La mula de Parenzo
The first Italian song which sees the codfish as protagonist is La Mula de Parenzo (the girl from Poreč, an Istrian island), which was sung on a boat by fishermen. It is a very popular song, particularly in the middle and the North of Italy, where baccalà’ and polenta (corn porridge) were the fundamental dishes of the poor cuisine until the middle of the 20th Century. The song tells the story of an unknown vendor from the Istrian town, who ran an emporium for fishermen where he sold a little bit of everything … except for baccalà. The song is dated 18th century and there are no know authors.
La mula de Parenzo ga messo su botega de tutto la vendeva,fora che 'l bacalà Se el mar fussi de tocio e i monti de polenta oi mama che tociade, polenta e bacalà
The girl from Poreč Opened a shop She sold everything but the baccalà If the sea were a sauce And the mountains were polenta/corn crème Oh, mama that’s dives! polenta and baccalà