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Tu vuò fa' l'Americano, Renato Carosone

Tu vuò fa' l'Americano (You're an American wannabe) is a song in Neapolitan dialect, whose music was written in 1956 by Renato Carosone on lyrics by Nicola Salerno (aka Nisa).
Tu vuò fa' l'Americano, Renato CarosoneCarosone performed on the piano a swing and jazz mix, creating a boogie woogie in one quarter of an hour after reading the lyrics, and was immediately sure that the song would be a great success; as a matter of fact, Tu vuò fa' l'Americano achieved international success, becoming also Carosone's most popular song.

A version of the song was performed by Carosone himself and his band, including Gegè Di Giacomo at the drums, in the movie "Totò, Peppino e le fanatiche" (directed by Mario Mattoli, 1958), and in 1960 was featured in Melville Shavelson's "It Started in Naples", in the interpretation of Sofia Loren under the eyes of Clark Gable. It was also performed by Rosario Fiorello in the 1999 film "The Talented Mr. Ripley" with Matt Damon and Jude Law.

The ironic lyrics speaks of an Italian young man who wants to imitate the American lifestyle of the time, drinking whiskey and soda, dancing rock and roll, playing baseball and smoking Camel cigarettes, but remains dependent on his parents for economic reasons.

The song was often viewed as a satire of the Americanization process during the first years after World War II, in a still traditional rural society. Carosone himself wrote that his songs "were deeply based on the American dream, playing jazz and its derivatives as the symbol of rich and prosperous America, but keeping the style of the Neapolitan song, even using parodies of its customs".

Other songs by Renato Carosone

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From the movie "It Started in Naples" (1960), the song in the performance of Sofia Loren.

From the movie "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999), the song in the performance of Fiorello and Matt Damon.

 
Puorte' o' cazone cu' 'nu stemma arreto,
'na cuppulella cu 'a visiera aizata.
Passe scampanianno pè Tuleto
comme a' nu guappo pe' te fa guardà!
You wear your pants with an emblem behind,
a cap with the front raised.
You pass playing the horn through Toledo
as a dandy to be looked upon!
 
Tu vuò fa l'americano!
"mmericano! mmericano!"
Siente a me, chi t'ho fa fa?
Tu vuoi vivere alla moda
ma si bive "Whisky and soda"
po' te siente 'e disturbà.
You're an American wannabe!
American! American!
Listen to me, who makes you do it?
You want to live fashionable
but drink "Whisky and soda"
then you feel sick.
 
Tu abballe 'o "Rocco Roll"
tu giochi al "basebal"
ma 'e solde pe' Camel
chi te li dà?..
La borsetta di mammà!
You dance Rock'n'Roll
you play baseball
but the money for your Camel
who gives it to you?
mama's purse!
 
Tu vuò fa l'americano
"mmericano! mmericano!"
ma si' nato in Italy!
Siente a mme,
nun ce stà niente a ffa
Okay, napolità!
Tu vuò fa l'american!
Tu vuò fa l'american!
You're an American wannabe!
American! American!
but you were born in Italy!
Listen to me,
there's nothing you can do
Okay, Neapolitan!
You're an American wannabe!
You're an American wannabe!
 
Comme te po' capì
che te vò bene
si tu le parle 'mmiezzo americano?
Quando se fa l'amore sott'a luna
comme te vene 'capa e di "I love you!?"
How can understand you
the one who loves you
if you speak half American?
When you make love under the moon
how comes into your mind to say "I love you!?"
 
Tu vuò fa l'americano!
"mmericano! mmericano!"
Siente a me, chi t'ho fa fa?
Tu vuoi vivere alla moda
ma si bive "Whisky and soda"
po' te siente 'e disturbà.
You're an American wannabe!
American! American!
Listen to me, who makes you do it?
You want to live fashionable
but drink "Whisky and soda"
then you feel sick.