RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I found this somewhat interesting. In our bumper rotation is a 40-year-old song, and I have noted it practically every time it comes up in the rotation. It’s Prisencolinensinainciusol by an Italian artist named Celentano. Yeah, Adriano Celentano. Well, it turns out that NPR decided to do a miniature profile on this song. And I’m wondering, “How and why did NPR ever hear about this?”
Now, I know that NPR has people monitoring this program and they occasionally translate this program for the NPR audience so that NPR audience members can know what conservatism sounds like. So I’m wondering if they heard me play the tune in the bumper rotation and talk about it and they went out and looked it up.
I first became aware of the song, it was a TV show, I forget the network, on the kidnapping of J. Paul Getty’s grandson. And Hilary Swank is playing the mother of the kidnapped kid, and she’s in some little Italian matchbox car driving around Rome and this song is on the radio. And I said, “Whoa what is that?” I’m always looking for bumper music. And the closed-captioning, I Shazamed it, is what I did, ’cause the closed-captioning had this awkward looking word, there was no way that it was accurate, I thought.
So I Shazamed it and came up with the song. So we set about finding it. And there’s a history behind it. Adriano Celentano had a major tough time learning English. He just couldn’t learn it. He thought it was the weirdest, oddest language. So he recorded a song that is supposed to be what English sounds like to people who don’t speak it. It’s 40 years old this week, I think, is the anniversary of the song. It was a huge hit in Italy and nowhere else. And he sings it, and the lyrics mean nothing.
He literally ad-libbed this and just created lyrics, words, sounds. There are not even any words in this thing. And I wanted to just play it, share a little bit of it because I find it fascinating that this is what this guy claims English sounds like to him. Let me try hitting the — hold it a minute. Hold it. What version of this do you have? Okay. Mr. Engineer, what version? The classroom intro. Okay. Well go ahead and hit it. Let’s see if it’s what I’m thinking.
(Playing of song.)
Well, this is close. He’s gonna chime in here in just a second.
(continued playing of song)
Okay. That’s enough of it. Are you sure that’s Adriano Celentano doing that? Because that sounds like a version I haven’t — sounds like a cover version. All right. Well, anyway, it’s 40 years old. It’s starting to get some acclaim, and I’m just telling you it’s getting acclaim because we put it in the bumper rotation here about a year ago. I don’t think anybody would have ever heard of this tune if we hadn’t done that.
Now it’s getting a lot of acclaim, 40 years old, but I find it fascinating, there’s no words. He ad-libbed all that. There aren’t any words. They’ve even publicized the lyrics, and it’s senseless. All based on what he thinks English sounds like to people who don’t speak it.