October is Italian-American Heritage Month. Italians have influenced our fashion, art, cuisine, sports cars and more. Throughout the history of music, Italian artists have played an influential role. Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Frankie Valli are a few of the Italians and Italian-Americans who have been contributing to the music industry since the late 19th century.
Additionally, many famous singers have been known to collaborate with Italian artists, including Bryan Adams and Luciano Pavorotti’s “’O Sole Mio,” Sting and Zucchero Fornaciari’s “Senza una donna” and Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli’s “Perfect Symphony.”
As an Italian-American, I have been blessed to be impacted by the culture and traditions passed by my family through these songs..
“Fratelli D’Italia” by Michele Novaro
As Italy’s national anthem, it may be most recognized before the Azzurri soccer players start their game as the entire crowd cries, “Forza Italia!”
“Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)” by Domenico Modugno
The timeless classic “Volare” was originally released in 1958. It is a joyous song of freedom and love. This song has been covered by many singers such as Dean Martin, Louis Armstrong and David Bowie.
“Vivo per lei” by Andrea Bocelli and Giorgia Todrani
The title directly translates to “I Live for Her,” and this love duet is arguably one of the most well-known melodies by the opera tenor, Bocelli.
“Ti Amo” by Umberto Tozzi
The poetic lyrics tell the tale of love and tragedy, describing the different stages of a lover’s relationship. This popular song is a well-known wedding song that is, ironically, used for a couple’s first dance.
“Mambo Italiano” covered by Dean Martin
This fun, Italian-American folk song makes listeners want to get up and dance. It has been used as a part of many movie soundtracks such as “Married to the Mob” and “Mickey Blue Eyes.”
“Felicità” by Al Bano and Romina Powers
The pop-duo former couple Bano and Powers recorded this song in 1982. Translating to happiness, the song shares examples of what happiness is. Lyrics include “Holding hands is happiness,” “A feathered pillow is happiness,” and “A glass of wine and a sandwich is happiness.”
“L’italiano” by Toto Cutugno
One of Cutugno’s most famous songs is known around the world. Cutugno sings about letting him play his “guitar and sing,” because he is proud to be a true Italian.