O Mio Babbino Caro for Ukulele

In this video Jeff plays his arrangement of Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro for ukulele.

O Mio Babbino Caro is an aria from Puccini’s Opera Gianni Schicchi. The title translates to “Oh my dear Papa” as the character Lauretta pleads with her father to be with her love in marriage.

It is a beautiful and simple melody, brought to new life on the ukulele. The piece requires a steady pulse, a clear melody, and some expressive use of tempo rubato.


Here is a translation of the lyrics of O Mio Babbino Caro into English:

Oh my dear papa,
I love him, he is handsome, handsome,
I want to go to Porta Rossa
To buy the ring!

Yes, yes, I want to go there!
And if I loved him in vain,
I would go to the Ponte Vecchio,
But to throw myself in the Arno!

I am anguished and tormented!
Oh God, I’d want to die!
Papa, have pity, have pity!
Papa, have pity, have pity!

Tempo rubato, melody, and arpeggios

The piece begins by building an accompaniment with a simple arpeggiated pattern in the right hand. We can make use of tempo rubato to anticipate the entrance of the melody. From there the melody takes priority with the quiet accompaniment underneath providing support. Continuing to utilize tempo rubato throughout will allow the melody to have that romantic appeal.

O Mio Babbino Caro for Ukulele

This piece is found in Grade 7 of our classical curriculum with full lessons and sheet music is available in the Ukulele Corner Academy. It is also part of our first volume of the book Graded Repertoire for Classical Ukulele.