BABY YOU CAN DRIVE MY CAR: ITALIAN SONGS CELEBRATING CARS
- Flaminia Brigandì
It may be the hype for Sanremo Festival, it may be that we like music almost as much as we like motors, it may be that we are never bored, but we wanted to gather here a review of Italian songs celebrating some of the most iconic car models of the past and present. The occasion is the 73rdᵃ edition of the Italian Song Festival, which will take place from 7 to 11 February, and what better occasion to celebrate the link that connects the automotive world with music? All right, first things first. As far as the songs in the competition are concerned, the first time the word 'car' appears at the Festival dates back to 1964 in the song Sole pizza e amore by Aurelio Fierro and Marina Moran: 'Leave everything please, take the car in a few hours, get here you can'. Just one word, but a very significant one, because it was precisely in those years that the car began to become a true symbol of freedom. Then, always within the Sanremo competition, the most recent example is Rolls Royce by Achille Lauro, presented in the 2019, inspired by a phrase by Marylin Monroe. The song is a real invitation to live without limits like the artists and rock stars mentioned in the lyrics: 'Rolls Royce, Rolls Royce, I want a life like this, I want an end like this, C'est la vie'.
If we then move away from the song contest, the quotations become innumerable. Giorgio Gaber tells of a romantic and particularly elegant evening, which deserves a car that is up to the mark, with a pearl-grey convertible top and a frieze on the radiator. It is the 1968 Torpedo Blu: 'A real custom-built car, as you certainly are'. Among the Milanese singer-songwriters, Enzo Jannacci also gives us one of his funniest and most inspired lyrics, Balilla, sung strictly in dialect, in which he finally manages to put aside the money to buy the much-desired car. Despite rising petrol prices, Paolo Conte sings of the comfort of a ride in a convertible amaranth Topolino: 'Better open the hood and with your big eyes look up. Drink this sky blue and high that looks like enamel and run with us'. In 1973, all the friends of the iconic Loredana Bertè instead drive an ordinary Porsche, while she dreams of driving a flaming red Mercedes cabriolet to which she dedicates the song Mercedes-Benz. It is impossible not to mention Lucio Dalla and his 1976 album Automobili in which songs such as Il motore del 2000, soundtrack of the 1992 Fiat Uno Fire commercial, Nuvolari, dedicated to the great driver from Mantua, and Mille Miglia are collected. Dalla himself also composed the song Ayrton in 1996, in memory of the driver who died tragically at Imola. Then there is Rino Gaetano who praises L'operaio della Fiat, Domenico Modugno's La milletrè and Elio e le Storie Tese who, with a linguistic calembour, challenges the load capacity of the Fiat Cinquecento. There is no shortage of contemporary artists such as trappers Capo Plaza and Sfera Ebbasta, who join forces in a featuring entitled Tesla in which the key themes are those typical of the genre (money, power, women). A classic rap song is instead Lamborghini by Gue Pequeno, again in feat with Sfera Ebbasta. We know that this review could go on for much longer, but we wait for this Festival hoping to add titles to our playlist.