’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 and Alfredo Mazzucchi (1878–1972). 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 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 and her sister Carmela, 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".
In October 2002, Maria Alvau, a judge in Turin, ruled that Alfredo Mazzucchi (1878–1972), previously considered to be only a music transcriber, was actually a legitimate co-composer.   At the time of the decision, the melody of the song was consequently not in the public domain—as had previously been supposed—in any countries where copyright in a musical work lasts until more than 30 years after the death of any of its composers. In countries where copyright lasts for 70 years after any of the composers' deaths, the melody will remain under copyright until 2042.
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" with lyrics by Al Hoffman, Leo Corday, and Leon Carr, 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.[unreliable source]
- A series of television commercials for Cornetto ice cream, broadcast regularly in Britain during the 1980s, used a jingle (Just One Cornetto ...) set to the melody of ’O sole mio. The jingle was widely reported as having been performed by Renato Pagliari, but after Pagliari's death in 2009 his son denied this.
- Del Bosco, Paquito (2006), ’O sole mio – Storia della canzone più famosa del mondo, Rome: Donzelli editore, pp. 54–57, 115–118 (in Italian)
^ a b Santangelo, Gaetano (11 October 2002), "'O sole mio ha un nuovo papà", Amadeus (in Italian)
- How To Pronounce "’O sole mio"
- Matthews, Jeff, "Texts & Audio to Neapolitan Songs", Naples: Life, Death & Miracles, retrieved January 10, 2018
- de Fabio, Umberto, "'O sole mio", Napoletanita, retrieved January 12, 2018
- ’O sole mio: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
- Phillips-Matz, Mary Jane (1997). Rosa Ponselle: American Diva. University Press of New England. p. 107. ISBN 9781555533175.
- "Sergio Franchi – Romantic Italian Songs", Discogs, retrieved January 12, 2018
- Tricomi, Antonio (9 October 2002), "'O Sole mio spunta un giallo", La Repubblica (in Italian)
- D'Errico, Enzo (9 October 2002), "Il grande affare di "'O sole mio"", Corriere della Sera, p. 38, archived from the original on 8 July 2012 (in Italian)
- Reel, James. "Eduardo di Capua". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 Jan 2018.
- Sweeting, Adam (6 Aug 2009). "Renato Pagliari". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 Jan 2018.
- Clayson, Alan (25 Aug 2009). "Renato Pagliari: Singer who had a No 1 record across Europe alongside Renée". The Independent. Retrieved 14 Jan 2018.
- "Renato Pagliari". The Sunday Times. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 14 Jan 2018.
- McCann, Ian (10 Apr 2017). "O sole mio: from Neapolitan ballad to football chant, via Elvis". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 Jan 2018.
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