Il​-​Mara u x​-​Xitan

from by *etnika

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The song was originally written by Carlo Satariano as a series of octosyllabic quatrains in traditional rhyme for folk singer Emmanuel Cilia. Recorded in Milan, these verses were sung by Cilia and accompanied by traditional guitar. The song was published on the Maltese HMV series later that year in 1931 and was further released on 45rpm vinyl in the mid 1960s.

The lyrics make a tongue in cheek comparison of the woman to the devil with constant references as to how their main aim is to deceive man and to create calamity, even turning him into a killer. The story reveals the social satire present in Satariano’s writings, many of which were published in the popular newspapers he owned in the late 1920’s and 30’s.

The new musical arrangement creates a new context for the lyrics and creates yet another irony on the song by having the words sung by a woman.


IL-MARA U X-XITAN (Lyrics: C.Satariano - HMV 1931)

U il-mara l-aħwa ħuti
Hi gwaj mill-akbar nett
Ma' nsib xejn differenza
Minn Brejbes ghadd-dublett .

Insibhom ħaga waħda
It-tnejn ta' xibka fina, it-tnejn
Sabiex nintilfu
Is-semm jitfgħu ġo finha.

Insibhom ħaga waħda
It-tnejn ta' xibka fina, it-tnejn
Sabiex nintilfu
Is-semm jitfgħu ġo fina.

It-tnejn qishom miftehma
U xogħolhom wieħed biss
Sabiex jitilfu l-bniedem
Jitfgħuh fi' kbir abbiss.

Il-mara w ix-xitan
Il-mara w ix-xitan

Il-mara dejjem kienet
Il-gwaj tagħna l-irġiel
Mhux darba', tnejn lir-raġel
Ġgħalietu jsir qattiel.

Il-mara w x-xitan.


The woman, my dear friends
Is calamity of the worst kind,
I see in fact no difference,
between the devil and the skirt.

They are one and the same, I find
To ensnare us in their web,
Only to intoxicate us,
and inject us with their malice.

Both are agreed,
and their work is but one,
for man to lose his mind,
To hurl him into the abyss..

The woman and the devil.

The woman always has been
a trouble for us men,
Many a time, the reason she was,
that man would turn to kill.

The woman and the devil.


from Maddalena's Marvellous Tripfolk Klabb, released November 15, 2016
Alison Galea: voice, keys
Andrew Alamango: electr. guitar
Walter Vella: tenor sax
Oliver Degabriele: double bass
Francesca Grima: footwork on wood
Andrej Vujicic: cajón, żafżafa



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*etnika malta

An unlikely mix of artists, characters and instruments, *etnika's sound layers enchanting melancholy with traditional tunes & lyrics over effected guitars, retro-futuristic synths, unconventional percussion and footwork, deep, groovy bass, raspy sax, haunting whispery vocals and old Maltese instruments.

Expect a few detours, expect the unexpected, this 'tripfolk' band has a big heart.
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