The American Top 40 list features the song “We No Speak Americano” by the Australian duo Yolanda Be Cool & Dcup, which includes a sample and remix of the Italian classic “Tu Vuo Fa’ l’Americano” by Renato Carosone. My husband Antonio, above, still no speak Americano and neither do most of my relatives, who live in the United States. Ok, maybe they speak it, but it’s their own version that is, let’s just say, very Italiano influenced. That’s what drew me to this song.
When I heard about it – thanks to my 12-year-old cousin Antonio and his mom, who are way hipper than I am, I realized that my family is ahead of its time. My nonni and parents were singing this tune – and dancing to the original – way back in the 1950s before they even left Italy. My father has been known to fist pump to this tune while driving. Yeah, he was fist pumping long before Pauly D. Carosone is my family’s Jay Z. He sang the songs that spoke to the paesani and in their language, the Neapolitan dialect. No shidizzle. On “We No Speak Americano,” that’s not real Italian you’re hearing, people. That’s our street speak. And now folks from Australia to the Jersey Shore are joining my people on the dance floor and speaking our language. Who would have thought my papa’ and nonni were so very cool? First Tony Soprano makes their body type sexy and now this!
Listen to Carosone’s “Tu Vuo Fa l’Americano” on YouTube
Listen to Yolanda Be Cool & Dcup’s “We No Speak Americano” on YouTube