After listening to the new Audra Mae & the Almighty Sound album, I fell in love with the track “Old Italian Love Song”. It really is a beautiful song and her voice really shines on it. The song itself is somewhat of a love song to those old Italian classics. That got me thinking of actual old Italian love songs. If you didn’t know, before they were readily associated with fist pumping, GTL, and something called a Snooki, Italians were more well know for their songs of amore. I’m not sure about you, but aside from Elvis, my parents listened to a lot of the ol’ crooners. So, for fun, I decided to revisit some of the ones I’m familiar with to see if there really isn’t anything like them.
Here is probably one of the most recognizable classics, “That’s Amore” as performed by Dean Martin (and Jerry Lewis in this version). This first appeared in the film, The Caddy, where Jerry Lewis plays a golf instructor and Dean Martin is his client. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this, but I can only assume hilarity ensues since they were a comedy duo. I think I liked it as a kid because it begged you to sing along with the simple lyrics and rhyming. Plus, it was funny to think about the food comparisons in this. I still don’t drool over pasta fazool though.
While researching these songs, it became apparent that all those ol’ crooners had all sang some of the same songs at some point in their careers. If you search albums for Dean Martin, Jerry Vale, Al Martino, Connie Francis, etc. you will find that most of them have albums where they sing the “Italian classics”. “Volare” (above) is a perfect example. I know the song, but I’m not as familiar with this Domenico Modugno fellow, even though he’s the one that made it popular first . Rather, I know the Dean Martin version, which includes an English interpreted verse. And all this time, I thought Dean Martin’s “Whoa”s were all him. Anyway, from what I can tell from a translation of the lyrics, he’s either really doped up or so enthralled with someone that he feels like he’s flying. Or both. Let’s face it, don’t we all want that feeling?
I decided to not to use an classic version of this song mostly because you’ve probably had enough at this point. Plus, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes do a pretty rad version. A translation of the chorus gives us:
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!
Soooooo, basically, this is a song about wanting to give someone a facial? Niiiiiiiice!
In conclusion, food, soaring through the air and facials all speak of true lovin’ to me. I do believe that Miss Audra Mae got it right. There ain’t nothing like it.
If, for some reason, you want to listen to more old Italian love songs, here’s a little companion playlist I made for all you Spotify users out there. Go get your amore on.
Also, I recommend checking out Audra Mae and the Almighty Sound (full album available on Spotify). I bet the album cover alone makes you want to check it out. Riiiiight? Also check out her YouTube channel because she did 30 Cover in 30 Days and there are some pretty rad ones.