Today I decided to write about something I love: Neapolitan songs. Naples has a very old musical tradition, with songs about all you can feel in love: nostalgia for a lost love, melancholy for a love you can’t have for one reason or the other, the romance of fresh love, passion or desire for the person you love (or you would like to love), jealousy about the person you’re in love with, regrets for the person you’ve hurt, and so on.
Some of these songs are known worldwide. Here are my favourite top four. Of course this is my personal classification, based on my likings and the feelings these songs recall in me, and the list doesn’t mean that one is better than the other or that the songs not included here are less well made.
My fourth favourite is Reginella (literally, ‘little queen’), written in 1917 by Libero Bovio (lyrics) and Gaetano Lama (music). Of this song I like the music and the nostalgia and the melancholy it transmits.
The song is about a man seeing by chance his old love in a main street in Naples (Via Toledo), speaking in a French accent with some other women and wearing classy clothes, but he remembers the time they were together and all they cared about was their love, which sometimes still comes back to both of them.
Je te vurria vasa’
In the third place is Je te vurria vasa’ (literally, ‘I would love to kiss you’), written between the end of 1899 and the beginning of 1900 by the poet Vincenzo Russo (lyrics) and Eduardo di Capua (music).
I like it quite a lot because it expresses sensuality and passion. The song is about two lovers in a hollyhockgarden, she’s sleeping nicely and he is fought between kissing her and risking waking her up or not, and while he contemplates her beauty also doubts and thoughts of jealousy cross his mind.
Anema e core
In the second position is Anema e core (literally, ‘soul and heart’), written in 1950 by Salve d’ Esposito (music) and Tito Manlio (lyrics).
I find it very sweet and romantic, that’s what I love about it. It is about the moment after an altercation between a couple, when they understand they deeply love each other and the fighting becomes just a meaningless spur of the moment.
Era de Maggio
And my winner is…Era de Maggio (literally, ‘It was in May’)! Yes, this is definitively my favourite, I love the music, I love the words, I love the mood of this song.
It was written in 1885 by the poet Salvatore di Giacomo (lyrics) and Mario Pasquale Costa (music). The first part is about two lovers saying goodbye in a garden in May with the promise of finding each other again, and the second part is about them meeting again after an year in the same garden and in the same month.
I hope you guys enjoyed listening to the song; do you have any favourite Neapolitan song? I would like to hear from you. See you soon on this blog! Ciao ciao!