Hey, remember this crazy video from a few years ago?
Today's post is all about the wonderful Italian swing/jazz song featured in it, which I just adore! The song is known by various names, typically "Pa Para Americano," "Pa Pa Americano," or "We No Speak Americano."
According to Wikipedia, however, its actual name is "Tu Vuò Fà L'Americano" ("You Want to Be American") and it dates from the mid-1950s. Written by Nicola Salerno (words) and Renato Carosone (music), it was a huge hit for Carosone and his band. Wikipedia further notes that the lyrics:
. . . are about an Italian who affects a contemporary American lifestyle, drinking whisky and soda, dancing to rock 'n roll, playing baseball and smoking Camel cigarettes, but who still depends on his parents for money. The song is generally considered to be a satire of the Americanization that occurred [in Italy] in the early years after World War II, when southern Italy was still a rural, traditional society.
Here's a video of Carosone and his band performing the song, with English lyrics superimposed by someone who is unaware of the difference between "your" and "you're" (but let's not be picky about that even though it irks me to no end) --
Around 10 years ago, the song's English lyrics were significantly updated by Lou Bega, the German latin/pop star, so that the satire about how Europeans see Americans is much more modern and pointed. It's a fun remake!
And finally, here's a fab 2015 version of the original song by Hetty & the Jazzato Band! Love that clarinet!