“Semo romani” said in Roman dialect and meaning “we are Romans” was a phrase often seen on posters last weeked during the beatification of Pope John Paul II. He was perhaps the one Pope that the locals adopted as a Roman - because he considered himself to be one and adopted the city as his own.
Pope John Paul II made an effort to speak in Italian from the first speech he ever made as Pope, and in fact the Italians remember with affection the words “se sbaglierò, mi corrigerete” (which should read “corregerete”). Those words soon became more than just an effort to speak to the locals of the city hosting the Vatican state, and soon became examples where the Pope even dabbled in some Roman dialect.
The Pope first used some Roman dialect in a response to a priest who had jokingly asked him why the Pope who spoke all the languages of the world, didn’t speak a little local dialect, too. Karol Wojtyla’s was the only response to such a question. But it’s not just about language. Pope John Paul II visited all 300 of Rome’s churches during his time as Pope.
This video comes from one of my Facebook friends and is advertised as “Shrek Karaoke dance party in Milanese [dialect]! With historic Milanese songs for those fed up with the same old Napoletan karaoke.”
So for an insight into the Italian language, here is a series of Milan dialect songs, with the classic nasal sound of this dialect from Northern Italy; and songs from Giovanni d’Anzi, Enzo Jannacci, Cochi & Renato, Nanni Svampa, Tognella e Alberto, Milly, Valter Valdi, and F.I Gamba de Legn.
The grand finale of the video is the song “E, La Vita, La Vita” by Cochi e Renato. After the jump you can take a look at the English lyrics of the chorus to this traditional Italian song. All thanks to Michele for putting the Shrek video up for us to have a giggle.
“O sole mio” is one of Italy’s most famous songs, originally written in 1898 in the language of Napoli. It has since become a world renowned song, performed by operatic artists such as Enrico Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti (and The Three Tenors) and Andrea Bocelli.
The Italian song has sparked some more unusual versions as well, such as pop and rock re-mixes from Elvis Presley and Bryan Adams. Above, we give you O Sole Mio in its punk version, while after the jump you can hear it in its operatic tones with Caruso’s O Sole Mio, and that of The Three Tenors. For English lyrics to O Sole Mio, go to Wikipedia.