Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Adriano Celentano’s Delightful Gibberish

Monday, November 30th, 2020

Recently I came across a music video of Adriano Celentano’s 1972 hit song “Prisencolinensinainciusol.” I love the song. What’s peculiar about this song is that Celentano, an Italian, wrote it to sound like American English, but the lyrics don’t actually mean anything. Wikipedia has some background. Language Log has some other versions of the song. There’s also a great dance routine to a more-techno remake of the song. I don’t know whether this is an after-the-fact explanation, but in 2012, Celentano told NPR, “I sang it with an angry tone because the theme was important. It was an anger born out of resignation. I brought to light the fact that people don’t communicate.”

System of a Down on Criminal Justice Reform

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

I was amazed to find this 2001 “Prison Song” by System of a Down, which a Facebook friend pointed to. The lyrics are a complex call for criminal justice reform: “All research and successful drug policies show / that treatment should be increased / And law enforcement decreased while abolishing / mandatory minimum sentences.”