About this work
This song brings together a rather unusual combination--the poet Gabriele D'Annunzio, the Neapolitan dialect, and a very light-hearted sensuality. D'Annunzio is far better known for his heavily erotic materials such as the libretto to Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini, rather than this cheerful poem asking for a kiss.
"Yes, you have lips just like a flower's petals, pouting a tiny, a very tiny bit. Please, give them to me, give them to me, they are like roses, give me a little kiss, give me one, Cannetella! Give them to me and take mine, a little kiss, from your rosy lips, which are pouting a tiny, a very tiny bit."
The delicate, lilting lines do become passionate at the "Give them to me and take mine, " but soon return to the caressing melody that opens the song, bringing it to a graceful ending.