The “May Day nursery rhyme“by Mimmo Mòllica wants to be a fervent tribute to Labor Day and to the great popular poet Renzino Barbera, to a brilliant poem of which Mòllica was inspired. In Italy, the Labor Day occurs on May 1st from 1891. Suppressed by Fascism, it was restored in 1945.
On May 1st he asked for a beautiful baby
to a man who was in the square, a peasant,
because it marked the calendar red,
whether it was a holiday or an anniversary.
The farmer, with his arms raised,
showed those very worn hands of his:
“They are my workmates,
they are worth so much – he said – more than gold.
And if you want to know what recurrence this is
take a good look at their hands, today is their party “.
That kid with the happy eyes
ran to call companions and friends
shouting joyfully with happiness:
“It’s a feast of hands, the one over there said it.”
A flight of seagulls rose quickly,
there was a cheering, merry clapping,
kites and airplanes flew,
climbing higher, farther and farther away.
And then the grandparents came with the elders,
the blacksmith, the pastry chef and the artisans,
mayor, councilors and sacristans,
the teacher and the director with the guardians,
children of all colors and Italians
carrying chocolate and marzipan,
stuff to tempt even the Martians;
oranges, tangerines and pomegranates
collected by children with their hands,
then peasants and young villagers
with jams, fruits, honey and breads,
to the delight of priests and parishioners.
The newsagent together with the newspapers
he donated notebooks, pens and strange books,
and the flower girl roses and tulips,
even to the head of the traffic police.
And one million and one hundred thousand hands
of neighboring and even distant peoples
sprouted from satellites and planets,
joined with those of the poets,
and without borders or barriers
they waved the flags.
With great respect
for the anatomy and the doctor,
not just inside the chest
we have a heart,
the heart of humans
it is also in the hands.
And from that distant day
it says in Italian
“Speak with heart in hand”.
Mimmo Mòllica ©
The May 1st is Labor Day and workers, which is celebrated in many countries around the world. We recall that on May 1, 1886 in Chicago (United States) a general strike was called: the workers demanded better and more humane working conditions.
For three days they continued to demonstrate and on 4 May there were violent clashes with the police. 11 people lost their lives. To celebrate work and workers, the May Day holiday was established.
On May 1, 1947, two thousand peasants and demonstrators rushed to Portella della Ginestra, in the province of Palermo. What was considered a peasant revolt killed 11 people.