Cecco Angiolieri – S’i’ fosse foco / If I were fire

Frans Floris, The Judgment of Paris, c. 1550

If I were fire, I’d burn the world away;
If I were wind, I’d blow it down;
If I were water, I’d let it drown;
If I were God, I’d deep-six it today.
If I were Pope, what would make me gay?
To ransack every Christian town.
If I were emperor, what would make my day?
To see heads roll on the ground!
If I were death, I’d run down my father;
If I were life, I’d flee from him.
As for dear mama, she gets the same.
If I were Cecco, and that is my name,
I’d take the pretty young girls to screw
and leave the ugly old hags to you.

(Transl. by Paul Violi)

S’i’ fosse foco, ardereï ‘l mondo;
s’i’ fosse vento, lo tempestarei;
s’i’ fosse acqua, i’ l’annegherei;
s’i’ fosse Dio, mandereil’ en profondo;
s’i’ fosse papa, sere’ allor giocondo,
ché tutti cristïani imbrigherei;
s’i’ fosse ‘mperator, sa’ che farei?
A tutti mozzarei lo capo a tondo.
S’i’ fosse morte, andarei da mio padre;
s’i’ fosse vita, fuggirei da lui:
similemente faria da mi’ madre.
S’i’ fosse Cecco, com’i’ sono e fui,
torrei le donne giovani e leggiadre:
e vecchie e laide lasserei altrui.