Prisencolinensinainciusol by Adriano Celentano

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!  Prisencolinensinainciusol!  What do these made up words have in common?  They’re both songs, the first by American songwriters the Sherman Brothers from the Disney musical “Mary Poppins”, and the other by Adriano Celentano an Italian singer and songwriter.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was “something to say when you have nothing to say,” and prisencolinensinainciusol is an approximation of what English sounds like to non-English speakers claims Celentano.  He wrote an entire song with incomprehensible lyrics and words just to get people to listen and communicate with each other better.  Whether or not he succeeds is up for question.  In 1972 when the song was released in Italy it wasn’t popular.  It took a performance on Italian TV for it to eventually become number 1 in Italy, France, Germany and Belgium.  I attribute that to the music itself and the choreography, not necessarily the new language he’s created.  There are no official lyrics as he would improvise them every time.  An Italian freestyler?

The video is fantastic.  I imagine they shot it all in one take.  It has that grand movie set feeling like the dream sequences of old movie musicals like “Singin’ in the Rain.”  I love how the dancing mob is wearing 70s style clothing but Celentano is dressed as a homeless man, or wait we call that boho-chic nowadays, right?  Was that to emphasize the made up, free flow of nonsense of the song?  His blonde lady friend deserves a shout out for her spoken gibberish moment in a deep, throaty voice reminiscent of Magenta in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” AND dancing all around.  Celentano even plays the harmonica to end the song!  Hilarious.  I showed the video to my bf and first he says “Oh my God I know this song,” and then he agrees with the premise that English sounds like a bunch of nonsense to him sometimes especially slang.

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