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"O sole mio" is a globally known Neapolitan song written in 1898. It has been performed and covered by many artists, including such stalwarts of opera as Enrico Caruso, Beniamino Gigli, Mario Lanza, The Three Tenors, as well as rock/pop artists such as Bryan Adams, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Vitas (who sings it in a high countertenor range) and Elvis Presley. The lyrics were written by Giovanni Capurro, and the melody was composed by Eduardo di Capua. Though there are versions in other languages, 'O sole mio is usually sung in the original Neapolitan language. 'O sole mio is the Neapolitan equivalent of Standard Italian Il sole mio and translates literally as "My Sun" (not "Oh My Sun").

Lyrics

Neapolitan lyrics
:Che bella cosa e' na jurnata 'e sole
:n'aria serena doppo na tempesta!
:Pe' ll'aria fresca pare già na festa
:Che bella cosa e' na jurnata 'e sole


:Ma n'atu sole,
:cchiù bello, oje ne'
:'O sole mio
:sta 'nfronte a te!
:'O sole, 'o sole mio
:sta 'nfronte a te!
:sta 'nfronte a te!


:Quanno fa notte e 'o sole se ne scenne,
:me vene quase 'na malincunia;
:sotto 'a fenesta toia restarria
:quanno fa notte e 'o sole se ne scenne.


:Ma n'atu sole,
:cchiù bello, oje ne'
:'O sole mio
:sta 'nfronte a te!
:'O sole, 'o sole mio
:sta 'nfronte a te!
:sta 'nfronte a te!
:::English translation
::::What a beautiful thing is a sunny day,
::::The air is serene after a storm
::::The air's so fresh that it already feels like a celebration
::::What a beautiful thing is a sunny day


::::But another sun,
::::that's brighter still
::::It's my own sun
::::that's upon your face!
::::The sun, my own sun
::::It's upon your face!
::::It's upon your face!


::::When night comes and the sun has gone down,
::::I almost start feeling melancholy;
::::I'd stay below your window
::::When night comes and the sun has gone down.


::::But another sun,
::::that's brighter still
::::It's my own sun
::::that's upon your face!
::::The sun, my own sun
::::It's upon your face!
::::It's upon your face!


English versions

In 1915 Charles W. Harrison recorded the first English translation of "O Sole Mio." In 1921, William E. Booth-Clibborn wrote lyrics for a hymn using the music, titled Down From His Glory.

In 1949, U.S. singer Tony Martin recorded "There's No Tomorrow", which used the melody of "O Sole Mio." About ten years later, while stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army, Elvis Presley heard the recording, and put to tape a private version of the song. Upon his discharge, he requested that new lyrics be written especially for him, a job that was undertaken by the songwriting duo of Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold, with a demo by David Hill. The rewritten version was titled "It's Now or Never" and was a worldwide hit for Presley.

In 1998 Christopher Lee and Rhapsody of Fire recorded the English-Italian version.

Copyright

In October 2002 a judge in Turinmarker declared that Alfredo Mazzucchi (1878-1972), previously considered only as a music transcriber, was actually a legitimate third author. The song has been removed from the public domain and is now protected by copyright until 2042.

In popular culture

At the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerpmarker, O Sole Mio was played when the music to the Italian national anthem could not be found.

Because the song is so well-known, invoking in many the beauty and romanticism of Italian culture, many hotels and restaurants have been named after it.

  • The song is sung with harp accompaniment in the 1931 Marx Bros. movie Monkey Business.
  • A version of the song ("Just one Cornetto...") performed by Renato Pagliari was used for decades on British television to advertise Cornetto ice cream. In the ads, it is usually sung by a Venetian gondolier, despite Venice being hundreds of miles from Naples.
  • The song is commonly heard playing from ice cream vans all over Europe.
  • It has been used several times in the round called "One Song To The Tune Of Another" in I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue on BBC Radio 4.
  • Ernie from Sesame Street sang this song in one skit in order to wake someone up to tell him what time it was. (It was 3:00 AM).
  • On a SpongeBob SquarePants episode, SpongeBob sang this song to slow Squidward down and to stop him from performing his grand solo.
  • This song is the overture to a VeggieTales Silly Song - "Larry's High Silk Hat" from "Lyle The Kindly Viking."
  • A recording by Beniamino Gigli features in the film "The Addams Family" (1991).
  • An Easter egg in the video game Riven shows the character of Gehnmarker singing this tune - John Keston, who portrayed Gehn, was singing between takes.
  • A remix of 'O sole mio, created by Namco, is featured in many of the Taiko no Tatsujin games.
  • The band, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes cover this song on their album Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah.
  • The song's melody is used in a Australia commercial for Bankwest with the lyrics changed to promote their “Happy Banking” campaign.


Notes

  1. Eduardo di Capua Biography - Barnes & Noble.com
  2. Archivio della canzone napoletana
  3. Barnes and Noble: di Capua artist biography (Accessed July 6, 2006)


External links




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