O sole mio
In the broader Cukrov family, there was one Miro, half-brother of grandfather Frane who was also a "salbunar" in Vodice. In the 1960s, he could be heard singing "O sole mio," an old Neapolitan song, returning from the sea with collected sand.
He was heard and remembered by a boy whose grandfather was a blacksmith in Miro's broader neighbourhood. The boy recalls how there was a lot of silence in those old Vodice sounds, so in the sound of the blacksmith's hammer hitting, reached the sound of the "salbunjer" engine and the words of that song.
He remembers the first time he asked his grandpa: "Who's singin over there?" and grandpa told him it was Miro, the "salbunjer." He said to him that the "salbun" was taken out all day so that they spent the night at sea and return home at dawn in a calm, "bonaca" sea.
For this timeless song, sung by a hard-working labourer, the lyrics were written back in 1898 by Giovanni Capurro and the music by Eduardo di Capua. It became popular in 1916 when recorded on gramophone records by the famous opera singer Enrico Caruso. Of the various covers, especially famous is the one from Elvis Presley's "It's Now or Never."
Interestingly, this song was performed at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, after the Italian victories, because the organisers could not find the Italian national anthem scores.
Thinking about the sun and how precious memories are, we drew from one childhood memory "O sole mio" and placed it in the heart of a three-hour ride on our trip as a tribute to all the "salbunjeri". On our ship, you can hear it precisely when, at sunset, we sail through the Šibenik Bay with mussels collected from the St Anthony Channel.