Prisencolinensinainciusol, the Catchy Italian Pop Track That Sounded Like It Had English Lyrics, However Used to be In truth Gibberish (1972)


The day past a pal and I had been status on a New York Town sidewalk, looking ahead to the sunshine, when Stayin’ Alive started issuing at most sensible quantity from a close-by automotive.

Pavlovian conditioning kicked in right away.  We’d been making a song in conjunction with the Bee Gees for almost a minute ahead of understanding that neither folks knew the lyrics. Like, in any respect.

Italian actor and musician Adriano Celentano’s cult vintage, Prisencolinensinainciusol, conjures up a an identical reaction.

The adaptation being that are supposed to I ever wish to prep for karaoke, Stayin’ Alive’s lyrics are extensively to be had on-line, while Prisencolinensinainciusol’s lyrics are more or less any individual’s wager…nonsense in any language.

Celentano improvised this gibberish in 1972 in an try to recreate how American rock and roll lyrics sound love to non-English-speaking Italian fanatics like himself.

As he advised NPR’s All Issues Thought to be via a translator right through a 2012 interview:

Ever since I began making a song, I used to be very influenced via American tune and the whole thing American citizens did. So at a undeniable level, as a result of I really like American slang — which, for a singer, is far more straightforward to sing than Italian — I assumed that I’d write a tune which might handiest have as its theme the shortcoming to be in contact…I sang it with an indignant tone for the reason that theme was once essential. It was once an anger born out of resignation. I delivered to gentle the truth that folks don’t be in contact.

And but, his 1974 look within the above caricature at the Italian selection collection Components Due spurs strangers to make stabs at verbal exchange via sharing their perfect wager transcriptions of Prisencolinensinainciusol’s lyrics in YouTube feedback, 51 years after the tune’s authentic free up.

A sampling, anchored via the refrain’ iconic and unmistakeable “all proper:”


My eyes lie, mindless.
I suppose I’m throwing pizza.

And the chilly wind sailor,
freezing chilly and icy in Tucson



My eyes are approach so delicate
And it will get so chilly, it’s freezing

You’re the chilly, major, the similar one
Please let’s name ’em ‘n’ dance with my footwear off
All proper



My eyes smile mindless however it doesn’t cross with diesel all proper.



I don’t know why however I need a maid to mention I would like pair of ice blue footwear with eyes…awight.


Prisencolinensinainciusol’s looping, throbbing beat is wildly catchy and imminently danceable, as evidenced via Celentano’s efficiency on Components Due and that of the black clad dancers backing him up right through an look on Milleluci, some other mid-70s Italian selection display, underneath.

The eye generated via those selection display segments – each lip synched – despatched Prisencolinensinainciusol up the charts in Italy, Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom,  or even the USA.

Its mixture of disco, hip hop and funk has proved strangely sturdy, inspiring remixes and covers, together with the person who served as thinker Slavoj Žižek‘s Eurovision Track Contest access.

Prisencolinensinainciusol has netted an entire new era of fanatics via cropping up on Ted Lasso, Fargo, a business for spiced rum, and reputedly innumerable TikToks.

We’ll most certainly by no means get a company grab at the lyrics, in spite of Italian tv host Paolo Bonolis‘ puckish 2005 try to goad befuddled local English speaker Will Smith into interpreting them.

Regardless of.

Celentano’s supremely assured supply of the ones indelible nonsense syllables is what counts, consistent with a YouTube viewer from Slovenia with fond recollections of taking part in in a rock band as a young person within the 1960’s:

That is precisely how we non-English-speakers sung the then hit songs. You discovered some starting portions of lyrics in order that the target audience known the tune. They heard it at Radio Luxembourg. From right here on it was once precisely the similar taste – outdoor the refrain in fact. Adriano Celentano was once at all times been a legend for us again in Slovenia.

h/t Erik B.

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– Ayun Halliday is the Leader Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and creator, maximum just lately, of Inventive, Now not Well-known: The Small Potato Manifesto and Inventive, Now not Well-known Process E-book. Practice her @AyunHalliday.



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