Eh, Cumpari!

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"Eh, Cumpari!"
Single by Julius La Rosa
Released 1953
Label Cadence
Writer(s) Julius La Rosa, Archie Bleyer

"Eh, Cumpari!" is a novelty song. It was adapted from a traditional Italian song by Julius La Rosa and Archie Bleyer in 1953 and sung by La Rosa with Bleyer's orchestra as backing on a recording that year.

The song reached #1 on the Cash Box charts and #2 on the Billboard charts in 1953. As a result, the song was also featured in a performance by Dennis Day on The Jack Benny Program on CBS Radio.

In the mid 1970s The Gaylords recorded another popular version, in the middle of which a comical letter from someone in "the old country" culminating with a joke about Alitalia Airlines is read.

The song also appeared in Francis Ford Coppola's film The Godfather Part III as sung by Talia Shire, who played Connie Corleone. (See The Godfather Part III (soundtrack)).

Washington D.C. radio shock jock "The Greaseman" regularly used the song as one of his "bits" during the 1980s.

The rock group Chicago referred to Eh, Cumpari! in the song Saturday in the Park with the line:

...a man selling ice cream, singing Italian songs, Eh, Cumpari! si vo sunari, can you dig it? yes I can![1]

The song is a cumulative song, in which each verse contains all of the previous verses as well. It is sung in Sicilian and is about the sounds of musical instruments.

A rough translation reads as follows:

Hey buddy, [music] is playing.
What is playing? The whistle.
And what does it sound like—the whistle?
[vocalized instrument sound] the whistle, [nonsense rhythm words]
  • u friscalettu = whistle [small flute]
  • u saxofona = saxophone
  • u mandulinu = mandolin
  • u viulinu = violin
  • la trumbetta = trumpet
  • la trombona = trombone
Preceded by
Rags to Riches
Cash Box magazine best selling record chart
#1 record

November 21, 1953
Succeeded by
Rags to Riches


  1. ^ "CHICAGO – SATURDAY IN THE PARK (1972)". Retrieved 13 May 2013.