Long ago, when the streetlights of Little Italy had to be lit by hand, Peppe lived in a tenement on Mulberry Street. His family was poor, so Peppe thought he needed a job in order to help. But lighting lamps was not the work his papa had envisioned for Peppe. Peppe struggled to win Papa's respect, until one night when being a lamplighter became "the best job in America".
In turn-of-the-century New York, Peppe takes a job lighting street lamps to help his poverty-stricken family.