"Elvis was a hero to most…"

Never apologize.

At least that’s what notorious kid Robert Evans, retired politician George W. Bush, unconcerned pedestrian Richard Ashcroft, and a whole host of others’ll tell you to do.

But I’m going to open this, my first post to the new site, with an out-and-out apology.  This thing I’m about to show you has recently gone for a bit of a ride across the internet, and I’m sorry if it’s not-at-all new to you.  Within certain circles it seems to have been blogged about, linked to, and generally social-media’d into its second (or third?) distinct life as a piece of notable pop culture capital.  But exactly how widespread it’s been, I’m not entirely sure.

I first came across this on Reddit, but it didn’t seem to receive an inordinate amount of attention there.  A few days later, by chance (or not), I saw it linked to somewhere else.  Then, over the winter holidays, I talked to an old friend from high school who now lives in Seattle about how this song-and-video partly inspired a modern dance piece she helped to choreograph and then performed with some company and a percussion ensemble and ohmygod were we drunk but it all sounded cool and made this thing seem even more relevant and worthy of sharing even though I didn’t yet know that this site would soon exist as a forum for that sharing.

Also, this song was supposedly pretty fucking big in Italy in its original heyday.  (It was in at least two TV specials, which have been edited together for this video, after the jump.)

So, again, I’m sorry if this is rehash for you, but a part of me still suspects that it’ll be new to many readers.  Also, and more significantly, it happens to be the thing that I haven’t been able to get out of my head for the past two months and have been seen to play three or more times in direct succession so as to get my daily fix.

Now, about the actual music, I should explain that “Prisencolinensinainciusol” is a novelty European pop song from 1972, written in a gibberish meant to mimic the sound and cadence of American English for an audience of mostly non-speakers.  While that may be a clever hook, the clincher is that the track somehow comes off sounding (to me, at least) a tad like a precursor to the Bomb Squad’s production for Public Enemy.  I can’t help but imagine the impossible cover that Chuck D and sometimes bar-bar-ian Beck (with special guest Nico) might be able to pull off.  However, the man who actually gets the credit for this masterpiece is Italian hula hoop sensation, pop star, Elvis idolizer, and sometimes film actor Adriano Celentano.  And based on his resume, I suspect he’s also a guy who never apologizes.

OLL RAIGTH!

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5 Responses to "Elvis was a hero to most…"

  1. Cydney A says:

    This is fabulous in too many ways to count. What I love most is how it becomes the thing it is making fun of: nonsensical, meaningless, exuberant romp, in the form of many of the musical acts and movies it is making fun of. Yet, as you say, it appears to predate its time, perhaps for the irony here, perhaps for the verve. I’ve always felt that way about Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” as well–it is certainly a very early precursor to the house movement as we know it.

  2. David G says:

    Richard Ashcroft knew a few other things, Trent: how to smoke a joint onstage, how to put out one middling and one abomination solo album, and how to know his audience (which, for that second solo album, I think was only me and then only for the first 30 seconds of each song). Anyway, you should take a lesson from him: with this audience, if it hasn’t been featured on Slate, we probably don’t know it. Anyway, I was a virgin on this, and it was everything I could have ever hoped for. Oll Raigth, indeed. Also: I’m really glad it never occurred to them that would have been easier to hire someone to write English lyrics.

    Also, all I did was copy the embed into the HTML editor. Ghosts in the machine, man.

    • Trent W says:

      W-T-Fuck?! Ghosts, indeed. I just edited the post to insert a missing preposition that I somehow failed to notice during the first twenty-some times I read through my own writing. Upon updating, the embedded video promptly disappeared, same as before. You may have to reinsert it if I can’t get this figured out on my end. And then I promise I’ll quit tinkering. I’m going back to videotapes.

  3. Scoozi, Trent. Bah-biddy boopy? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JhuOicPFZY

    Nice. I had actually come across this once somewhere, but it’s still funny and I appreciate all the context. The irony is that “prisencolinensinainciusol” is what I say to mimic the sound and cadence of any of those eastern European countries.

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