Perhaps because our extended family includes a branch in Rome, I can't get enough of the wonderful, antique, nonsense-English "rap" video posted on the Daily Dish a few days ago:



And certainly because our extended family includes some actual Romans, I now know much more about this than I ever thought I would! For one, the clip is more than 35 years old, and features a very-famous-in-Italy singer, Adriano Celentano, who is now in his 70s. The starring blond disco-dancer is the also-well-known Raffaella Carrà. (The black-and-white parts are from the original early 1970s video; the color part is from a later remix.) Also: although one of Celentano's idols is Elvis Presley and he sounds completely American with an Elvis-like diction, he does not speak English himself (or so he says, in Italian, in an article yesterday in la Repubblica.)* His purpose in doing the song was to promote the idea of "universal communication." And: he's apparently enjoying a boomlet of fame, thanks to this video that was initially boosted by Cory Doctorow.

Even better: after the jump, a transcription of the lyrics to the song, which begins:

in de col men seivuan
prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait

And best of all, a video with "subtitles" based on the English it sounds like he is saying. For instance, in this one the title of the song becomes "Freezing cold and excellent choose hole."



Thanks to sister-in-law SZG in Roma. Buon Natale!
 
Also, background last year from the New Yorker's site, here.

*From la Repubblica: Ci dica la verità: ha mai imparato l' inglese? «Sono anni che cerco di impararlo, ma ho sempre rimandato a causa di impegni, e il fatto di non parlare inglese è per me una vera spina.

Q: The truth, now: you've never learned English? A: For years I wanted to learn, but I always put it off, and the fact of not speaking English is a real pain.
______

Lyrics:
(koro)
in de col men seivuan
prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait
uis de seim cius men
op de seim ol uat men
in de colobos dai
trr...
ciak is e maind beghin de col
bebi stei ye push yo oh
uis de seim cius men
in de colobos dai
not is de seim laikiu
de promisdin iu nau
in trabol lovgiai ciu gen
in do camo not cius no bai
for lov so op op giast
cam lau ue cam lov ai
oping tu stei laik cius
go mo men
iu bicos tue men cold
dobrei gorls
oh sandei...

(koro)
ai ai smai sesler
eni els so co uil piso ai
in de col men seivuan

(koro)
prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait
uei ai sint no ai
giv de sint laik de cius
nobodi oh gud taim lev feis go
uis de seim et seim cius
go no ben let de cius
end kai for not de gai giast stei
ai ai smai senflecs
eni go for doing peso ai
in de col mein seivuan
prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait
lu nei si not sicidor
ah es la bebi la dai big iour

(koro)
ai ai smai senflecs
eni go for doin peso ai
in de col mein saivuan
prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait
lu nei si not sicodor
ah es la bebi la dai big iour

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