Growing up in the 1960s and early 1970s, radio and TV stations in Italy used to play the Italian version of famous English songs from USA or UK as performed by Italian singers and bands.
In many cases the lyrics were completely different than the original ones, it is quite difficult sometimes to translate from English without incurring in problems with rhymes and metrics. During the last few decades the practice has diminished substantially, but there are still many famous Italian artists covering English songs in Italian.
The following are selected English songs in Italian by famous artists and bands.
We begin with Gianni Morandi singing “Scende la pioggia”, a cover of “Elenore” by The Turtles. With this song Gianni Morandi won Canzonissima, an Italian song competition, in 1968.
Adriano Celentano had a N.1 Hit with “Pregherò”, the Italian version of “Stand By Me”.
The band Equipe 84 performed “Io ho in mente te”, in English “You Were on My Mind”
In 1967 Caterina Caselli performed “Tutto nero”, the Italian version of “Paint it Black” by The Rolling Stones.
Delilah, made famous by Tom Jones, gets a new Italian interpretation by Jimmy Fontana with “La nostra favola”.
“California Dreaming” became “Sognando la California” performed by the band Dik Dik.
Mina reinterpreted “You’ve Got A Friend” with “Io ti amavo quando”.
In 1967 Fausto Leali became a big star in Italy with “A chi”, the Italian version of “Hurt” by Roy Hamilton who recorded the original in 1955.
Back in 1964 the great Rita Pavone sang “Datemi un martello”, the English version was “If I Had A Hammer” by Pete Seeger.