Learn Italian in Song: Volare

To Fly

The original, as sung by Domenico Modugno fifty years ago at the Eurovision song contest. The Dean Martin version is far from a literal translation. I have trouble hearing this song without picturing Ricardo Montalbano singing about a car with "rrrrrich Corrrinthian leather."

 

 
Penso che un sogno così non ritorni mai più:   I think a dream like this can never return again:  
mi dipingevo le mani e la faccia di blu,   I painted my hands and face blue  
poi d’improvviso venivo dal vento rapito   Then suddenly I was swept away by the wind  
e incominciavo a volare nel cielo infinito…   and I began to fly in the infinite sky…  
Volare… oh, oh!…   To fly…  
cantare… oh, oh, oh, oh!   to sing…  
nel blu, dipinto di blu,   In the blue, painted blue,  
felice di stare lassù.   happy to stay up here.  
E volavo volavo felice più in alto del sole ed ancora più su,   And I flew, I flew, happy, higher than the sun and higher still,  
mentre il mondo pian piano spariva lontano laggiù,   while the world slowly disappeared far away down there,  
una musica dolce suonava soltanto per me…   a swee music played only for me  
Volare… oh, oh!…   To fly…  
   
Ma tutti sogni nell’alba svaniscon perché,   But all dreams vanish in the dawn because  
quando tramonta, la luna li porta con sé,   when it sets, the moon takes them away with it  
Ma io continuo a sognare negli occhi tuoi belli,   But I keep dreaming in your beautiful eyes  
che sono blu come un cielo trapunto di stelle.   which are blue as a sky studded with stars  
Volare… oh, oh!…   To fly…  
cantare… oh, oh, oh, oh!   to sing…  
nel blu degli occhi tuoi blu,   In the blue of your blue eyes  
felice di stare quaggiù.   Happy to stay down here.  
       
E continuo a volare felice più in alto del sole ed ancora più su,   And I continue to fly happily, higher than the sun and higher still,  
mentre il mondo pian piano scompare negli occhi tuoi blu,   While the world slowly disappears into your blue eyes  
la tua voce è una musica dolce che suona per me…   Your voice is a sweet music that plays for me…  
Volare… oh, oh!…   To fly…  
cantare… oh, oh, oh, oh!   to sing…  
nel blu degli occhi tuoi blu,   In the blue of your blue eyes,  
felice di stare quaggiù.   happy to stay down here  
con te!   with you!  

5 thoughts on “Learn Italian in Song: Volare

  1. Richard Davies

    There seemed to be a few songs translated from Italian to english around this time.

    It’s now or never & You don’t have to say you love me come to mind, I think there were 1 or 2 more.

    Laura Brannigan’s Gloria is another one I can think of.

  2. Helen Abadzi

    What a wonderful site! I taught myself Italian from a Greek teach-yourself book in order to understand the songs of the 60s! and they are a very effective tool for writing grammar into long-term memory forever.

  3. Roberto Pavalotti

    Very much appreciated. Do you have translations of Jerry Vale and Josh Groban songs? These songs have motivated to take class on Italian Language.

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