Il Silenzio (song)

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"Il Silenzio"
German single cover
Instrumental by Nini Rosso
English titleThe Silence
ReleasedDecember 1964
Songwriter(s)Nini Rosso

"Il Silenzio" ("The Silence") is an instrumental piece, with a small spoken Italian lyric, notable for its trumpet theme. It was written in 1965 by trumpet player Nini Rosso,[1] its thematic melody being an extension of the same Italian Cavalry bugle call Il Silenzio d’Ordinanza used by Russian composer Tchaikovsky to open his Capriccio Italien (often mistaken for the U.S. military bugle call "Taps").


It has become a worldwide instrumental standard that has sold around 10 million copies.[2] It was a number-one hit in Italy, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and sold over five million copies by the end of 1967. Rosso was awarded a gold disc.[3]

On 9 January 1965, it reached the number-two position in Australia and stayed in the charts for 19 weeks, and in the United Kingdom it peaked at number eight on the Record Retailer singles chart. In the United States, it reached number 32 in the Billboard Easy Listening charts. In Canada, the song reached number 24 in the RPM Adult Contemporary charts.[4]

Spoken lyrics[edit]

"Il Silenzio" contains these spoken lines:

Buona notte, amore
Ti vedrò nei miei sogni
Buona notte a te che sei lontano.
Good night, love
I'll see you in my dreams
Good night to you who are far away.


"Il Silenzio" is a memorial piece commissioned by the Dutch and first played in 1965 on the 20th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands.[5][additional citation(s) needed]


Weekly chart performance for "Il silenzio”
Chart (1965–67) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[6] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[6] 2
Italy (Musica e dischi)[7] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 100)[6] 2
Norway (VG-lista)[6] 4
UK Singles (OCC)[8] 8
West Germany (Media Control)[6] 1


The song is the official club anthem of the Slovak football club FC Spartak Trnava.[9] It is played before every home match.[10]

Part of the song is also used in all the Italian barracks, to signal the end of the day.[11] It has the same use in the Hellenic Army.

The song is also very often played at funerals in Poland, Slovenia and Croatia.

The tune has also been adapted to accompany the words of "Day is Done, Gone the Sun", which is sung by Brownies and Guides.  A version can be accessed at Day is Done Vocal Arrangement of Taps[12]

Cover versions[edit]

Famous cover versions are by Dalida (who performed this song in French, Italian, and German), Eddie Calvert, Roy Black, Paul Mauriat, Marijan Domić,[13] and Melissa Venema.

German trumpeter Roy Etzel's version of the song, without lyrics, was also popular in the US and reached number 140 in the Billboard 200 on Christmas 1965.

A Māori version, with words by George Tait, titled "The Bridge", was released by New Zealand entertainer Deane Waretini and topped the New Zealand singles charts in 1981.[14][15]

Al Hirt released a version of the song as a single in 1965 that reached number 19 on the adult contemporary chart and number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100.[16]

In 2008, the soloist was a 13-year-old Dutch girl, Melissa Venema, backed by André Rieu and the Royal Orchestra of the Netherlands.[17]

It was released by the London Swing Orchestra in 2015 as the final track of their fourth album, and features the trumpet of Michael Lovatt, who is now lead trumpet with the John Wilson Orchestra and the BBC Big Band, Upbeat Records URCD266.

Dutch hit trumpeter Ryan Ricks (Rik Mol) has recorded "Il Silenzio" in 2018 for his album C'est la Vie released by Universal Music Group CD20186.

In the 2014 film "American Sniper", about Navy Seal Chris Kyle, was played at end of film, while showing funeral procession and memorial service at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.


  1. ^ Joseph Murrells The Book of Golden Discs, Barrie & Jenkins, 1978. ISBN 0-214-20480-4. p 196
  2. ^ Gino Castaldo (editor), Il Dizionario della canzone italiana, 2 vols. Armando Curcio, 1990.
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 195–196. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  4. ^ "RPM Top 25 AC - January 24, 1966" (PDF).
  5. ^ Tocquigny, Rick (2015). Life Lessons from Veterans. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 125. ISBN 978-1-63076-136-3.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Nini Rosso – Il silenzio - Abschiedsmelodie".
  7. ^ "Top Annuale Singoli 1965". Hit Parade Italia.
  8. ^ "Il Silenzio by Nini Rosso". Official Charts Company.
  9. ^ Info FC Spartak Trnava at the Wayback Machine (archived May 29, 2009). (in Slovak) Archived from the original on 2011-08-12.
  10. ^ The official website of FC Spartak Trnava (in Slovak)
  11. ^ The official site of the Italian army Archived May 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Day is Done Vocal Arrangement of Taps, retrieved 2022-01-06
  13. ^ Šegrt, Miloš (2011-05-24) "Jedna Pesma – Jedna Priča (Il Silenzio)". (in Serbian) Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  14. ^ New Zealand Herald, 25 July 2015 Songs that took Te Reo into the Pop Charts, Deane Waretini - The Bridge
  15. ^ – New Zealand charts portal
  16. ^ "The Silence (Il Silenzio)" Chart Positions Retrieved July 12, 2014
  17. ^ "Melissa bij André Rieu en zijn Johann Strauss-orkest" (in Dutch). De Zaankanter. 2008-03-19. Archived from the original on 2013-02-22. Retrieved 30 May 2011.