Pavarotti and Niclo - Funiculì, Funiculà

Luciano Pavarotti and Vincent Niclo – Funiculì, Funiculà (Chorus: Alexandrov Ensemble)

The legendary Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti and the French light pop tenor singer Vincent Niclo sing the famous Neapolitan song “Funiculì, Funiculà”, with the chorus of Alexandrov Ensemble (widely known as the Red Army Chorus).

The song was composed in 1880 by the Italian composer Luigi Denza (1846-1922) to lyrics by the Italian journalist Giuseppe “Peppino” Turco (1846-1903). It was Turco who prompted Denza to compose it, perhaps as a joke, to commemorate the opening of the first funicular on Mount Vesuvius (a volcano in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, about 9 km /5.6 mi east of Naples) in that year. It was later destroyed by the 1944 eruption. Turco lived in Rome for much of his life, but frequented the thermal baths at Castellammare di Stabia every summer, where Denza was born at. He may have prompted the song by suggesting that Denza compose something for the Piedigrotta song-writing competition.

“Funiculì, Funiculà” was published in the same year by Casa Ricordi (a publisher of primarily classical music and opera) and within a year had sold a million copies.

In the video below, the Three Tenors sing the song (Los Angeles concert, 1994)

Mario Lanza version:

Lyrics

Neapolitan

Aissera, Nanninè, me ne sagliette,
tu saie addò?
(Tu saie addò?)

Addò ‘stu core ngrato cchiu’ dispiette
farme nun pò, farme nun pò.

Addò lo fuoco coce, ma si fuje,
te lassa stà
(Te lassa stà).

E nun te corre appriesso, nun te struje,
sulo a guardà, sulo a guardà.

Jammo, jammo ‘ncoppa jammo jà
Jammo, jammo ‘ncoppa jammo jà
Funiculì, funiculà
Funiculì, funiculà
‘ncoppa jammo jà,
Funiculì, funiculà.

Jammo, jammo ‘ncoppa jammo jà
Jammo, jammo ‘ncoppa jammo jà
Funiculì, funiculà
Funiculì, funiculà
‘ncoppa jammo jà,
Funiculì, funiculà.

Se n’è sagliuta, oi n’è, se n’è sagliuta
la capa già.
(La capa già)
E’ gghiuta, pò è turnata, pò è venuta,
sta sempe ccà!
(Sta sempe ccà!)

La capa vota, vota attuorno, attuorno,
attuorno a tte.
(Attuorno a tte.)

Sto core canta
Sempe nu taluorno
Sposammo, oi’ Ne!
(Sposammo, oi’ Ne!)

Jammo, jammo ‘ncoppa jammo jà
Jammo, jammo ‘ncoppa jammo jà
Funiculì, funiculà
Funiculì, funiculà
‘ncoppa jammo jà,
Funiculì, funiculà.

English

Yesterday evening, little Hannah, I climbed up
do you know where?

Where this ungrateful heart cannot
play tricks on me anymore

Where the fire burn but if you run away
it let you in peace

And it doesn’t run after you, it doesn’t destroy you
only if you look at it

Let’s go, let’s go at home
let’s go
funiculì, funiculà

She climbed up, do you see, she climbed up
my head’s spinning
She went away, then she came back, then she came
she’s always here!

My head’s spinning, spinning around
around you

This heart of mine sings
always the same refrain
“Let’s marry, ehi little Hannah”

Let’s go, let’s go at home
let’s go
funiculì, funiculà

Sources