Italian Song challenge Day 16: Adriano Celentano

Adriano Celentano is yet another giant figure from Italian pop music.

He was the first artist to sing American rock and roll back in the 1950’s and his early style was based very much on Elvis Presley.

Celentano took American rock ‘n’ roll and put a very Italian twist onto it, giving it new energy, language and expression. He also started in several popular feature films.

Despite being in his 80’s Celentano still puts together occasional tv specials featuring his immense catalogue of music with a range of celebrity guests.


Il Ragazzo dell via gluck is an unofficial Italian national anthem. It is a story of an ordinary boy who is witnessing his small hometown being gradually overcome by the big city.

Written during the time of Italy’s massive post world war two boom it’s a love song dedicated to more innocent times in Italy’s history. In one single generation, Italy literally changed from an agricultural-based economy into one of the most industrialised countries in Europe.


The song itself has a deceptively simple refrain. Celentano takes on the role of the storyteller with his usual stylish nonchalance.

Celentano sounds as if he is sitting down in front of a campfire with his guitar telling everyone his story like a medieval troubadour. It is a beautifully simple song that is close to every Italian’s heart.


Celentano is considered a national treasure.

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