Learn Italian in Song: Gianna

Rino Gaetano - Nuntereggae Più - Gianna

by Rino Gaetano

This song is difficult to translate because it’s essentially nonsense (or is it?). But it’s a fun, bouncy tune that I can’t resist. (It sounds a lot better in the recording than in the above concert version.)

Gianna Gianna Gianna sosteneva, tesi e illusioni Gianna Gianna Gianna supported theses and illusions
Gianna Gianna Gianna prometteva, pareti e fiumi … promised walls and rivers
Gianna Gianna aveva un coccodrillo, ed un dottore … had a crocodile, and a doctor
Gianna non perdeva neanche un minuto, per fare l’amore* …never wasted a minute in making love *
Ma la notte la festa è finita, evviva la vita But at night the party’s over, hurrah for life
La gente si sveste e comincia un mondo People get undressed and a world begins
un mondo diverso, ma fatto di sesso A different world, but made of sex
e chi vivrà vedrà… And who lives, will see.
Gianna Gianna Gianna non cercava il suo pigmalione …wasn’t searching for her Pygmalion
Gianna difendeva il suo salario, dall’inflazione …defended her salary from inflation
Gianna Gianna Gianna non credeva a canzoni o UFO …didn’t believe in songs or UFOs
Gianna aveva un fiuto eccezionale, per il tartufo …had an exceptional nose for truffles
Ma dove vai, vieni qua, ma che fai? But where are you going, come here, what are you doing?
Dove vai, con chi ce l’hai? Vieni qua, ma che fai? Where are you going, who are you mad at…
Dove vai, con chi ce l’hai? Di chi sei, ma che vuoi? …Whose are you, but what do you want?
Dove vai, con chi ce l’hai? Butta la’, vieni qua, …Throw it there, come here,
chi la prende e a chi la da! Dove sei, dove stai? Who takes it and who gives it! Where are you, where are you staying?
Fatti sempre i fatti tuoi! Di chi sei, ma che vuoi? Always mind your own business!…
Il dottore non c’e’ mai!Non c’e’ mai! Non c’e’ mai! The doctor’s never here! He’s never here! Never here!
Tu non prendi se non dai! Vieni qua, ma che fai? You don’t get if you don’t give! Come here, but what are you doing?
* This line can be interpreted in at least three different ways:

  1. Gianna wastes no time in hopping into bed.
  2. Gianna wastes no time in having sex at all – she doesn’t bother.
  3. Gianna is very efficient in having sex.

I had originally thought of the first two possible interpretations, with my daughter supporting number two. Then my husband came up with twist number three, because he interprets the song to mean that Gianna does it for money.

Rino Gaetano is long dead, so we can’t ask him…

4 thoughts on “Learn Italian in Song: Gianna”

  1. Hi,it’s my first time to visit your blog. I tried to look for a translation for the lyric of this song. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. hello!
    I am Italian and I think you made a great work in translating this Rino Gaetano song and in making him known to foreign people!
    He is still very appreciated here in Italy, but his lyrics are very obscure and full of metaphors and symbols to Italian native speakers too.
    He tells about politics and social problems concerning both past and present problems of Italian history. There are also voices who talk about masonic hidden meanings in its lyrics… I don’t know if it’s true, but I love his lyrics even when I can’t understand them : )

  3. My interpretation is that Gianna is not about an actual woman but really a metaphor for corrupt, indulgent and insincere politicians who spend their days making promises they don’t keep, canvassing support/votes and practically prostituting themselves to get up the political ladder. Gaetano then reminds us that at the end of the day, after all of their posturing and flattery, they are simple animals with simple needs like everyone else.
    A truly great song!

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