"Funiculì, Funiculà" (IPA: [funikuˈli (f)funikuˈla] ) is a Neapolitan song composed in 1880 by Luigi Denza to lyrics by Peppino Turco. It was written to commemorate the opening of the first funicular railway on Mount Vesuvius. It was presented by Turco and Denza at the Piedigrotta festival the same year. The sheet music was published by Ricordi and sold over a million copies within a year. Since its publication, it has been widely adapted and recorded.
"Funiculì, Funiculà" was composed in 1880 in Castellammare di Stabia, the home town of the song's composer, Luigi Denza; the lyrics were contributed by journalist Peppino Turco.It was Turco who prompted Denza to compose it, perhaps as a joke, to commemorate the opening of the first funicular on Mount Vesuvius in that year. The song was sung for the first time in the Quisisana Hotel in Castellammare di Stabia. It was presented by Turco and Denza at the Piedigrotta festival during the same year and became immensely popular in Italy and abroad. Published by Casa Ricordi, the sheet music sold over a million copies in a year.
Over the years the song has been performed by many artists including Erna Sack, Anna German, Mario Lanza, Beniamino Gigli, The Mills Brothers, Connie Francis, Haruomi Hosono (with lyrics translated into Japanese), Fischer-Chöre (with lyrics translated into German), The Grateful Dead,Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Il Volo.
In 1960, Robert B. and Richard M. Sherman wrote a new set of English lyrics to the melody of "Funiculì, Funiculà" with the title "Dream Boy".Annette Funicello included the song on her album of Italian songs titled Italiannette and also released it as a single, which became a minor hit.
German composer Richard Strauss heard the song while on a tour of Italy six years after it was written. He thought that it was a traditional Neapolitan folk song and incorporated it into his Aus Italien tone poem. Denza filed a lawsuit against him and won, and Strauss was forced to pay him a royalty fee.Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov also mistook "Funiculì, Funiculà" for a traditional folk song and used it in his 1907 "Neapolitanskaya pesenka" (Neapolitan Song).
Cornettist Herman Bellstedt used it as the basis for a theme and variations titled Napoli; a transcription for euphonium is also popular among many performers. Modernist composer Arnold Schoenberg arranged a version for ensemble in 1921.
In 1933 Arthur Fields and Fred Hall published a parody of "Funiculì, funiculà" titled "My High Silk Hat".This parody has been republished several times, including in the 1957 Gilwell Camp Fire Book.
In 1964, song parodist Allan Sherman's album For Swingin' Livers Only! included "America's a Nice Italian Name" which uses the melody.
In Turco's original lyrics, a young man compares his sweetheart to a volcano, and invites her to join him in a romantic trip to the summit.
Edward Oxenford, a lyricist and translator of librettos,wrote lyrics, with scant relationship to those of the original version, that became traditional in English-speaking countries. His version of the song often appears with the title "A Merry Life".
Some think the world is made for fun and frolic,
And so do I! And so do I!
Some think it well to be all melancholic,
To pine and sigh; to pine and sigh;
But I, I love to spend my time in singing,
Some joyous song, some joyous song,
To set the air with music bravely ringing
Is far from wrong! Is far from wrong!
Harken, harken, music sounds a-far!
Harken, harken, with a happy heart!
Funiculì, funiculà, funiculì, funiculà!
Joy is everywhere, funiculì, funiculà!
Ah me! 'tis strange that some should take to sighing,
And like it well! And like it well!
For me, I have not thought it worth the trying,
So cannot tell! So cannot tell!
With laugh, with dance and song the day soon passes
Full soon is gone, full soon is gone,
For mirth was made for joyous lads and lasses
To call their own! To call their own!
Harken, harken, hark the soft guitar!
Harken, harken, hark the soft guitar!
Funiculì, funiculà, funiculì, funiculà!
Hark the soft guitar, funiculì, funiculà!
A rendition of the song appears on Japanese musician and producer Haruomi Hosono's 1982 album Philharmony under the title "Funiculi Funicura."
The Decemberists featured a prominent reference to the Chorus in the "Song for Myla Goldberg" on their 2004 album Her Majesty the Decemberists .
In episode 2of the first season of the anime Hozuki no Reitetsu, one of the young characters sings a version of the song with Japanese lyrics, believing it's "a sales jingle for demon underwear." The main character Hozuki gives a lecture on the song's actual origins, telling them: "…that song was originally a canzone from Southern Italy."; "The 'Funiculi Funicula' you speak of are rhythmic shouts."; "Apparently it was a promotional song for the Mountain Railway." A picture of a train on a mountain track is shown with Super Mario as the train conductor.
The melody was used in commercials for the board game The Grape Escape, which aired in the US in 1992.
Composer Alan Silvestri used the melody in 1993 film Super Mario Bros. as the main theme for Italian-American protagonists Mario and Luigi.
The 2004 video game Spider-Man 2 features a humorous instrumental version that plays during pizza delivery missions; this has become an internet meme, with the song becoming colloquially known as the "Pizza Theme".The 2018 video game Spider-Man has an orchestral rendition playing outside of a pizzeria as a reference to this.
This article is about music-related events in 1880.
Themusic of Italy has traditionally been one of the cultural markers of Italian national and ethnic identity and holds an important position in society and in politics. Italian music innovation – in musical scale, harmony, notation, and theatre – enabled the development of opera, in the late 16th century, and much of modern European classical music – such as the symphony and concerto – ranges across a broad spectrum of opera and instrumental classical music and popular music drawn from both native and imported sources.
Luigi Denza was an Italian composer.
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Castellammare di Stabia is a comune in the Metropolitan City of Naples, Campania region, in southern Italy. It is situated on the Bay of Naples about 30 kilometres southeast of Naples, on the route to Sorrento.
Mario Lanza Live at the Hollywood Bowl: Historical Recordings is a 2000 CD, released by the Gala label, includes the six selections that tenor Mario Lanza sang at his first Hollywood Bowl concert on August 27, 1947. This is the performance that first brought Lanza to the attention of Hollywood, and shortly afterwards he was signed to a seven-year film contract with MGM. Included from the performance at the Bowl are six arias, three of them in duet with soprano Frances Yeend. Eugene Ormandy conducts the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra for these performances.
"Santa Lucia" is a traditional Neapolitan song. It was translated by Teodoro Cottrau (1827–1879) into Italian and published by the Cottrau firm, as a barcarola, in Naples in 1849. Cottrau translated it from Neapolitan into Italian during the first stage of the Italian unification, the first Neapolitan song to be given Italian lyrics. Its transcriber, who is very often credited as its composer, was the son of the French-born Italian composer and collector of songs Guillaume Louis Cottrau (1797–1847). Various sources credit A. Longo with the music, 1835.
Naples has played an important and vibrant role over the centuries not just in the music of Italy, but in the general history of western European musical traditions. This influence extends from the early music conservatories in the 16th century through the music of Alessandro Scarlatti during the Baroque period and the comic operas of Pergolesi, Piccinni and, eventually, Rossini and Mozart. The vitality of Neapolitan popular music from the late 19th century has made such songs as 'O Sole mio and Funiculì Funiculà a permanent part of our musical consciousness.
Canzone napoletana, sometimes referred to as Neapolitan song, is a generic term for a traditional form of music sung in the Neapolitan language, ordinarily for the male voice singing solo, although well represented by female soloists as well, and expressed in familiar genres such as the love song and serenade. Many of the songs are about the nostalgic longing for Naples as it once was. The genre consists of a large body of composed popular music—such songs as "’O sole mio"; "Torna a Surriento"; "Funiculì, Funiculà"; "Santa Lucia" and others.
Aus Italien, Op. 16, is a tone poem or program symphony for orchestra by Richard Strauss, described by the composer as a "symphonic fantasy". It was completed in 1886 when he was 22 years old. It was inspired by the composer's visit to Italy in the summer of the same year, where he travelled to Rome, Bologna, Naples, Sorrento, Salerno, and Capri. He began to sketch the work while still on the journey.
De Gebroeders Ko is a Dutch musical duo, consisting of the brothers Ton and Gerard Koopmans. Their name literally means "The Ko Brothers" and they are known for their Dutch spoofs of "Boten Anna" by Basshunter and "Dragostea din tei" by O-Zone.
Giuseppe “Peppino” Turco was an Italian songwriter.
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In the Land O' Yamo Yamo is a World War I song written in 1917. Joe McCarthy wrote the lyrics and Fred Fisher composed the music. McCarthy & Fisher, Inc. produced the song in New York, New York. On the cover of the sheet music is a man playing the guitar as a woman dances in the foreground. The lyrics describe a place that is not found on the map, but resembles "Old Napoli," referring to a city in Italy. "Yamo Yamo" is an English transliteration of the Neapolitan phrase "iammo, iammo", a dialectal reduction of "andiamo, andiamo" and the beginning of the chorus of the worldwide popular Italian song [["Funiculi Funicula"]], which is mentioned in "Yamo Yamo"'s subtitle. "Yamo Yamo" is illustrated in the chorus as a place where the "good fellows are" and where "you can never hear them talk about the war." The song reached number two on the US song charts in May 1918.
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Dick Sherman and Bob Sherman. NM; 'new words to P.D. tune"