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Welcome to News From Italy, my blog about our Italian Adventure. Although this blog has now ceased publication I will be continuing to blog and I am sincerely hoping that my many followers here will move with me to Travel Tales blog to follow my next adventures wherever they may take me. The links to my other blogs are:-

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Song–Yolanda Be Cool

image courtesy of shareseeking.com
This week I am featuring an Australian duo that this summer was a terrific hit here in Italy Yolanda Be Cool. The band consists of Sylvester Martinez and Johnson Peterson. They collaborated with an Australian producer Duncan MacLennan, known as DCUP to release an international recording of 'We No Speak Americano'. I was very interested to read that this is not a new song at all but a remix (I think that is the term) of a 1956 Neapolitan hit Tu Vu Fa L'Americano performed and written by Renato Carosone. It was basically telling Italians to be themselves as after the Second world War with so many American troops in the country, many young Italians were  impressed with everything American and imitated their behaviour and style of dress.

Since that song the phrase 'fare l'americano.' or 'doing the American' has become associated with describing  a person who tries to impress foreign friends by imitating them and abandoning his roots.

I got the idea to use this song from a blog I came across recently that had written a post mentioning that it was impossible to avoid this song in Italy this summer. How right they are I thought and with their kind permission and a link to the original post, Students In Rome Blog I am copying them in using this somewhat addictive if annoying song as my Sunday Song feature this week.  It somehow seems appropriate not just because it was one of the most popular songs in the Italian pop music charts this summer reaching number two, but also because they are currently on tour in Australia, the home of this regular Sunday Song feature that I participate in.

"We No Speak Americano" topped the German, Austrian, Irish, UK, Danish, Dutch, Swedish and Belgian charts so far, and reached the Top 5 in Australia, France, Spain and Norway. It was also a chart hit in Italy, New Zealand, Argentina and several other countries. 


Courtesy of SpinninRec

Comme te po'
Comme te po'
Comme te po' capì chi te vò bene
Si tu le parle 'mmiezzo americano?
Quando se fa l'ammore sotto 'a luna
Come te vene 'capa e di: "I love you!?"
Pa pa l' americano
Pa pa l' americano
Pa pa l' americano
Fa l' americano!
Pa pa l' americano
Fa fa l' americano
Whisky soda e rockenroll
Whisky soda e rockenroll
Whisky soda e rockenroll

I also discovered that this duos name  is a reference to the film "Pulp Fiction", where the character Jules (played by Samuel L. Jackson) shouts "Yolanda be cool" to a female armed robber named Yolanda (played by Amanda Plummer).

Still want to find out more about Yolanda Be Cool then try this website link My Space

I thought it might also be fun to include the original by Renato Carosone here as well.

Video and lyrics courtesy of TarAntXon

Puorte o' calzone cu 'nu stemma arreto
'na cuppulella cu 'a visiera alzata.
Passe scampanianno pe' Tuleto
camme a 'nu guappo pe' te fa guardà!
Tu vuò fa l' americano!
mmericano! mmericano
siente a me, chi t' ho fa fa?
tu vuoi vivere alla moda
ma se bevi whisky and soda
po' te sente 'e disturbà.
Tu abballe 'o roccorol
tu giochi al basebal '
ma 'e solde pe' Camel
chi te li dà? ...
La borsetta di mammà!
Tu vuò fa l' americano
mmericano! mmericano!
ma si nato in Italy!
siente a mme
non ce sta' niente a ffa
o kay, napolitan!
Tu vuò fa l' american!
Tu vuò fa l' american!
Comme te po' capì chi te vò bene
si tu le parle 'mmiezzo americano?
Quando se fa l 'ammore sotto 'a luna
come te vene 'capa e di:"I love you!?"
Tu vuò fa l' americano
mmericano! mmericano
siente a me, chi t'ho fa fa?
tu vuoi vivere alla moda...
You're wearing trousers with a tag on the back
and a cap with the visor turned up,
parading around Tuleto
like a bully trying to show off
You're acting all american,
american, american,
listen here: who's asking you to?
You want to be all trendy,
but if you drink "whisky and soda"
you always end up sick!
You're dancing rock and roll,
and playing baseball,
but where'd you get the money
for the Camel cigarettes?
Mummy's handbag!
You're acting all american,
american, american,
but you're born in Italy, listen here:
there's nothing you can do,
ok napoletano?!
You're acting all american,
american, american,
How can your loved one understand
if you're speaking half american?
When you're out loving uder the moon,
where do you get a phrase like "I love you"?
You're acting all american,
american, american,
but you're born in Italy, listen here:
there's nothing you can do,
ok napoletano?!
You're acting all american,
american, american,
...whisky soda e rock and roll
Llevas pantalones con marca en el trasero
Una gorra con la visera hacia arriba
Andas campaneando por Toledo
como un chulo, para hacerte notar
Quieres hacerte el americano
óyeme, ¿quién te pide que lo hagas?
Tú quieres vivir a la moda,
pero si bebes "whisky and soda"
luego te sientes mareado
Tú bailas rock and roll
tú juegas al béisbol
pero el dinero para el Camel
¿quién te lo da? ¿El monedero de mamá?
Quieres hacerte el americano
pero naciste en Italy
óyeme: no hay nada que hacer
¿ok, napolitano?
Porti i calzoni con l'etichetta dietro
e il berrettino con la visiera alzata
passi dandoti arie per la strada [Via Toledo, a Napoli]
come un bullo che si vuol far guardare!
Tu Vuoi far l'Americano, Americano, Americano
Sentimi, chi te lo fa fare?
Tu vuoi vivere alla moda
ma se bevi whisky & soda
poi finisci per star male.
Tu balli il rock & roll
e giochi a baseball
ma i soldi per le sigarette [Camel]
dove li vai a prendere?
Dalla borsetta di tua mamma!
Tu Vuoi far l'Americano, Americano, Americano!
Ma sei nato in Italy
Senti qui non c'e' niente da fare
OK, Napoletano?
Come ti puo' capire chi ti vuol bene
se tu le parli mezzo Americano?
Quando si fa l'amore sotto la luna
come ti viene in testa di dire "I love you"?


More Sunday Songs can be found by visiting 5 Minutes Just for Me


Buono Domenica Tutti and thanks to Students In Rome Blog for permission to use their idea.

All the text, videos and photos used here have come from my own research on the internet and as always I have given credit where credit is due.


  1. I know well the original song by Carosone, that what performed by Sophia Loren in the old movie La Baia di Napoli (Naple's Bay) where Clark Gable was acting too.
    Nice choice.

  2. Thanks for sharing this, LLM. I enjoyed the song (and the video)!

    P.S. Juno was a film about a teen and her unplanned pregnancy. The young actress (Ellen Page) was nominated for an Oscar for her role in this movie.

  3. Ha! You are correct that the song is absolutely addicting....and annoying at the same time!
    Have a great Sunday.

  4. What a funny song! Interesting for us, who are outside, to realize how big the American influence has been on the young people all over the world.
    Today I am linking to Sunday Song, too.
    Have a great day Lindy!

  5. Enjoyed both songs - the first tune is really catchy, and is still playing in my head.

    Congratulations for being added to the "Go Overseas - Blog Italy" list. You do both in your blog - travels in Italy, and life in Italy, GOOD JOB!

  6. ha ha ha!...loved the first one Linda!

  7. Incredible! We were just speculating about this song few minutes ago. In the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley the character Fausto (played by the Italian singer and showman Fiorello) is clearly modeled after Carosone and performs this song on screen in a very peculiar way.

  8. I really enjoyed this post and those songs! Thanks for sharing! : )

  9. Nice post! I really enjoyed it. I'll stay tuned to further Sunday songs!

  10. Love it Linda. Now I will have this song in my head all day!

  11. This is definitely one of the songs of the Summer for me. It was played by the disco at my wedding and then two weeks later it was played at my cousins wedding. Then, at my Italian wedding on Saturday the singer played the original version. I had no idea it was an old song. I love it!

  12. It does have a catchy beat to it, but it is so fast...I was trying to follow along with the words, oh my! The story was interesting too.

    Thank you for your comment on my 9/11 post. I do think it was one thing that reached the world.

  13. Very interesting! Thank you for the translations - I still need the help!!! I enjoyed the backstory too. History is always interesting!!

    Have a great week and stay dry!

  14. Alessandra - Fancy you knowing the original.

    Buckeroomama - Delighted you enjoyed, thanks for info on film, one I need to add to my to see list.

    Dana - It certainly is!

    Simony - Delighted to hear you linked up this week, I will pop back and have a listen.

    Mya - Thanks for your kind words.

    Pam - So catchy isn't it!

    VP - What a coincidence, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    Optimal Optimist - I am pleased you enjoyed them.

    Student in Rome - Once again thanks for the idea, I am pleased you approved and will be calling by again.

    Cathy - Exactly :)

    Sarah Elizabeth - Well your comments, certainly back up its popularity this summer :)

    Sue - Yes it is fast!

    Jeannie - No real rain here yet, just a heavy rain storm late on Monday evening. I find listening to Italian pop music helps with learning the language.

  15. What a fun song! It has a very good beat to it!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I really appreciate it!

    I hope your day is sweet,

  16. Maddy - It is rather catchy! Always a pleasure to visit your blog.

  17. i studied Italian for years but napoletano is a totally different animal! I really needed the translation so thanks this really helped...the song has been stuck in my head all morning and it's nice to have some context for the song as well

  18. Anon - Thankyou for visiting 'News From Italy' and commenting. I am glad you found the post both interesting and useful.

  19. this song is annoying as hell i hear it on the bus every day to and from school i don't even know how in hell in got in the top charts but then again people these days have no taste for music

  20. Nasty - Thankyou for calling by my blog and commenting. I do understand you find it annoying, but annoyingly catchy and I think that is how tunes such as this make the charts!


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