From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Adriano Celentano - Prisencolinensinainciusol (cover).jpg
Single by Adriano Celentano
from the album Nostalrock
LanguageGibberish (inspired by American English)
B-side"Disc Jockey"
Released3 November 1972 (1972-11-03)
GenreExperimental pop, funk, novelty song, avant-garde
LabelItaldisc (Italy)
Epic (US)
Songwriter(s)Adriano Celentano
Adriano Celentano singles chronology
"La ballata di Pinocchio"
"L'unica chance"

"Prisencolinensinainciusol" (stylized on the single cover as "PRİSENCÓLİNENSİNÁİNCIÚSOL") is a song composed by the Italian singer Adriano Celentano, and performed by Celentano and his wife Claudia Mori, a singer/actress-turned-record producer. It was released as a single in 1972. Both the name of the song and its lyrics are gibberish but are intended to sound like English in an American accent.


By the 1960s, Celentano was already one of the most popular rock musicians in Italy, in large part due to his appearance at the Sanremo Music Festival in 1960 and the subsequent success of his song "24.000 baci".[1] Martina Tanga writes that his artistic persona was characterised by "loud lyrics and inelegant body movements", which differentiated him from other singers of the time.[2] Paolo Prato describes his style as "a bit of Elvis, a bit of Jerry Lewis, a bit of folk singer".[3] "Prisencolinensinainciusol" was released in 1972 and remained popular throughout the 1970s.[2]



"Prisencolinensinainciusol" has been described as varying music genres including Europop, house music, disco and funk.[4][5] Celentano, however, did not have these styles in mind when writing the song.[4] He composed "Prisencolinensinainciusol" by creating a loop of four drumbeats and improvising lyrics over the top of the loop in his recording studio.[6] The song is characterised by an E flat groove in the drum and bass guitar and riff in the horn section.[7]

Lyrics and language[edit]

The song is intended to sound to its Italian audience as if it is sung in English spoken with an American accent, however the lyrics are deliberately unintelligible gibberish with the exception of the words "all right".[8][9] Andrew Khan, writing in The Guardian, describes the sound as reminiscent of Bob Dylan's output from the 1980s.[9]

Celentano's intention with the song was not to create a humorous novelty song but to explore communication barriers. The intent was to demonstrate how English sounds to people who do not understand the language proficiently. "Ever since I started singing, I was very influenced by American music and everything Americans did. So at a certain point, because I like American slang—which, for a singer, is much easier to sing than Italian—I thought that I would write a song which would only have as its theme the inability to communicate. And to do this, I had to write a song where the lyrics didn't mean anything."[6]

Releases and versions[edit]

The original version of the track was released as a single on 3 November 1972, and appeared on Celentano's album Nostalrock the following year. For its UK release, the single was given the simpler title of "The Language of Love (Prisencol…)". The song appeared on the 2008 dance compilation album Poplife Presents: Poplife Sucks.[10] Celentano later recorded a version with real Italian lyrics; this version, released on his 1994 album Quel Punto, was named "Il Seme del Rap" and served as a hip hop parody. In 2016, Celentano released a new recording of the song (with the original lyrics); this version featured the music of Benny Benassi and vocals from Mina.[citation needed]

Celentano performed the song at least twice on Italian television. In the fourth episode of the 1974 variety series Milleluci, he dances with Raffaella Carrà, who lip-syncs to Mori's vocals. In an episode of Formula Due, the song appears in a comedy sketch in which he portrays a teacher. Video clips of both performances, both separate and edited together, began to appear on YouTube in the late 2000s. It became something of an Internet meme,[11] and in 2009 it was posted to Boing Boing,[12] and subsequently saw renewed interest in the Italian media.[13]

In 1992, remixes of the song by Molella and Fargetta were released on CD Single, along with the original version, to promote the compilation Superbest. An interpretation of part of the song by French actor José Garcia appeared in the 2002 film Quelqu'un de bien; a full version of this interpretation was released as a single with the title "Prisencoli". In 2008, Italian singer Bugo covered the song, which he played on tour around Italy. A remix by the Spanish DJ duo Los Massieras was released in 2010 under the title "Allrighty".[14]

In 2017, the dancer Roberto Bolle appeared in an electronic dance remix video of the song by the Italian singer Mina and Celentano. The two previously recorded the album Mina Celentano.[citation needed]

In September 2017, the American rock group Tub Ring released an album called A Choice of Catastrophes, which includes a cover of "Prisencolinensinainciusol".[citation needed]

In 2017, the song was included in the soundtrack of "The Law of Vacant Places", the first episode of the third season of the FX television series Fargo, over Ray Stussy and Nikki Swango participating in a bridge tournament.[citation needed]

In 2018, the song was included in the soundtrack of "Lone Star", the second episode of the FX television series Trust.[15] The song was incorporated into Rush Limbaugh's radio show as one of the revolving bumper music intros, where Limbaugh asserts learning about it from his memory of details that match the TV show.[16][15]

In 2019 comedian James Adomian covered the song on his podcast The Underculture, using his impression of psychoanalyst and philosopher Slavoj Žižek.[17]

In 2021, a cover of "Prisencolinensinainciusol", sung by the Italian singer Madame, was featured on the third evening of the Sanremo Music Festival 2021. Also in 2021, Celentano's recording was used in North American TV commercials for Captain Morgan rum.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

  • 7" single – BF 70026[18]
  1. "Prisencolinensinainciusol" (Adriano Celentano) – 3:54
  2. "Disc Jockey" (Luciano Beretta, Adriano Celentano, Miki Del Prete) – 4:54


See also[edit]

Similar songs[edit]


  1. ^ Tzvetkova, Juliana (2017). Pop Culture in Europe. United States: ABC-CLIO. pp. 19–20. ISBN 9781440844669.
  2. ^ a b Tanga, Martina (2019). Arte Ambientale, Urban Space, and Participatory Art. United States: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781351187930.
  3. ^ Prato, Paolo (2013). "Virtuosity and Populism: The Everlasting Appeal of Mina and Celentano". In Fabbri, Franco; Plastino, Goffredo (eds.). Made in Italy: Studies in Popular Music. United States: Taylor & Francis. p. 169. ISBN 9781136585548.
  4. ^ a b "It's Gibberish, But Italian Pop Song Still Means Something". NPR. 4 November 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  5. ^ Frere-Jones, Sasha (12 August 2008). "Stop Making Sense". The New Yorker. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  6. ^ a b Raz, Guy (4 November 2012). "It's Gibberish, But Italian Pop Song Still Means Something". All Things Considered. NPR. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  7. ^ Casadei, Delia (2015). Crowded Voice: Speech, Music and Community in Milan, 1955-1974 (Thesis). University of Pennsylvania.
  8. ^ Kroes, Rob (1993). Cultural Transmissions and Receptions: American Mass Culture in Europe. Austin Tex.: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center. p. 147. ISBN 978-90-5383-207-3.
  9. ^ a b "Sounds of Italy – day one: a history of Italian pop in 10 songs". The Guardian. 9 July 2012.
  10. ^ Anderson, Rick. "Review Poplife Presents: Poplife Sucks". Allmusic. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  11. ^ Celentano conquista i blogger americani. Wired Italy. 2009-12-18.
  12. ^ Doctorow, Cory (17 December 2009). "Review Gibberish rock song written by Italian composer to sound like English". BoingBoing. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  13. ^ "Review Usa, scoppia la Celentano-mania tutti pazzi per un brano del '72". LaStampa. Archived from the original on 22 May 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  14. ^ "Allrighty". 31 August 2010.
  15. ^ a b Limbaugh, Rush (7 February 2019). "Who Made Prisencolinensinainciusol Popular?". The Rush Limbaugh Show. I first became aware of the song, it was a TV show, I forget the network, on the kidnapping of J. Paul Getty’s grandson. And Hilary Swank is playing the mother of the kidnapped kid...
  16. ^ "OITNB, Prisencolinensinainciusol and the Host's Phone Rings". The Rush Limbaugh Show.
  17. ^ "Slavoj Žižek & Melania Trump (w/ Lory Tatoulian)". 22 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Prisencolinensinainciusol/Disc Jockey" (in Italian). Discografia Nazionale della Canzone Italiana. Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  19. ^ "Adriano Celentano – Prisencolinensinainciusol" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  20. ^ "Adriano Celentano – Prisencolinensinainciusol" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  21. ^ "Les Chansons – Détail par Artiste – C" (in French). Archived from the original on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2013. Select Adriano CELENTANO, then press OK.
  22. ^ "Adriano Celentano – Prisencolinensinainciusol" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts.
  23. ^ "Adriano Celentano – Prisencolinensinainciusol" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  24. ^ a b "I singoli più venduti del 1974" (in Italian). Retrieved 20 March 2015.

External links[edit]