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‘You want to be American’!

A tongue-in-cheek, Neapolitan language song written by Renato Carosone in the late 1950s, Tu vuò fà l’americano is about a young wannabee who affects a contemporary American life style (sharp clothes, whisky and soda, rock-and-roll, baseball and Camel cigarettes) but who relies on his parents for money.  Seen as a satire on the process of Americanisation in post-war Italy, the lyrics most damningly accuse: ‘How can your girl friend understand you, if you speak to her in half American when you make love under the moon.  Where do you get off saying ‘I love you?’

Sung famously, in English, by Sophia Loren in ‘It Started in Naples‘, and also appearing in the Talented Mr Ripley, lyrics in both Neapolitan and English are below. Continue reading

Video

Napule è…

Here Pino Daniele, a legendary Neapolitan singer-songwriter and guitarist who died last night, sings his own tribute to his city alongside Eric Clapton. The mayor of Naples said this morning:

‘Pino è Napoli, legame infinito e indistruttibile, come il suono e la voce della sua musica’

Translation of the lyrics via Napoli Unplugged:Napule E..

Audio

Stairway to the Sea: A Sunday Naples song

For my birthday, a friend kindly gave me a CD of Neapolitan classics, sung in the local language by the incomparable Roberto Murolo, a Naples legend whose velvety voice interpreted the songs of his homeland after WW2 until his death 10 years ago.

This one, Scalinatella, tells of a small staircase leading down to the water at Posilippo where a man wistfully waits for his girl, who has fallen in love with a man from Capri and who will shortly leave him, down the stairs and then away by sea.

Featured Image (one of many beautiful Naples scenes) by Claudio Morabito via Flickr.

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Sunday Song from Naples: ‘A Marechiaro ce sta na fenesta…’

Just along the coast from Naples there is the little fishing hamlet of Marechiaro, reached by a narrow twisty lane that descends from Via Posillipo.  It’s wildly popular at the weekend with sunbathers,  swimmers and boaters due to the clean water, the panoramic views over the Bay of Naples, and the cluster of seafood restaurants along the shore.

It’s also famous for the classic Neapolitan song A Marechiaro which tells of a window in the village, marked with a carnation, at which Caroline appears to be serenaded by a young fisherman-in-love.  The song is sung here by Roberto Murolo, son of the city, classic interpreter of Naples songs with a wonderful voice.