Karmenu Vassallo
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Karmenu Vassallo

Further to Richard A. Matrenza's article Tribute To Karmenu Vassallo on April 7, may I add that so far we know of three songs written in English by the Siggiewi poet. He also wrote in English what one might call a rhyme rather than a poem: In Praise of Dom Mintoff, Prime Minister of Malta, consisting of three rhyming couplets.

Attached to a note of August 16, 1981 written on a business card to the late Guzè Cassar Pullicino, Vassallo forwarded 11 poems in Italian together with three songs in English - Adieu (October 5, 1943), Victory (March 26, 1944), and Alone (March 10, 1945). He specifically refers to the lyrics as "songs" even though he was writing in Maltese to Mr Cassar Pullicino. Mr Vassallo points out that Victory was written on the request of an English friend and reflects the outcome for England of World War II. Alone even had a musical score written by Joseph Abela Scolaro and published by E. Lucia and Sons in 1957.

All three songs were signed by Mr Vassallo under the name of C. J. Valley. During his lifetime he made use of no fewer than 30 pseudonyms (unpublished M.A. thesis by the undersigned, Karmenu Vassallo: A Biography, p. 88). The list of pseudonyms seems extensive but by no means conclusive. Interestingly, the manuscripts as well as the typed copies of all three songs are signed C. J. Valley, whereas in the 1957 printed musical score, Mr Vassallo is credited for its authorship.

Anyone in possession of letters, manuscripts, photos and recordings concerning Karmenu Vassallo is urged to send an e-mail to marcelzm@yahoo.com in order to record the relevant material for future archival purposes.

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