Core 'ngrato

"Core 'ngrato" (Neapolitan: [ˈkɔːrə ŋˈɡrɑːtə]; "Ungrateful Heart"), also known by the first words "Catarì, Catarì" (short and dialectal form for Caterina, a female first name), is a 1911 Neapolitan song by emigrant American composer Salvatore Cardillo with lyrics by Riccardo Cordiferro (real name Alessandro Sisca).[1]

It was adopted by Enrico Caruso but it is not known whether he commissioned Cardillo and Sisca to write it.[2] It is the only well-known standard Neapolitan song to have been written in America.[3]

In the song, Catarì's lover reproaches the girl for thoughtlessly and heartlessly rejecting his abiding love for her; he implores her not to forget that he has given her his heart and that his soul is in torment; and he says he has confessed his feelings to a priest, who advised him to let her go.

The song's title comes from the heartfelt passage, Core, core 'ngrato, te haie pigliato 'a vita mia! Tutt' è passato, e nun nce pienze cchiù!, which approximates in English to "Ungrateful heart, you have stolen my life! It's all over and you don't think about it anymore!".

Notable interpreters aside from Caruso himself include Giuseppe di Stefano,[4] Beniamino Gigli, Mario Lanza,[5] Dominic Chianese,[6] Luciano Pavarotti,[7] Dmitri Hvorostovsky,[8] Sergio Franchi.[9]

The song was sung in the season three finale of The Sopranos by Corrado Soprano Jr., portrayed by Dominic Chianese.


  1. Joseph Sciorra, “Diasporic Musings on Veracity and Uncertainties of ‘Core ‘ngrato’,” Neapolitan Postcards: The Canzone Napoletana as Transnational Subject, Ed. Goffredo Plastino and Joseph Sciorra. (Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, 2016), 115-150.
  2. Kati's Story: Recollections of Two Worlds - Page 84 Catherine Veres - 2009 "Core 'ngrato, a Neapolitan song written in 1911 for Enrico Caruso by Salvatore Cardillo (1874 - 1947)"
  3. Mary J. Phillips-Matz Rosa Ponselle: American diva 1997 - Page 54 "Marziale's brother wrote the lyrics to the classic Neapolitan song «Core 'ngrato» with its passionate plea to «Catarì, Catarì»".
  4. : I grandi tenori - Giuseppe di Stefano : Track 8
  5. : Art Of Beniamino Gigli Volume 1 1918-1946 MP3 Music : Core 'Ngrato with Rinaldo Zamboni, Royal Opera House Orchestra, Salvatore Cardillo
  7. Core 'ngrato (Arr. Giancarlo Chiaramello (1939-)) Luciano Pavarotti : Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Giancarlo Chiaramello, Conductor
  9. Retrieved 2018-12-08. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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