’O sole mio
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|"’O sole mio"|
|Music by||Eduardo di Capua|
|Lyrics by||Giovanni Capurro|
"’O sole mio" is a globally known Neapolitan song written in 1898. Its lyrics were written by Giovanni Capurro and the music was composed by Eduardo di Capua. There are other versions of "’O sole mio" but it 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 sunshine".
"’O sole mio" has been performed and covered by many artists, including such stalwarts of opera as Enrico Caruso, Rosa Ponselle, Beniamino Gigli, and Mario Lanza. Sergio Franchi recorded this song on his 1962 RCA Victor Red Seal debut album, Romantic Italian Songs. Luciano Pavarotti won the 1980 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Performance for his rendition of "’O sole mio". Tony Bennett recorded the song with a big band arrangement by Don Costa in 1972, which Verve released as a 45 single.
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, entitled "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 entitled "It's Now or Never" and was a worldwide hit for Presley. When performing it in concert in the mid-1970s, Elvis would explain the origin of "It's Now Or Never" and have singer Sherrill Nielsen perform a few lines of the original Italian version before commencing with his version.
In popular culture
- At the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, "’O sole mio" was played when the music to the Italian national anthem could not be found.
- The song is sung with harp accompaniment in the 1931 Marx Brothers movie Monkey Business.
- A version of the song ("Just One Cornetto ...") supposedly performed by Renato Pagliari (although this is disputed by Pagliari's son, Remo) was used for a decade on British television to advertise Cornetto ice cream. In the ads, it is usually sung by a Venetian gondolier, despite the fact that Venice is hundreds of miles from Naples.
- The song is commonly heard playing from ice cream vans all over Europe.
- The song is sung in the 1962 Danish movie Han, Hun, Dirch og Dario by Italian/Danish actor Dario Campeotto.
- The song is referenced in the 1980 film The Big Red One by director Samuel Fuller, starring Lee Marvin and Mark Hamill.
- 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 Gehn 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 song also appears in Pastagames' Maestro! Jump in Music.
- The song's melody is used in an Australian commercial for Bankwest, with the lyrics changed to promote their "Happy Banking" campaign.
- The song is sung in episode three of The Alvin Show, where the chipmunks sing their own version, "Oh, Gondaliero".
- A bathhouse customer in the Chinese film Shower often sings the song while bathing, though he suffers from stage fright whenever he attempts to perform.
- The Italian trio Il Volo performed the song live on the American Idol stage on 19 May 2011. The performance helped send their debut album to the top of the Amazon and iTunes sales charts.
- Mikhail Anisin performed a portion of the piece during the 4th Kontinental Hockey League All-Star Game in Riga, Latvia.
- Alfie Boe performed part of this song, as well as a portion of Elvis Presley's "It's Now or Never", at the Diamond Jubilee Concert on 4 June 2012, as part of the celebrations of the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II.
- How To Pronounce "’O sole mio"
- Matthews, Jeff. "Texts & Audio to Neapolitan Songs". Naples: Life, Death & Miracles. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- ’O sole mio: Free scores at the International Music Score Library Project
- http://www.discogs.com Sergio Franchi
- Barnes and Noble: di Capua artist biography (Accessed July 6, 2006)
- J Newton (2009-08-10). "Tributes to Renato – a singing sensation". This Is Sutton Coldfield. Retrieved 2010-09-12.