’O sole mio
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|"’O sole mio"|
|Composer(s)||Eduardo di Capua|
"’O sole mio" (Neapolitan pronunciation: [o ˈsoːlə ˈmiːə]) 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 mio sole and translates literally as "my sunshine".
Che bella cosa è na jurnata ’e sole,
What a beautiful thing is a sunny day!
"’O sole mio" has been performed and covered by many artists, including 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.
- 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 kilometres from Naples.
- The song has been referenced in fictional accounts of Second World War soldiers, including the book Revolt of Gunner Asch by Hans Hellmut Kirst and the film The Big Red One.
- The song is featured in the 1999 Chinese film Shower (洗澡). One of the films sub-plots concerns a man who sings "’O sole mio" in the shower, but when he goes to sing it in public he loses his ability.
- The song also featured prominently in the 1928 film, Street Angel.
- How To Pronounce "’O sole mio"
- Matthews, Jeff. "Texts & Audio to Neapolitan Songs". Naples: Life, Death & Miracles. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- "'O sole mio"
- ’O sole mio: 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.