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Original sheet music cover image

"Guaglione" is a Neapolitan song with music by Giuseppe Fanciulli and words by Nicola "Nisa" Salerno. This original version of the song was the winning song at the IV Festival di Napoli which was broadcast on radio in 1956. Guaglione (pronounced [ɡuaʎˈʎɔne]) is Neapolitan for "boy", but as slang can mean "street urchin", "corner boy", etc. The word guaglione has appeared as "wallyo" in New York immigrant slang.[1]

The song has been covered by various artists, including Italian bandleader Renzo Arbore, and Italian singers Claudio Villa, Aurelio Fierro, Renato Carosone and Dalida. Under the title "The Man Who Plays the Mandolino", with a lyric in English, Dean Martin sang it in 1956 after Fred Raphael of Walt Disney Music Company obtained for Disney the U.S. publishing rights.[2] Connie Francis recorded the song in the original Italian language for her 1960 album More Italian Favorites.

The best-known version of "Guaglione" was recorded by the Cuban bandleader Perez Prado in 1958 as an uptempo mambo tune. As a mambo, the track rose to fame in 1995 after it was used for the Guinness advert "Anticipation", which led to the song being released as a single, reaching number 1 in Ireland and number 2 in the United Kingdom. It has since been featured as the intro music for the 1996 video game Kingdom O' Magic, and more recently as the opening music for the television show Jimmy's Farm.[3] The song is one of Disney's biggest profit makers.[2]


  1. ^ Roberts, William Howell; Turgeon, Gregoire (1989). About language: a reader for writers (2 ed.). Houghton Mifflin. p. 132. ISBN 0-395-43232-4. 
  2. ^ a b Kubernik, Harvey (2006). Hollywood shack job: rock music in film and on your screen. CounterCulture. University of New Mexico Press. p. 35. ISBN 0-8263-3542-X. 
  3. ^ "Big Hits by Prado". Retrieved August 13, 2011.