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Papa Joe  ~  Telling Tales


I'll tell you a story. Ahh, 'tis the saddest story I ever told.

I was standing on a street corner one day, when this little old Italian man came hurrying along. In his haste, he bumped into me and said, "Scuse me-a , sir. Scuse me-a, sir."

I watched him as he turned the corner and entered a Flower Shop. "Good day a sir. Good day a Sir," he said to the Florist. "Good day, sir," was the reply.

The little man said, "Please, sir, how much for the BIGG A da redda da rosa?"

The florist said, "A dollar apiece, sir. A dollar apiece."

The little man said, "Please, sir, just a little cheaper."

"A dollar apiece, sir. A dollar apiece." said the florist.

The little man turned and started to leave. Just then a beautiful young girl entered the shop and asked, "How much for your beautiful red roses?"

"Ten cents apiece for you, my dear. Ten cents apiece for you," said the florist.

The girl left with her arms full of roses.

The little man turned back to the florist and asked again, "Please, sir, how much for the BIGG A da redda da rosa?"

"A dollar apiece, sir. A dollar apiece," was the reply.

With a big sigh and a sad face, the little man turned again and started out the door.

"Just a minute, sir. Just a minute." said the florist. "Tell me, why do you want the big red roses?"

The little man told this story:

"I once had a beautiful daughter and her name was Rosa. She had such big red rosy cheeks. So I called her 'My BIGG A da Redda da Rosa.'

"Every day I would go to work and Rosa would wave to me from the window as I climbed the hill. 'Good bye a my Dadda,' she would call 'Good bye a my Dadda.' I would wave back and call, 'Good bye a my Rossa, good bye a my Rosa.'

"And every night when I got to the top of the hill, there was my Rosa, waving and calling, "Hello a my Dadda, Hello a my Dadda.' And I would wave and call back, 'Hello a my Rosa. Hello a my Rosa.'

"One day as I was coming home, I reached the top of the hill and started to wave and call, 'Hello a my Ros--' But, alas! My Rosa was not there. I ran down the hill and into the house and there was my little Rosa--lying dead.

"Every year I go to visit my little Rosa and bring her some Roses. But now I am old and tired and poor and cannot work. I do not have a dollar apiece for the bigga da redda da rosa. And so, sir, that is why I want the bigga da redda da rosa."

"Here, sir," said the florist, as he wiped a tear from his face. "Take all you want."

The little Italian man thanked him and left with an arm full of roses.

I watched him as he turned the corner. I followed him as he walked to the little cemetery. As he approached a grave, he thought he heard a little voice call out, "Hello a my Dadda." I saw him wave and call, "Hello a my Rosa. Hello a my Rosa. I have come to stay." He laid the roses down on the grave and lay down beside them.


This is one of the many tales my mother told me. A version was sung by Red Sovine in the961. If you know of additional sources, I'd very much appreciate if you'd let me know.� My mothers sibling remember it told in the940's.

Papa Joe  ~  Telling Tales

Papa  Joe  ~  Telling  Tales

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