Saturday, September 19, 2015

Radio Capital

We have established a Saturday tradition in our house where we tune in to Radio Capitale, Rome's main radio station and I clean the house while my husband putters.  While I am dusting and windexing away, I struggle to make out the words that the DJs are saying all to quickly for my limited understanding of Italian.  It's a little frustrating, but the joy I get when I realize that I just understood something that they said is really unmatched by anything else.  The only thing I can compare it to is how I felt when my son finally learned to poop on the bowl, 1 week before the start of kindergarten (yes, it's that good).

The station itself follows none of the same rules as American radio programming, and does not stick to a predictable format.  Here in the US, we are very label and genre sensitive and we don't want our death metal and smooth jazz to coexist anywhere near each other on the dial.  When you tune in to whatever the current, all-hits radio station is, you just know that if someone had a brain fart and played Led Zeppelin, the phone lines would light up in an Armageddon of vitriol.  It's true.  Someone could lose a testicle in that kind of melee.

The relaxed and open minded Italians seem to have no concept of format driven radio.  They will play Earth Wind and Fire next to the Weekend next to a live Eric Clapton song (they love the live stuff).  And deep cuts are not off the table at all.  They'll go way into a Genesis album and pluck out a song so moody and obscure, it will have you wondering whether someone slipped you a psychedelic in your Starbucks Flat White.

What I rarely hear on Radio Capitale are songs sung in Italian.  If I listen throughout the day, I may hear two, maybe three songs sung in Italian.  What I have never heard until today is an American song translated into Italian.

As I dusted the bar in the den, a familiar intro came on and as I prepared for these lyrics,

"I know what you're doing
I see it all too clear
I only taste the saline
When I kiss away your tears"

I got these instead, 

"So che cosa pensi 
รจ chiaro ormai per me 
il gusto troppo amaro 
delle tue lacrime"

Mind blown.

Duncan Sheik's uptempo but ultimately forlorn song was translated beautifully into Italian by Niccolo Fabi.  Here is an audio of the song.  It's worth a listen as the song's sad confusion over love is evident, even without a word of Italian.

Like Catherine Scorcese famously said in Goodfellas, "in Italian, it sounds much nicer".




6 Your comments, banter and witty repartee:

Alexandra Rosas said...

I love LOVE love international music. Especially Italian. This is wonderful. Thank you for letting me know of a knew joy in my life!

Lin said...

Oh WOW! I'm not sure it is as good as DS...but it is fun to hear.

My big kick is when I turn on the Showtunes station on Sirius and it's from a show I actually know. It's like winning the freaking lottery. I know...I know...I am easily pleased.

Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Empress - Tune in (http://tunein.com/radio) has all radio stations from all over the world. If you aren't already listening to it, it can scratch the itch for international music in a big way.


Lin - Ditto on the show tunes. Anything from Le Mis, Company or Hedwig and I rattle the rafters.

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