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“Prisencolinensinainciusol,” Today’s Candidate for Best Song Ever

Okay, I pride myself on knowing an extreme amount of trivia — back when I worked with Chris in radio, we even did an “Ask Perry” bit on the air in which I answered obscure pop trivia questions off the top of my head — but I have to admit that before this report from NPR’s All Things Considered this weekend, I had never heard of “Prisencolinensinainciusol.” I even missed it when Boing Boing had it a few years ago, and when Sasha Frere-Jones wrote about it in The New Yorker before that. But I have seen the light, and it has shot to the top of my personal playlist for today, and should be on yours, like, now.

“Prisencolinensinainciusol”? What the hell is “Prisencolinensinainciusol”?

This: In 1972, Italian pop singer Adriano Celentano released a song that consisted of absolute gibberish sung/spoken over a looped, hypnotic beat. A few years later, after some TV performances, it was a hit in Italy. The lyrics, Celentano says, were his perception of what English, and English slang, sound like to someone who doesn’t speak English. It is 40 years later, and it’s still pretty amazing. Proto-hip-hop? A commentary on how humans don’t communicate? Catchy as all hell? Maybe, maybe, yes. But it doesn’t matter. It still rules. Even if you can’t exactly sing along with it.

HT: NPR’s All Things Considered

Comments

  1. TV-Tastic says:

    I have to concur. this may be the best song ever.

    40th Anniversary edition here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5VpczwrSCc

  2. Grahm says:

    Taylor! I too thought immediately of Bill Cosby! #hickyburr

  3. Lucy says:

    I want to see this performed at a wedding reception. Or on Glee. I need the level of imitation associated with Call Me Maybe or Nyan Cat.

  4. Lucy says:

    I want to see this performed at a wedding reception. Or on Glee. I need the level of imitation associated with Call Me Maybe or Gangnam Style or Friday.

  5. Taylor M. says:

    It kindof sounds like Bill Cosby is singing this.

  6. Steve says:

    I love this song something fierce. I found it a few years ago on BoingBoing, and I still listen to it from time to time. It’s just ridiculously catchy. OLL RAIGHT!

  7. Three Toes of Fury says:

    mind. blown.
    .
    .
    Watch out PSY, Adriano is gunnin for you! Another few weeks and everyone will be raving about this video. WOOT!

    Peace .n. trying to fit “Prisencolinensinainciusol” on a hockey jersey.

    3TOF.

  8. Kent Geek says:

    Another example of how an Italian artist perceives and imitates English pop lyrics (also from the 70s)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLbnHW_Qjug

  9. Shayde says:

    Why was he wearing Tom Baker’s wardrobe?
    (You know… the 4th Doctor)