Italian Music Revisited: I Cantautori

The last time I posted about Italian music it was all about Jovanotti. I realize now that while Jovanotti is a great singer and performer, he is not exactly what most Italians consider a great musician from their country. This is particularly true here in Bologna, where many of the great Cantautori  (a group of famous Italian singer-songwriters from the 60’s and 70’s), spent the majority of their life. Many of them became famous after performing at the Sanremo Music festival (the equivalent of Woodstock in Italy), and went on to become some of the most influential singers and songwriters in Italian history. They are renowned for their poetic lyrics heavily influenced by political, social, and religious issues.

#1. Fabrizio De Andrè (1940-1999)

fabrizio de andre

Although many of the Cantautori wrote about controversial issues for their time, Fabrizio De Andrè was probably one of the most liberal songwriters among his kind. Often sung in a narrative way, his songs typically feature poetic lyrics and metaphors that often draw upon outcasts of society.

Popular Songs: Bocca di RosaDolceneraLa Canzone di MarinellaIl PescatoreIl Bombarolo

Favorite Quote: “What I do not have is to get away with it, what I do not have is what I do not miss, what I do not have are your words, to earn the sky, to conquer the sun.” – Quello Che Non Ho

#2. Francesco Guccini (1940 ~ )

Francesco Guccini

Unlike Fabrizio De Andrea, Guccini’s songs are a bit more optimistic and light-hearted. His style is extremely poetic, often expressing his own thoughts and doubts on life. His instruments of choice: vocals and an acoustic guitar.

Popular Songs: L’Avvelenata, Vedi Cara, Autogrill, Bologna

Favorite Quote: “You see dear, it’s difficult to explain, difficult to understand if you haven’t understood already.” – Vedi Cara

*If you are unable to listen to Guccini on YouTube, you can preview some of his songs here.

#3. Lucio Dalla (1943-2012)

Lucio Dalla

Ahh, Lucio Dalla. He is incredibly famous here in Bologna. He is best known for his song, “Caruso“, which he wrote in 1986 and has been covered by numerous artists since then.  Dalla  had his first hit “4 Marzo 1943” after performing at the Sanremo Music festival in 1970.

Popular Songs: Caro Amico Ti ScrivoCaruso4 Marzo 1943, Milano

Favorite Quote: “I love you very much, very, very much, you know, it is a chain by now that melts the blood inside the vein you know…” -Caruso