This was actually harder for me to put together than the French and Spanish ones, as I don’t listen to much “modern” Italian music, and I feel that’s what learners would like to have some advice on. In the end, I mostly went for classics, I hope you can forgive me ;) As usual, the playlist is only half-serious, and I tried to include links to videos featuring both the Italian lyrics and the English translation when I could. Enjoy!
Mina – also known as the Tiger of Cremona, she’s been called the greatest Italian singer of all time, so I’d say her songs are definitely worth a listen. Famous titles are Tintarella di luna [x], Se telefonando [x]and Città vuota [x].
Fabrizio De André – probably the most famous Italian songwriter ever, and a crowd favorite for sure. Listen to his works if you’re looking for melancholic tunes and thought-provoking lyrics; I’d recommend Il testamento di Tito [x], La canzone di Marinella [x] and Fiume Sand Creek [x](but honestly I’d recommend his whole discography and I’ll always be glad to translate his songs if anyone wants me to).
Francesco Guccini – another great songwriter. L’avvelenata [x] is what you want to listen to if you wanna learn some swear words (or if you just need to vent), Canzone per un’amica [x] might kill you inside if you’re like me, and Auschwitz [x] is a powerful but delicate ballad about the death of a boy in a concentration camp.
Mia Martini – one of the most soulful voices in our musical history, who died in the Nineties under circumstances that to this day are still not completely clear, many great lyricists wrote for her. In her repertoire you’ll find hits like Minuetto [x], Almeno tu nell’universo [x] and Piccolo uomo [x].
Lucio Dalla – keeping in line with the Italian songwriting tradition, here’s another household name. Listen to 4/3/1943 [x], Caruso [x] and L’Anno che verrà [x] (here sung in a duet with Francesco De Gregori, yet another singer-songwriter).
Tiziano Ferro – so, here’s an artist that’s still consistently active nowadays (I’m more versed in his earlier songs, though). If you know how to scream-sing at least the chorus of Sere nere [x] you’ll blend among Italians in no time; Non me lo so spiegare [x] is also a classic, as can be said of E fuori è buio [x].
Laura Pausini – possibly one of the best known Italian singers worldwide right now. Her big breakout song, La solitudine [x], is now a cult. Strani amori [x] and Simili [x] are also worth mentioning.
Caparezza – the first rapper on this list! Cool lyrics and quite far from stereotypes, but not the easiest to understand, I’d recommend him (strongly) to more advanced learners. Among his older songs I like best, Vieni a ballare in Puglia [x], Eroe [x] and Legalize the Premier [x].
Elisa – beautiful, melodic voice. Luce [x], Ti vorrei sollevare [x] and Eppure sentire [x].
Rino Gaetano – a voice with a raspy quality to it with which many a generation has fallen in love. Listen to A mano a mano [x], Ma il cielo è sempre più blu [x] and Gianna [x].
Fiorella Mannoia –Quello che le donne non dicono [x] and Il cielo d’Irlanda [x] are old hits of her, a more recent one is Combattente [x].
Jovanotti – funky, alternative hip-hop, pop. Check out Penso positivo [x] (old and upbeat one), Sabato [x], and A te [x] (the song everyone was dedicating to their friend/significant other/cat when it came out).
Baustelle – indie rock group. Personally, I like Gli spietati [x], La guerra è finita [x] and Le rane [x].
Eros Ramazzotti – he was only twenty-one years old when he first competed in the Sanremo festival with Terra Promessa [x]. You can also check out Adesso tu [x] or Più bella cosa [x].
Gianna Nannini – have a look at Fotoromanza [x], Bello e impossibile [x] and Sei nell’anima [x].
Max Gazzè – I almost forgot about him! Witty, generally upbeat and fun (but also interesting) to listen to. La vita com’è [x], Sotto casa [x] and Teresa [x] are cool songs of his.
BONUS – random songs I like (and more)
Alice [x] –we mentioned De Gregori, and this is one of my favorite songs of his (but there are many more! Rimmel, Niente da capire, Generale…).
Per Elisa [x] – singing this one is an artist called Alice, haha. You’ve got to watch the video, she makes the funniest/most badass faces.
La terra dei cachi [x] – by Elio e le storie tese, pretty emblematic as far as the Italian spirit is concerned. Might be a little tough to catch, though.
La bambola [x] – there had to be some Patty Pravo in this. “The girl from the Piper club”, as she was known at the beginning of her career, is a true icon of Italian music.
Ti regalerò una rosa [x] – a touching ballad that won the Sanremo festival in 2007.
Controvento [x] – I’m not the biggest fan of Arisa’s songs, but I really enjoy this one.
Per tutta la vita [x] – I really like Noemi’s voice. Fun fact: she was the soloist in Disney Pixar’s Brave!
Luci a San Siro [x] – melancholic hymn to a lost romance and youth.
Notte prima degli esami [x] – Antonello Venditti making high school seniors emotional since 1984.
Triangolo [x] – the song that comes to every Italian’s mind whenever show writers throw in a daring love triangle.
Il gatto e la volpe [x] – Edoardo Bennato’s take on two well-known character from Pinocchio.
50 special [x] – a classic, you’ll end up singing it to the top of your lungs with your high school friends sooner or later.
Gli anni [x] – basically, same as above (and it’s a rule that has a tendency to be valid for every 883 song).
Monna Lisa [x] – Ivan Graziani in one of his best performances.
Maledetta primavera [x] – come on, it’s called “Damned Springtime” and was covered in way more languages than I thought.
E la luna bussò [x] – sung by Loredana Berté, Mia Martini’s “edgier” younger sister.
…I could go on forever, but here’s a list I made featuring a bunch of songs that marked my childhood [x] (and probably those of many others Italian twenty-somethings).
I also translated I promessi sposi in dieci minuti [x]. You’ll find a thorough explanation of what this is in the link, but let me tell you that this epic mash-up features a lot of Italian hits, albeit with different lyrics, so it’s a great resource! If you want me to, I can write you down a list of songs that appear in it.
as I was making this list, I noticed that @langsandlit had just written a post suggesting many artists definitely worth checking out [x]. Give it a look, it’s really helpful and I agree with what he wrote (plus, there’s a significant section dedicated to contemporary artists).
There’d be many, maaany more (and I might make a second post soon, maybe slightly more concise haha), but that’s it for now!
A thought: post episode 32 Mark probably tormented Damien a lot with road trip games, like…
Mark: Yellow car. Damien: What? Mark:
Nothing. Just “yellow car”. Damien:
Why did you say “yellow car”? Mark:
There was a yellow car. Damien:
But why did you say “yellow car”? Mark:
: You’ve got to say “yellow car” when there’s a yellow car. Damien:
That’s how you play Yellow Car. Damien:
I’m not playing Yellow Car. Mark:
You’re always playing Yellow Car.
Coming out as pansexual to my grandmother was an extremely important, and I believe, pivotal moment in my life as a queer, Asian young adult. I believe this for many reasons, but there are two specific ones that over shadow the rest.
The first of those is what it meant to me as a Japanese-American woman to feel safe enough and confidant enough in who I was to come out to my grandmother. For the majority of my queer journey up to this point, I was dead set on the fact that I could never tell my grandmother my sexual orientation. No matter the circumstance, I was sure that my grandmother would not understand or approve. No matter the circumstance, there was a great chance of my losing my relationship with her, my strongest tie to my Japanese heritage and her presence in my life as a third parent could be gone forever. I wasn’t willing to sacrifice the love between us or isolate myself even more than I already felt from the Japanese community.
As much as my refusal to share my identity with my grandmother was based in my fear of her not loving me anymore, a good portion was also based in how I felt my faux-heterosexuality was essentially tied to my right to my Japanese heritage. I already felt like an imposter for being biracial and I felt that my admission to being attracted to more than just men would give the community more reason to exile me, revoke my membership that I’d come to believe I could only have if my grandmother backed me first. After all, my grandmother was the closest resource I had for my culture and language. Everything that made me feel Japanese I could attribute to her: my round face, olive skin, and almond eyes, my short stature and straight frame, my knowledge of Japanese tradition and lore with her songs and stories, my induction to Japanese pop culture with Studio Ghibli, candies and sweets, cartoons by Sanrio, and watching her Japanese shows on the TV, my love of the Japanese food she’d raised me on, the miso shiru and gyoza that marked my childhood, my interest and grasp of the Japanese language that she’d spoke and sang to me all my life. If she disowned me for this, it would feel like the entire Japanese and Asian community behind her would disown me as well.
When I finally decided to come out as pansexual to my grandma I was twenty. Four years after my official acceptance of the label, I’d gained enough confidence in my intersectionality of identities, enough love and pride for them all, that none of them could be affected by her acceptance or disapproval. My forgiveness and acceptance of my white, Scottish family and heritage had allowed me to discard the shame I felt for being mixed race in the Asian community. My growth and education in my Japanese heritage, history, and language had given me confidence in my identity as a Japanese person that no amount of racial slurs, stereotypes, or discrimination I received from any group of people could shake. My growth and knowledge of my self as a sexually and gender queer person and found footing in the LGBTQ+ community had shed the self hatred and fear of rejection from my mind. As painful as losing my grandmother would be, it would not and could not break me as might have before. I was tired of living behind lies. Being able to do something about that without fear of losing myself in my lost relationship was the most liberating thing I’d felt in my history with my Japanese and queer identities.
The second of the two reasons is absolutely the way my grandmother responded to my coming out. She both met my expectations and surprised me in the best of ways. And by that I mean that her reaction was so explicitly something my grandmother would say and do, but my fear of the worst case scenario had clouded my ability to perceive this outcome over the former.
I saw the opportunity to tell her over a conversation we had started about the recent mass shooting of LGBTQ+ people in Orlando, Florida. The devastation she expressed over the massacre, her clear understanding of the hateful prejudice behind the crime, it allowed me to see her clearer than before.
“I don’t understand why people do that!” I remember her shouting. “Why you got to hurt and kill people just because you disagree? Megan, it does not matter who you love, who I love, it doesn’t matter! Just because you believe doesn’t give you right to take another’s life!”
With her words my perceptions changed. My biases that often allowed me to view her as a stubborn child with an adult’s face and experiences had been pushed aside. Instead of the previously held image I’d had, my view of my grandmother had shifted to that of a women who’d experienced much hardship and shut out many new people and ideas because of it, but was still capable of growth and acceptance of new social norms and ways of thinking. This new image, this new perception of my grandma was a kinder, softer one than I’d met previously. It was one that I was safe with, I could feel it in my stomach and my cheeks.
“You know, it’s kind of scary for people like me, people who like more than just the opposite sex, people like those killed in that club, to be alive right now,” I said. “I’m like them, I like more than just boys, I want to date a girl someday, and it scares me that someone might want to kill me for that.”
My grandmother stared at me for a moment, her bony arms encircling her small legs, a high hum coming from her throat. That hum and the noise of her TV that never got turned off were the only sound in the room for several moments.
“You like girls?” She asked, then gestured to the news on the TV. “Like those people?”
I nodded and she made the same high hum.
“Well you know, Megan,” she said, looking down then back up again. I could feel my heart pounding heavily against my chest. “it does not matter who you love what you believe because you are my granddaughter. You are my first granddaughter and I will love you and take care of you always.”
I felt tears pricking my eyes and my heart slow its pace. I’d cried coming out to each of my parents so far, but this was the first time my tears were from joy.
With my mother I’d cried with frustration and anger at her lack of understanding and patronizing questions. Despite her general acceptance and “I’ll always love you” concluding statements, it’d hurt that she’d had so many concerns and objections. With my father I’d cried with rage, the pain of betrayal, the pain of lost love, and a fear for my livelihood then forward. He’d made me feel like a child running from home who truly had no option of turning back. He’d made me feel like his promises to love and care for me all these years had been out right lies.
But with my grandmother, all I’d felt was an overwhelming happiness from her words. Her straightforward acceptance, her attempt to understand me with out being invasive… I hadn’t been aware of how desperately I’d needed her to respond in this way until she had. With it I felt a tremendous weight lifted off my chest and a surge of love and emotion.
Seeing my watering eyes, my grandmother leaned forward and hugged me. I laughed at how her arms could hardly reach around my shoulders and I scooted closer so to make it easier for her. She patted my back with her bony, knobby, hands and kissed my head.
“I don’t care who you love, Megan. I love you first and that’s what’s important.”
I sniffled and laughed, squeezing her waist in my arms.
“Arigatou gozaimasu, obaachan. Aishite,” I said. “Thank you, grandma. I love you.”
I found this pic of Mark and Joey (his lil bro) so i wanted to do the Bias Selfie Tag with a twist and do like a childhood thing because I’ve done the bias selfie tag the same way multiple times before. Anyway thats my older sister and me (I’m the small one) in front of my grandma’s house in Japan <3.
so i heard that stefan karl stefansson has reached stage 4 cancer...
i want to share my support to stefan karl stefansson for being such an amazing person and a great actor, to his family and to the lazy town fandom for supporting him as well and make his (possible) last days the best days of his life.
i remember when i was a child. i used to watch lazy town and i loved it. but, of course, when i started to grow up i kinda lost my connection with the show but without forgetting about it.
then the we are number one song came along and the memories of my childhood returned.
and the fact that one of the characters from a show that marked my childhood is about to die puts me in a very sad mood. but i’ll try to stay positive and keep going.
thank you stefan for being a great actor and person
are you interested in children stories or fairy tales? which astrological sign in your opinion writes best for/about children?
Nice question! I love fairy tales – I love revisiting them, especially during my darkest times. Without a shadow of a doubt Cancer & Pisces (for me); I love Grimms’ stories with all my heart and Wilhelm was a Pisces. Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) is also a Pisces and marked my childhood with A Series of Unfortunate Events. And then…Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a Cancer and he single-handedly wrote the tale of all tales also Hermann Hesse was, too, a Cancer & his stories [for kids] are wonderful; very pacifying. Lastly, Aries I think. I’ve got to give it to my boy, Hans, just because he wrote The Little Mermaid.
I always judge Disney channel for how they dress their girl characters in weirdly colored and mismatched layers but then I’ll find a pic of me from grade school in a long sleeve blue shirt with a hot pink spaghetti strap over it, a guitar pic necklace, a skull and crossbones wristband, a sparkly sweatshirt string for a headband, and a flowy black skirt, with my friends dressed equally as me, and I’m forced to come to terms with the fact I’m probably not allowed to judge
Hello guys! I remember the time I saw Digimon and I just loved the Angemon!! I always wanted to know what his face looked like, would you like to see what I did? It was my favorite character and one of those that marked my childhood! And I admit that he and Angewomon were my first OTP! ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Winter Solstice, has found me
Deathly afraid of tonight’s outcome
All these questions not asked before
Leave me breathless, desperate for air
To be released from this self induced torture
I find myself making deals with God
What sort of hell had I gotten myself into?
Nothing good could happen
I imagined, it marked the Twilight of my childhood
If I were able to stop the panic, look around
There were signs and messages abound
To soothe me and offer solace
Hestia’s ancient words fell upon deaf ears
Absorbed by my misery
If I were able to look out a window
I would have felt nature aligned
The Winter Solstice, and a full moon aglow in the dark
The pain was more than I could bear
Hubris to thinking that as a teenager I was ready for this
Please let me turn back time, to whomever was listening
With these crescendos of pain they wanted me to push at the crest of the wave
Gaia did smile upon me and gifted me a small mercy
Very little pushing, from my womb appears, a wiggly thing covered in goo was flopped onto my chest
I was happy when she was taken away
My thoughts were cruel-bright red and shrivelled were not what I expected a baby to be
It confirmed my fears-I was going to do a terrible job
I didn’t feel anything towards her, not in my heart or in my bones
Yet she is of my flesh-should I not feel a connection, right away?
The nurse was coming back with a little pink football, clean and swathed
Once she my arms I looked down
Falling instantly inlove-she had the perfect little rosebud lips
Willow, my beautiful daughter, I’ve never felt more love
One thing wchich will never stop to amaze and mesmerize me is the way how Korra gazes at Asami and vice versa. It is filled with infinite tenderness and fondness and personally I thought that was just as beautiful as the whole series.
One thing that I’ve learnt with the whole characters of the Legend of Korra is what kindness means to them and how they are willing to do anything for the people they hold dear. It’d be easy to me to list many scene where this is shown, be it how a brother is willing to do anything to protect his brother, how a father have gone through adversities just for the wellbeing of her daughter, friend helping each other and etc. The last scene was just a master piece, the art, the colors and the amazing music by Jeremy Zuckerman made out of it an unforgettable scene.
AtLA was a series that have marked my since my childhood and LoK has marked me now. I truly wish to thank all the staff that worked in both series and bryankonietzko & michaeldantedimartino for creating it.