Memorie Italiane (part 3)…

I was reminded of my trip to Italy with my good friend Ig yesterday by a video that another friend sent me yesterday. During the month that we stayed in an apartment in Florence, we got to see and do and eat in a way that made us feel kinda like we lived there. If I had maybe been younger and less responsible, perhaps I would’ve gone native… who knows. What the video my friend sent reminded me was that occasionally after having a late dinner, drinking to much vino locale and finishing up the last of our 10+ miles hoofing it for the day, we’d turn on the tube in the apartment. By and large Italian television was incomprehensible and didn’t hold our attention long but I do remember being fascinated by the number of shows where they would just set up a portable stage in the street in some town and let the people who gathered sing karaoke. Of course the amazing thing was that half the songs were american songs and it never occurred to me that the people singing actually didn’t speak English and that that didn’t seem to matter. I’d imagine myself singing the French verse of “Michelle” by the Beatles when I was young… I’m sure no one in France would know what those words were because they were only phonetic interpretations of what I had heard. Same thing on these Italian tv shows. They would get up and sing an Elvis tune and the melody would be there but essentially the words they sang were gibberish. Anyway my friend sent me a video from a site called “what English sounds like to people in other countries” or something like that. Here’s an Italian video from 1972 with the caption…”Italian singer, songwriter, comedian, actor, and tv host Adriano Celentano wrote this amazing in 1972. The video itself is pure eye candy, and the words are what English sounds like to a non-native speaker, and they’re pure gibberish.”

The other video that was the funniest was this one from a Bulgarian version of American Idol where a woman sings the Harry Nillson and later Mariah Carey tune “Without You” except she calls the tune “ken lee” (can’t live) and says in the verse, “tilibu dibu douchoo” in place of “if living is without you”…

Here’s a couple shots of Ig and I in Siena, the first two are us overlooking the famous Piazza del Campo. I’m looking a bit swarthy and younger than a mere 11 years ago…

The Piazzo del Campo is considered one of the most successful architectural spaces in the world and is a giant half circle (actually it’s more than a half) with mostly restaurants around the perimeter and a gentle funnel shaped open space that slants down toward a wonderful museum. People come out in droves and sit on the slanted area and there is an annual horse race around the perimeter. Here’s a shot of Ig as we were having lunch along the concourse…

Here’s another bowl I was working on yesterday. Gonna load the kiln today but I have a feeling that I’m a piece or two short, we’ll see.


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14 Responses to “Memorie Italiane (part 3)…”

  1. soubriquet Says:

    Having heard many english language songs similarly mangled, i’ve often wondered how our artistes sound when they record in other languages.
    Ken Lee!
    “Without You” was writted by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of the british group “Badfinger”, I know that because?

    Ken Lee tulibi bi bibidou!

    That’s the saddest thing I’ve seen in weeks.
    Are these contestants truly not aware of how bad they are?

  2. soubriquet Says:

    The song was written after Pete Ham broke up with his girlfriend. The chorus was written by Tom Evans. Harry Nilsson’s versoin was a huge hit and made more money for them than the entire output of Badfinger. Mind you, Badfinger’s manager was embezzling like crazy…
    Both writers eventually committed suicide.

    • jim Says:

      hi soubriquet, that’s amazing… apparently he really “couldn’t live” if living was without her.

  3. Matt Says:

    Ken Lee lives! Bravo. This reminds me of one of the great song interpretations of all time:

    • jim Says:

      mattie, that’s a riot, i particularly like… “what about in that turbine?” and “there’s a sled in new orleans”!

    • Lifetime Network Says:

      AHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh liver!!!!!!!!

  4. ignatius Says:

    james, we looked so young!! What a great trip that was.

  5. Matt Says:

    Jim: “Hoggify” is a common word in our house since this video came out.

  6. ang Says:

    great snapshots and happy kiln loading…

  7. gary rith Says:

    You looked mighty sharp there Jimmie…. 🙂

  8. red dirt girl Says:

    fun trip down memory lane ….. ahhh the piazza del campo …….. truly a delightful space. but my memories are much older than yours !!


  9. Barbara Edwards Says:

    One of my best memories was made in Florence.

  10. jeff martin Says:

    hey. i cannot seem to add your blog to my list. so i have added it to my email?, we’ll see how that works..i have been missing some good posts! i will try again later to add it, hope your feeling better. you are the shellac king….

  11. Eugene Hon Says:

    Fabulous entry – love the videos, the styling is hilarious, a blast from the past. Reminded me of a grade 12 farewell party dance. The styling etc – although period – now seems so funny to the point of being silly. No wonder we should never refer back to the past and tell stories of when we were young (especially as lecturer). In the context of this post entry however it provides an hilarious insight into contemporary thought round artists performances in relation to the creolization of cultures. Performance expectations in a global society. Our demands on contemporary Idols are much higher and the expectations that much greater.

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