Jovanotti’s “Per te”~ Italian Song of the Week

“Per te” is a lullaby (‘ninna-nanna’ in Italian) written by Lorenzo ‘Jovanotti’ Cherubini for his daughter Teresa. Per te is a sweet, feel-good tune whose poetical lyrics are a dedication to a loved one of all in life that is pleasant, beautiful, and happy.

One of my favorite Italian singer-songwriters, I love Jovanotti mostly for his philosophical, poetical, and ‘pensante’ (thoughtful) lyrics, which often delve into deeper aspects of everyday life, and feature a deft use of the Italian language.

For some excellent exercise for your ‘Italian ears’, try the 2005 album “Buon Sangue”.

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More bio info follows the videos.

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The first video is without subtitles and features images of Jovanotti.

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The second video is subtitled karaoke style, so you can easily sing along!

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Jovanotti, Bio info

Jovanotti (often misspelt as Giovanotti) is an Italian singer-songwriter and rapper. Jovanotti, whose real name is Lorenzo Cherubini, was born in Rome on 27 September 1966. His family is from Cortona, in the Province of Arezzo, Tuscany. On 6 September 2008 he married Francesca Valiani at Cortona, in the Church of Santa Maria Nuova. Their daughter Teresa was born in 1998. He dedicated the lullaby “Per te” to Teresa, one of the successes of the album Capo Horn (1999).

From the mix of hip hop, rap and disco of the early successes, however, Jovanotti departed gradually, approaching to funk, world music and even classical arrangements and ska influences. As his musical influences changed, so too did his lyrics, which, over time, began to increasingly address philosophical, religious and political issues, which are more typical of the Italian cantautore (singer-songwriter) tradition. His social and political commitment increased as well. Some of his earlier work is also closer to keyboard-heavy 1980s pop.

Most of his songs are sung in the Italian language; though he also released a Spanish-language greatest hits album. His live album includes a short version of the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight”. Jovanotti appears on several international compilations, most notably Red Hot Rhapsody, a 1998 tribute to George Gershwin, on which he performed “I Got Rhythm”. One of his most famous songs was “L’Ombelico del Mondo”. Jovanotti also appeared in a Luciano Pavarotti charity concert in 1996.

His 2005 CD, Buon Sangue, is influenced by both rock and old school hip hop. It is one of his most innovative works to date. Edoardo Bennato collaborated on one track, while bass player Saturnino co-wrote two of the songs.

In 2007, he was featured at the end of Negramaro’s song, “Cade la Pioggia”, of their CD, La Finestra, and in 2008 he released the album Safari.

In 2008, he performed as guest artist on the track “Lugar Comum” on Encanto (Sergio Mendes’ album).

The title “Piove” was released for the third season of The Sopranos as an ending credits track.

Commitment

Along with the evolution of his sound, his social and political commitment has increased since the 1990s. As a convinced pacifist, he has frequently worked with organizations such as Make Poverty History and Amnesty International, and he has contributed to events dedicated to debt relief (Global Call to Action Against Poverty).  Jovanotti is a vegetarian.

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Jovanotti’s “Per te”~ Italian Song of the Week

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