The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song

by Marco Godino

Heirs of minstrels, troubadours and - why not? we are in the Greek Naples - of the ancients rapsòdi, Neapolitan parking attendants wandered through squares and taverns or settled for some time, often in groups, in the restaurants most frequented by the rich and foreigners. After the songs they went for the "chetta”, That is, they went around with the saucer to collect the offerings. Proud, they did not consider those coins an alms but the minimum price paid to art.

Neapolitan parking attendants
Neapolitan parking attendants

Etymology

The most recent of the Neapolitan dialectal vocabularies, under the heading "pusteggiatore", He explains:" whoever guards the parked cars, car guards; busker ". The guardian, regular or abusive, of cars is now more "valet" than the wandering musician. In defense of the historical memory of the Neapolitan concertinos, the female gender remains, which still designates the idea of the musical ensemble ("to pusteggia") While the male gender is attributed to the enclosure of the parked cars, of cooler minting ("o 'pusteggio").

Park from "can", Place occupied by those who carry out an activity aimed at the public, street vendor or parking attendant with musical instruments.

The term "park"It appeared, however, in a not too remote period and for a long time it was tenaciously rejected by singers and players, as if it had for them, people of art, a reductive meaning, to be rejected with due grace to be signaled with the appellation more honorable than "teachers”, Concertino professors.

The story of the valets

According to the opinion of metrics scholars, in the form of the Neapolitan melody the "minor third”Of the ancient Greeks. The parking attendants heirs of the rapsòdi at the Homer? It is difficult to establish this reasonably enough.

rhapsodists of Greek parking attendants
Greek rhapsodies

But certainly the origin of the parking attendants is found in the era of troubadours e minstrels, that is, in the Middle Ages. In a Naples enclosed between the port, the slopes of Vomero and, to the east, the Castel Capuanothe voices of the minstrels rang out morning and evening. It took, in 1221, an ordinance of Frederick II of Swabia to limit the wave of songs and sounds. The habit was hard to eradicate and the royal orders did not have much effect. After all, even the blue-blooded men were taken by frenzy: Matteo Spinelli, in his own Diurnal, says that, around 1250, King Manfred "at night the night was rising singing songs, and with it they were spreading two great romance".

Giovanni Boccaccio, who stayed in Naples from 1327 to 1339, saw and heard "... here the marine quarrels and the graceful gardens, of infinite instruments, of loving songs, both from young people and from women made sonatas and songs, resound".

In Four hundred the sounds and voices of the parking musicians were already circling in the innumerable taverns frequented by soldiers, students, players, prostitutes, travelers, merchants, idlers. Libations punctuated by the sounds of the parking attendants who, at the end, would have asked customers for a coin, a residue of food or a drink.

In Five hundred"villanelle”, Musical compositions with poetry text. Performed in the Neapolitan language, they became an export musical genre, conquering hunger and fortune in Italy and in Europe.

In 1569, after the approval ofElected by the People, the itinerant artists formed themselves into one Guild, as was the case for other categories of arts and crafts. The mutual aid society was based at the church of S. Nicola alla Carità and guaranteed just wages, sickness assistance, and even a proper burial.

In Six hundred, Naples experienced profound social unrest. 1647 was the year of the rupture of every possible equilibrium between urban plebs and ruling classes, perched around the viceregal power: the days of Masaniello violently tore apart a fragile civil coexistence. Since then, popular culture was banned because it was considered dangerous for political stability. Also there church, in full Counter-Reformation, he viewed the singing wanderers with suspicion. The danger of social rebellions and the snare of tenacious underground ties with the cults of pagan origin were among the main reasons for the “reaction” piloted by the Jesuits against the most authentic artistic expressions of the plebs and the low people.

For these reasons, the seventeenth century gave players a refuge already dear to them: the taverns. A list drawn up in Naples in the middle of the century numbered 112. Two of the best known taverns: that of Cerriglio and that of Crispano.

The tavern of the Cerriglio was located in the area of Rua Catalana (near Via Medina) and was a point of light of the popular imagination, a metaphor for fun, a place of amorous adventures, exquisite food and frank libations. The tavern of the Crispano, on the other hand, it stood in Borgo S.Antonio Abate and bordered the area of the "Embodied”, A meeting place for desperate, criminals, women of ill repute.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
The Cerriglio Inn

Evolutions of the Neapolitan song

Yet, precisely in the seventeenth century, in a convulsive social reality, between an eruption of Vesuvius and an epidemic of plague, what would one day become the "Neapolitan song”, Born from the intersection of popular country songs with popular city songs and compositions by authors with a strong artistic personality.

The century of the Enlightenment it was also the century of "tarantellari", Pairs of tarantella dancers with hand drums and other" percussions ", stringed or wind instruments. The movements of the dancers, with a strong erotic-sentimental charge, gave life to the figurations of male courtship and female amorous "tactics", with reluctance, repulsions (the "culàte") And sudden subsidence.

In the'nineteenth century the Neapolitan song became a mass phenomenon. Slowly, from the popular song, pure or filtered by the transcriptions of the mediators who softened verses and notes, we arrived at songwriter. It was a gradual process, not isolated from the overall path of the Neapolitan society of the time, and above all of its popular strata which, in part, faced the border of the petty bourgeoisie. A process welcomed by the ruling classes, in favor of the progressive integration of the people.

D 'summer, the musicians moved to the round bathing areas and performed their pieces on the wooden platforms held by poles fixed in the water's edge, perhaps improvising funny verses invented instantly for a dandy or a lady in costume.

There late nineteenth century opened a new life for valet parking, with many trips toabroad to sing the Neapolitan song which has now entered its period of maximum splendor. Travel and earnings, even if no valet was able to get really rich. A phenomenon to be explained, perhaps, by the nature of this singular category of artists, for whom the pleasure of playing and singing has always been stronger than any economic interest.

In Twentieth century, the historical course of the parking attendants was profoundly marked by two events: the inauguration of the Umberto I Gallery (in 1890) and the initiative of the German music house "Polyphon”Who, in the years preceding the First World War, hired the greatest Neapolitan poets and musicians, granting them a fixed salary but demanding a certain number of songs per year.

The inauguration of the Gallery was an opportunity to gather a good number of orchestras, who were admired by the correspondents of the foreign newspapers: the fame of the parking attendants spread to all of Europe and Neapolitan singers were in demand in every corner of the continent.

Another decisive event in the life of the parking attendants was the arrival of the "Polyphon", a double-edged opportunity. On the one hand, with the contracts the authors were encouraged to produce songs and the stalls had a greater amount of material available. On the other hand, the "Polyphon" introduced, since 1912, the novelty of the "talking machines“, The gramophones. The slow decline in parking started right there. First the gramophones, then the radio: the diffusion of the songs little by little no longer needed the outdoor orchestras and the parking attendants set off towards thelast stage of their parable.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Cover of the Piedigrotta Polyphon from 1913

The Cafè Chantant

Faced with the progressive affirmation of voice reproduction techniques, which favored "theater" singers, and in the face of the slow decline of the golden age of the song, the park folded down to pure testimony, in its last followers. The valets shone until the song remained an artistic rather than speculative phenomenon, then, under the pressure of the entertainment industry, little by little they disappeared.

The valet also deserves credit for having favored the birth of the famous "Concert cafe" (or Cafe-chantant) a kind of show that characterized an era. At the turn of the century, the widespread aspirations for a brighter social life were combined with the intuition of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs in the "cafeteria" branch. Ice cream parlors, pubs, spaces with tables and platforms for outdoor concerts were opened throughout the city. Cups of coffee and glasses with lemon slushes, aniseed sockets and small glasses of rosolio were served, accompanied by performances by showgirls, comedians, dancers, musicians and "sciantose". The "belle èpoque"Neapolitan.

Among the many bars stood out: the "Salone Margherita" (the first café-chantant in Italy), "Caffè Vermouth di Torino" in S. Lucia, the "Scotto Jonno", the "Caffettuccio", the "Vasto", the “Caffè Vigilante”, the “Eden”, destined to become a famous variety theater. In Piazza Plebiscito there were the "Turkish coffee" and the already famous "Gambrinus”And every evening, when the tram passed in the square, the driver was forced, by popular acclaim, to block public transport. The passengers, looking out the windows, wanted to hear at least a "piece“.

Some parking attendants still roam around Naples, even if their number is by no means comparable to the number of concertino “professors” that existed in the happy epochs of the park. And also the way of singing has moved away from the characteristic style of the nineteenth-twentieth century singers.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Photo from the era of the "Caffè Gambrinus"

The themes and places of the stands

Feelings, gestures, words, events they were translated into verses and music, filtered by the citizen sensibility of the popular classes, capable of singing the psychological mutations of men and women immersed in a reality of stormy loves, ferocious rivalries, desires for affirmation and acute melancholy. In addition, there were also songs inspired by city events (social or political) that hit the collective imagination.

But what were the singing opportunities for the "professors" of the parking? The serenades, dedicated to young women loved by young men who sang themselves under the balconies, on the corner of an alley or in a country road, or entrusted themselves to the voice of a professional singer. The "mornings“, Brought under windows and balconies to say good morning in music to the lover who was still under the sheets. The home parties: baptisms, engagements, weddings. The days of Piedigrotta, 7 and 8 September, with the launch of the new songs. The parking lots also stopped in front of the large hotels of S. Lucia or between the tables of the taverns and trattorias, in Posillipo, in the Corso, in Mergellina. From the eighteenth-century taverns of "Mezarecchia", of the "Carcioffole"Or"strawrelle d '' or sciummetiello", To the nineteenth-century one of"Monzù Arena"And the other more recent restaurants: Stella, Allegria, Bergantino, ai Due Leoni, 'a Fenestrella, Pallino, Scoglio di Fristo, the Quattro Stagioni, Pastafina, Pignatiello,' o Schiavuttiello, Rosiello, La Rotonda in Posillipo, Birreria Strasburgo , Starita, Sica, and countless others, up to the two most famous clubs in the Borgo Marinaro, “La Bersagliera” and “'a zi Teresa”, founded by the legendary Emilia Del Tufo and Teresa Fusco.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Neapolitan serenade - Francesco Tammaro

A restaurant, a car park. With exchanges and comings and goings of players and singers.

The musical instruments of the parking attendants

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the most used musical instruments were: the "calascione“, A chitarrone of large proportions; the "theorbo a taccone“, A stringed instrument played with a special pen (the taccone); there cetola (zither). But there was no lack of tools such as the lute, the rebec (a primitive violin), harps e almonds.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Calascione Mandolin Cetola Rebec

The drum, said "tammurro" or "tammorra“, Had a diameter ranging from 35 to 50 cm. Around the circle, which delimits the space of the tightly stretched skin, on which the player's hand beats, small rectangular niches house tin rattles, called "'and cicere“, Dialect corruption of the term“ cymbals ”. To play the drum, musical preparation and physical endurance are required, since the "tammurriata”Lasts a long time, hours, and whoever hits the instrument must constantly follow the same rhythm. The tammorre are often played with the "trill", That is with the thumb moistened with saliva and" crawled "along the edges of the skin circle.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Tammorra

The "castanets“, Or castanets, consist of two concave pieces of wood, joined by a cord at the top. The tarantella dancer fixes the string between his fingers and knocks the two pieces of wood that emit a dry and rhythmic sound.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Castanets

The "sisco“, Or the whistle (or the flute in the Neapolitan ethnic version), is a cut reed, on which holes are made to adjust the sound.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Sisco

The double flute, with two rods, one with 4 holes (the male rod), the other with 3 (the female rod). The player holds the male reed with the right hand and the female with the left hand, as can already be seen in very ancient paintings of the Greco-Roman age.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Double Flute

The "beating guitar”Has a higher case than the normal guitar and the bottom is not flat but hollow. It is an instrument intended to produce only high sounds and in fact it does not have low strings, while sometimes it has double strings to further increase the sonority of the performances.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Knocker guitar

Moreover, during the Christmas period, even today, it is possible to meet players of bagpipes e shawm, other ancient popular instruments, used for the December novenas by the "bagpipers“, Particular figures of wandering musicians.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Bagpipe

In the nineteenth century there was also a turning point for the use of parking attendants' instruments: theorbo and calascioni disappeared and guitars, mandolins and violins invaded the scene. Later, he came there accordion and other cheap popular tools, born from the hands of street urchins and improvised artisans: putipù, triccaballacche e scetavajasse.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Putipù Triccaballacche Scetavajasse

But for many the main instrument was the voice, always modulated and rich in nuances, Uno modo, a style that, for the valet attendants, would have always remained unchanged over the centuries.

The most popular valets

Giovannella Sancia, called the "Mermaid of Naples" for its melodious voice. Very popular in the vernacular of the sixteenth century, he then made a religious vow: he would no longer sing profane arias but only compositions with a mystical background.

Gian Leonardo ("Giallonardo dell'Arpa") was actually called Giovanni Leonardo Primavera and the nickname was attributed to him for the virtuosic use of the harp, with which he accompanied himself in singing. In fact, in the sixteenth century, the habit of giving to singers and musicians was already consolidated nicknames that made them immediately recognizable by the people.

Junno appears, that is, blond, was blind. He combined his art with that of the singers and musicians who went around Rua Catalana, Rua Francesca, the streets of the Port, the Decumani.

Sbruffapappa, a much loved and popular singer, who bore in his nickname the sign of his vocation to play, and win, the daily game with food.

Mastro Roggiero, which alternated exhibitions in taverns with those in patrician houses. With his musical group, he accompanied all the dances in vogue and performed all kinds of singing: villanelle, dance songs, madrigals, strambotti, serenades.

Don Antonio is blinded he played and sang all the songs of the nineteenth century, almost an anthology of the plebeian pentagram. Around him there was always a concertino with guitars, a trombone and a piccolo. One of the players was towing Don Antonio through the streets, thanks to a cord attached at one end to the buttonhole of his waistcoat and at the other around his waist.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Don Antonio is blinded

Gennaro Pasquariello he was one of the artists who met the most acclaim. The “Caffè Allocca”, in via Foria, offered him the possibility of making his debut as a singer: a bright road opened up for Pasquariello and for the song. Interpreter, rather than singer, Pasquariello conveyed with his voice all the facets of a sad or happy soul, the pathos of a denied love or the exaltation of a good achieved. The audience followed him involved, his "thread of voice" was a sweet magnet of thoughts and sensations, the artistic sign of belonging to a common feeling, a sound in the sounds, full of ancient reminders and unexpected events "vutate“. In 1947 Pasquariello experienced a harsh sunset season: the money saved up over many years of his career suddenly went up in smoke due to post-war inflation.

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Gennaro Pasquariello

Vincenzo Bellavita had a life like a novel: emigrated to America to work as a boy in a shoe factory, he was soon overwhelmed by nostalgia. Tears and desperation finally won him over when one evening he decided to sit in a pizzeria: the round focaccia streaked with tomato red was for him much more than a harrowing memory. At the second bite, the decision was made: to return to Naples. In her city, Bellavita abandoned herself to the fate of the park, singing passionately in hotels, restaurants, cafes.

Pietro Della Rosa he was famous for having worked for Frisio, that is the “Scoglio di Frisio”, a well-known restaurant of the time, located in Posillipo and frequented by aristocrats and intellectuals, such as D'Annunzio and Carducci.

At the "Rock of FrisioHe sang for a long time Giuseppe Di Francesco, called "O 'Zingariello", the most popular parking singer of the late nineteenth century thanks to great songs such as "It was de May“, “'I te vurria vasà“, “Te si scurdato 'e Napule“, “My Sora". His voice possessed a mysterious something, a particular magnetism and, in the memories of those who listened to it, that voice is described as soft and penetrating. A voice with a "smear", that is a crack that made the song poignant.

Attilio Margheron was nicknamed "Aglietiello”(Alleetto) and he had a tenor voice.

Mimì "'o turchiciello" (the Moretto) was known because in addition to the guitar he knew how to play the banjo.

Guglielmo Muoio, said "William and the sea“, He got into the boat with a small group of companions and, by dint of oars, he went under the liners stopped in the waters of the port of Naples. To the passengers, facing the ship's railings, the parked in the boat offered a sample of famous songs. Coins thrown from above ended up in an open, upturned umbrella. A valet made it swing, depending on the trajectory of the pennies, which often ended up in the water. Guglielmo 'e mare died under the bombs, in S. Lucia, during the second world war.

Gaetano Scherzi, said "'or gravunaro”(The charcoal burner) because of his work before becoming a valet: he worked in a shop where coal was sold for cooking stoves and stoves.

Luigi Calienno "'o tenorino" And "the Caruso of the parking attendants“, Also famous for his fanaticism scenes in London: in the days of silent cinema, he sang in cinemas during the screening of films.

Gigino Esposito, typographer, was won over by his passion for art. Struck by a heart attack, he managed to overcome the crisis that had hit him in the midst of a brilliant career as a valet. To give his family members proof of his newfound singing ability, he sang a romance of the "Rigoletto". At the final sharp, he fell electrocuted from another heart attack.

The popular extraction of the parking attendants was testified by their nicknames, as already noted: “Don Gennariello 'or ferraro" also called "purpetiello"(Small octopus), Giovanni D'Andrea known as"Capitone", Vincenzo Righelli said"Red flat cap", Ciccillo" "'or guaglione", Salvatore Bruno"long thighs", Francesco Coviello said"Ciccio 'or Conte", Pietro Mazzone"'or rumano", Pasquale Jovino said"'or dish", Vincenzo Presutto"head and wash", Pasquale Contessa"'or cappellaro", Gaetano Buracchia"'or busciardo", Raffaele De Felice said"Ucchiezzullo"(Small eye", Salvatore Forgione "'or cusetore"(The tailor), Salvatore Lacovara said"Totore La Which", Raffaele Centesimo"'on filoscio", Mariano Nevo"'or surdo", Walter Fugazza"'o son of a Lady", Rodolfo Racz said"muollo-muollo"(Slow slow).

All successors of the singers founders remembered only for the nickname, such as the "King of the Aucielle", King of birds, mysterious sixteenth-century valet, or"Pascariello“, Much loved by the plebs in the mid-nineteenth century.

The most famous car parks

Michelammà

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Text of "Michelammà"

Sung by generations of valet attendants, "Michelammà"Tells the story of a girl who, compared to a" scaròla ", was kidnapped by the Turks who competed for her for the" cimma "and who for the" streppone ".

It's a song shrouded in mystery. His authorship was given to Salvator Rosa, but there has never been documented certainty. Also, what does "Michelammà" mean? Maybe "Michela is mine" or "Michela and the sea"? Or are we faced with a "mottozzo", a vocal sound repeated to give consistency to the rhyme?

Interpretation of Roberto Murolo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unz_g1i_qxI

"Lu guarracino"

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Text of "Lu guarracino"

Song by the anonymous author, Lo Guarracino is the name of a small and ungainly fish from the Gulf of Naples looking for a wife. His first attempts to marry the Sardella (a little Sardinian) are followed by catastrophic deceptions and fatal misunderstandings, culminating in a gigantic fight on the bottom of the sea, which will involve all the fish of the gulf, in their multiform variety of species and size.

Interpretation of Cigliano Fausto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAkzJSoGJso

I love you so much (1835)

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Text of "I love you assaje"

In September 1835, many parking attendants sang a new song, flown from neighborhood to neighborhood after an execution "open balcony"In the house of the author of the verses, don Raffaele Sacco, optician with house and shop in via della Quercia. Sacco himself at the piano: from the wide open balcony, notes and words of "I love you so much”They took off into the warm night. Under the balcony, a small crowd of night owls sang that easy and catchy tune after the first verses heard in ecstasy. At the end, Don Raffaele looked out moved to thank. It was the fatal moment: it was born thereera of the true songwriting, played in the living rooms, sung in the streets, spread with the "copielle"(180,000) and by the parking attendants.

Interpretation of Sergio Bruni: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCCPhG74jnw

Funiculi Funicula (1880)

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Text of "Funiculì - funiculà"

It was written in 1880 by the journalist Peppino Turco and from the teacher Luigi Denza to celebrate the start of the Vesuvius funicular. In the same year, it was presented at the Piedigrotta festival to describe the advantages offered by the new means of transport.

Interpretation of Sergio Bruni: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYRjsLs6b8E

"Come back to Sorrento" (1902)

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Text of "Torna a Surriento"

This song would be inspired by the idea, in 1902, of the mayor of Sorrento, Guglielmo Tramontano, to pay homage to Prime Minister Giuseppe Zanardelli on a visit to the Sorrento Coast. Authors of the song were the De Curtis brothers, to whom Tramontano asked to compose a piece not to dedicate it to the premier, but rather to try to ingratiate himself with him to obtain public works that the city of Sorrento needed.

Interpretation of Enrico Caruso: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sm42AWUGkjc

"Choose" (1888)

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Cover of "Scètate"

Authors of the song were Ferdinando Russo e Maria Costa. The first performance of the piece took place on an October evening in 1888, under the balconies of Royal Palace, in honor of the Kaiser Wilhelm II. The emperor's serenade was sung by five hundred choristers, accompanied by one hundred mandolinists.

Interpretation of Roberto Murolo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxDk2i4bf0A

"Marechiare" (1885)

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
The window of Marechiaro, with a commemorative plaque of the score

Salvatore Di Giacomo, author of the song, claimed to have composed the poem (which later became a song) not knowing the place he was going to describe. Clear sea, famous for being one of the most famous inlets in the Gulf of Naples, it would have been reached by Di Giacomo only many years after having written the lyric to accompany an English student. Carolina, the protagonist of the composition, and the window would be the fruit of the author's imagination.

Interpretation of Roberto Murolo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAb3HSIKatI

'O my sun (1898)

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Sheet music cover for "'O sole mio"

The song was written in 1898 by Giovanni Capurro, journalist of the "Rome" of Naples, and set to music by Eduardo Di Capua, which at the time was in Ukraine, in Odessa. It would seem that the music was inspired by a sunrise over the Black Sea and Anna Maria Vignati-Mazza, winner of the first beauty contest in the city of Naples. The piece was then presented in Naples at the Piedigrotta Festival at the de music competition "The round table: Newspaper, literary, illustrated, Sunday music" .

Also become UNESCO heritage, the song has become one of the most sung and known in the world.

Interpretation of Enrico Caruso: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1QJwHWvgP8

'I te vurria vasà (1900)

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Sheet music cover for "I 'te vurria vasà"

The song describes an unhappy love story between Vincenzo Russo, author of the song, ed Enrichetta MarcheseThe two lovers, however, were separated by a deep social abyss: he came from a very poor family, she from a rich family of jewelers who badly wanted the relationship with the young lover because of his social background.

Interpretation of Sergio Bruni: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH7QI_azgz4

"Reginella" (1917)

The Neapolitan parking attendants: history, curiosities and famous people of the Neapolitan song
Text of "Reginella"

One of the most famous Neapolitan songs of all time, it was written in 1917 by Liberio Bovio and set to music by Gaetano Lama.

The song tells of the meeting at the Salone Margherita between Bovio himself and the sciantosa Reginella, a woman with whom he had a short but intense love affair. Still deeply in love, the man recounts their relationship with intensity, passion and melancholy, hoping that the sweet memory of their story has "absently" touched the woman's mind.

Interpretation of Massimo Ranieri: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHJ9SPc-Js

-Marco Godino

Sources: M. LIGUORO, The Neapolitan parking attendants, Newton paperbacks, 1995

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