Monday, June 01, 2015

Music Monday's "Furrin Parts"

So much from which to choose! I'm going with Rome, because I fell in love with the city back in the early 1960s when I spent several weeks there.

Paragraph below is extracted from a 2007 post HERE

I spent some time in Rome, Italy in the early 1960s (photo on right). I used to wish frequently that I could turn back time; not all the way back to the days of the Roman Empire, but far enough to allow me to experience the Eternal City without so many tourists and so much traffic. A decade or so before my visits, only very wealthy travellers had access to Rome. I imagined with envy what it must have been like to wander the ancient sites and sights, free of horrendous traffic, noise and fumes. I used to frequent cobbled back streets, away from tourist areas. Occasionally I'd feel that I did catch a glimpse and a feel of how it used to be. I'm luckier than most, though. At least I saw the city before worse pollution and even heavier traffic took its toll.
I used to have a lovely EP (extended play) vinyl record containing 4 songs about Rome. I lost it, along with everything else, in our Great Fire of 1996. For the first time since then I've been able to find three of the four songs on YouTube. These versions are nice but not nearly as good as those on my record, that female singer's name is still buried in my memory banks, so far not recoverable. Below, the first two songs are sung by Lando Fiorini, the third by Mario Lanza.

The songs:

Quanta Sei Bella Roma. Translates as How Beautiful You are, Rome [in the evenings].
Full translation of lyrics

Vecchia Roma (Old/Ancient Rome)

A garbled not very useful translation (the song is, I think, regretting modern changes in the city's life).

Arriverderci Roma (Goodbye, Rome, until we meet again)
Translation of lyrics

Any contributions of more songs from "furrin parts" enjoyed by passing readers?


mike said...

Perhaps my time in Rome wasn't astrologically auspicious! I loved the sites-sights, though many ancient structures suffered defacement, graffiti, and general lack of upkeep. The Roman Colosseum closed months after my visit for restoration. The city is indeed magnificent with stunning beauty to be found in everyday structures, commons, and of course the public sculptures, fountains, plazas, etc. Most of these were constructed too many centuries past of the finest materials and expert craftsmen. I rented a fairly inexpensive hotel room that had abundant marble, carved wood, and an exquisite feel. I had many problems with beggars, pickpockets, and general rip-offs (a $1 service charge simply for a restaurant table with water before any service was offered; overcharging at the many outdoor fruit-vegetable markets as if I didn't comprehend the lira conversion; surrounded by swarms of little children touching me all over looking for valuables...can't smack the darlings). I was even awakened by the conductor on the train from Rome to Brendisi in the middle of the night to pay full-fare AGAIN or be dumped in the middle of nowhere. Other than the general feeling of people-abuse, I enjoyed Rome...LOL. I was there in the early 1970s, so I hope things have changed. Rome's population is in the millions, so it comes with the territory, much like a visit to New York City I suppose...I've been to NYC several times and had some of the same people-abuse experiences.

Greece was my favorite of the countries I visited and particularly Crete. Many delightful experiences there and I'm very glad I had the experience. I didn't care much for Athens, as it was very congested, densely populated, and had a squished-in feel to it. Many beautiful ancient structures in Athens, but right next to refineries and dumps! Crete was much more rural, quaint, peaceful, delightful, and the people so very pleasant. I was often invited into homes for a glass of retsina wine, cheese, and figs.

Most of Europe, but particularly the southern portions with more economic distress, were not faring well with maintenance of their structures from the historic past. I suppose many of the northern countries lost theirs with the wars. I remember my dismay viewing from my train window a portion of the Acropolis with a modern factory right next to it belching very black smoke from the chimneys.

Should I happen to go abroad again, I would aim for Spain and Portugal.

I have no offerings of music. I heard a lot of music played live, but no idea what they were! "Zorba the Greek" will suffice, but I believe it's an American creation for the eponymous stage and theater production.

smitaly said...

Quanta sei bella tu, Twilight!

Lovely photo of you, and a lovely post. I could easily mention many "furrin" favs, perhaps beginning with Edith Piaf's Milord (and not only because it's also my last name), but I'll stay true to your post and my country of residence and pass along an Italian song.

Felicità (Happiness) is a cover of a song by Lucio Dalla, a much-beloved singer-songwriter from Bologna (4 March 1943 – 1 March 2012) who died very unexpectedly while on tour. (What might his chart have to say about that?) This version was recorded in 2011 by Musica Nuda (no translation needed), the duo composed of singer Petra Magoni with Ferruccio Spinetti on double bass.

You'll find the lyrics in Italian directly below the video. I guarantee you won't be able to get the tuneful chorus out of your mind:

su quale treno della notte viaggerai
lo so.....
che passerai......
ma come sempre in fretta
non ti fermi mai

on which night train will you be traveling?
I know...
that you'll go by...
but, as always, in too much of a hurry
and you'll never stop.


PS I, too, wish I had discovered Roma when it was more like it was... which is, as you suspected rightly, exactly what Vecchia Roma is about. A part of the chorus (the lyrics are in Rome's dialect) makes this clear:

Er progresso
t'ha fatta grande
ma sta città,
nun è quella
'ndo se viveva tant'anni fa.

It was progress
that made you great,
but this city
is not the same one
we lived in many years ago.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Such a pity that your Rome experience was marred somewhat. I didn't experience the same, perhaps because I was accompanied by my (then) Italian husband who, though not a native of Rome, had lived and worked there for several years, so knew what was what. We stayed in a tiny private hotel in one of those dark, narrow cobbled streets, our room up a couple of lights of stairs. Nothing like most tourist hotels!

I didn't ever visit Greece, but many work friends loved it, spent all there vacations there. After my lucky win trip to Tangier (already mentioned elsewhere), a couple of vacations in mainland Spain in the 1970s, a solo trip to the Loire Valley, France, and a "once in a lifetime" trip to Hawaii in the mid 1980s, we found the Canary Islands - which became our go-to vacation spot, abroad, for the rest of my time in the UK.

I enjoyed reading your words instead of any furrin music on this topic. I jingled the Zorba theme through my mind as I read too. I have a couple of CDs by a Greek tenor, Mario Frangoulis - one of my favourites, along with Mario Lanza.

There he is singing "Vinceró Perderó" (I will win, I will lose) in Italian - he mostly sings in Italian - widening his audience I guess.

Twilight said...

smitaly ~ How very kind - thank you! Ah yes, I thought Piaf's name would be mentioned here. :-)

That's a very pretty version of Felicità, thank you for introducing us to it.

While on the YouTube page for that song I spotted Lucio Dalla's version of "Caruso" in the side column - a song I love and hadn't knowingly heard his version. It's a super version too.
My own favourite is Belgian Lara Fabian's - at her most drama-ridden -in
Italian, naturally ;-) The version I used to have saved is now no more on YouTube, but this one comes a pretty good second.

(Re the astrology of Lucio Dalla's death - on some future Music Monday I ought to look into that.)