I’ve found there’s no better way to improve my Italian than listening to Italian music. From Luciano Pavarotti to Rino Gaetano; from Mina to Vasco Rossi, all Italian music has its charm. That’s why I will never understand the phenomenon of Italian artists creating Italian language versions of American/English songs. Although Italians aren’t the only ones who do this, it’s amazing how many Italians don’t know that these songs were originally harmonized in English.
While I prefer songs in their original languages, I can’t help but admire how catchy some of these tunes are in Italian! If you’ve never heard any of these songs before, take a listen! Here’s a list of a few of my favorites.
Paola Turci’s “Questione di Sguardi [Matter of Gazes]” is a cover of Faith Hill’s “This Kiss.”
Do you recognize this tune by Hearts of Stone’s “Con Le Mie Lacrime [With my tears]”? It is a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “As Tears go By.”
Another famous cover is Adriano Celentano’s “Pregherò [I will pray],” a version of “Stand by Me,” originally sang by Ben E. King.
Italians even covered The Beatles! Check out this version of “She Loves You [Lei ti ama]” sang by Fausto Leali.
And of course there’s an REM side to Italian singer Ligabue with his version of “It’s the end of the World as we Know It [A Che Ora è La Fine del Mondo].”
The list wouldn’t be complete without the Italian versions of Disney songs. Some of my favorites are “Kiss the Girl [Baciala]” from “The Little Mermaid [La Sirenetta],” and “The Circle of Life [Il Cerchio della Vita]” from “The Lion King [Il Re Leone]”
Written by OSIA National Office Intern, Carol Cummings. Cummings is a senior at American University, majoring in print journalism, with a minor in Italian.