Learn Italian in Song: Tu Vuo’ Fa’ o’ Talebano

“Gino the Chicken” was a phenomenon in Italy a few years ago. Today a reader comment on my translation of Tu Vuo’ Fa’ L’Americano directed me to YouTube, where I ran across Gino’s version of the song, directed at Osama bin Laden:

You Want to Be a Taliban

Tienni la barba longa chiu’ d’un metro, You wear your beard longer than a meter 
nu turbantiello e ‘na casacca usata, a little turban and a used cassock 
passi spiritato su Al Jazeera you appear possessed on Al Jazeera 
comme ‘nu ‘uappo pe’ te fa’ guarda’: like a Mafioso to get yourself looked ad 
    
Tu vuo’ fa ‘o talebano, talebano, talebano, You want to be a Taliban 
siente a me, chi t’o fa fa’? Listen to me, who forces you to? 
Hai i precetti del Corano, You have the precepts of the Koran 
ma poi schianti l’aeroplano, But then you crash airplanes 
tutto il mondo vuo’ disfa’. You want to undo the whole world 
    
Tu skif’ ‘o rock’n roll, You find rock ‘n’ roll disgusting 
tu skif’ ‘o baseball, You find baseball disgusting 
ma i sordi p’a jihad But the money for jihad 
chi te li da’ ? Who gives it to you? 
U petrolio di papa’ ? Daddy’s oil? 
Tu vuo’ fa ‘o talebano, talebano, talebano, You want to be a Taliban 
ma si’ nato in Arabia: but you were born in Arabia 
Sient’ a me, non ce sta nient ‘a fa’, Listen to me, there’s nothing to be done 
capisc Osama’ , tu vuo’ fa’ ‘o taleba’, Understand, Osama, you want to be a Taleban 
Bin Laden ‘o taleba’. Bin Laden the Taliban. 
    
Ai maomettani parli comme a un prete, To the Muslims you talk like a priest 
ca si tu si’ mullah i’ so’ cinese, But if you’re a mullah, I’m Chinese 
e lieggi ‘nata vota ‘stu Curano, Go read the Koran for once 
lasciaci ‘n pace e vattene co’ Omar! Leave us alone or go away with Omar 
    
Tu vuo’ fa ‘o talebano, talebano, talebano, You want to be a Taliban 
attent’ a te, chi t’o fa fa’? Look out, who makes you do it? 
Spacci oppio co’ l’afgano You push opium with the Afghans 
dal confine pakistano, from the Pakistan border 
ce lo porti fino a qua. you bring it to us all the way here 
    
Tu skif’ ‘o rock’n roll, You find rock ‘n’ roll disgusting 
tu skif’ ‘o baseball, You find baseball disgusting 
ma i sordi p’a jihad But the money for jihad 
chi te li da’ ? Who gives it to you? 
L’eroina afganista’? Afghan heroin? 
Tu vuo’ fa ‘o talebano, talebano, talebano, You want to be a Taliban 
ma si’ nato in Arabia: but you were born in Arabia 
Sient’ a me, non ce sta nient ‘a fa’, Listen to me, there’s nothing to be done 
Capisc Osamà, tu vuo’ fa’ ‘o taleba’, Understand, Osama, you want to be a Taleban 
Bin Laden ‘o taleba’. Bin Laden the Taliban. 
Collin Pauell, Giorg’ Bush… Colin Powell, George Bush… 

Learn Italian in Song: USA for Italy

USA for Italy

Produced in 1985 by the satirical music group Squallor, this song now appears uncomfortably prophetic.

Caro Michael Jackson,
tu che mandi i soldi in Africa,
Perché la speranza torni a vivere,
Ricordati di noi che stiamo a Napoli
E un disco faccelo anche per noiE poi, mandaci i danari
Tanti danari e siamo pari
E se tu vuoi mandali anche a Bari
E a tutti i meridionali
for ItalyFacci una canzone col compare Steve Wonder
E poi mandala a
Sanremo o al Festivalbar

Pero’ Pero’ mandaci i danari
Che vanno male gli affari for Italy

Caro Bob Dylan
Tu che canti in casa Reagan
Quando c’é Gromiko oppure Gorbaciov
I soldi di quattro teste nucleari, falli mandare qui
for Italy

Appena puoi mandaci i danari
Perché senza danari son cazzi amari
E allora tu mandaci i danari
Anche i tuoi personali e di Diana Ross

Concludendo Mike
Dillo pure a Berlusconi
Facci fare dei milioni come a J.R.

E in riva la mar dollari in contanti
Perché l’Africa canti for Italy

E poi mandaci i danari
Ma proprio tanti danari e siamo pari
E se tu vuoi mandali anche a Bari
E a tutti i meridionali for Italy

[ USA For Italy Lyrics on http://www.lyricsmania.com/ ]

Dear Michael Jackson,
you who send money to Africa
So that hope can return to live
Remember us who are in Naples
And make a record for us, too.And then, send us money
Lots of money, and we’ll call it even
And if you want, send some to Bari as well
And to all the [Italian] southerners,
for ItalyMake us a song with your buddy Stevie Wonder
And then send it to
Sanremo or Festivalbar*

But, but send us the money
Because things are going badly for Italy

Dear Bob Dylan,
you who sing at Reagan’s house
when Gromyko or Gorbachev is present
The money for four nuclear warheads, have it sent here for Italy

As soon as you can, send us the money
because without money, it’s bad news
So now send us the money
Even your own, and Diana Ross’.

To finish, Mike,
say it to Berlusconi as well
Let us make milllions like J.R. [Ewing]

And by the seaside [?] cash money
so that Africa sings for Italy

And then, send us money
Lots of money, and we’ll call it even
And if you want, send some to Bari as well
And to all the [Italian] southerners, for Italy

Sanremo is a pop music festival/competition (NB: widely believed to be rigged) which takes place annually in the seaside resort town of San Remo. It used to be a very big deal in the Italian music scene, not so much anymore – every year the media wax nostalgia about declines in the TV audience. Bringing in big American stars (including some who have little or nothing to do with music) has done nothing to reverse this.

Festivalbar is a summer TV concert series.