

:interesting note: Printed on John’s shirt is one of the banners that were used at the protests – representing the Italian gov’t holding Sicily captive (symbolized as an octopus holding the head of Medusa which is at the center of the “Trinacria” symbol, the ancient symbol of Sicily) – and in Sicilian it says: “L’amu a tagghjari ‘sti granfi” – which literally means, “We’re going to chop off these clutches/claws” –

PLEASE SHARE IF YOU CAN! – it’s a message

that needs to be heard………