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Thursday, April 7, 2016

A to Z Challenge - 2016

F is for...

Funiculi Funicula!

I could have gone the easy route with this one and chosen Fleetwood Mac or Foreigner, both of whom I've seen at least four times each, but I wanted this to be a different type of musical abecedarian and so sometimes I'm going to reach as far out there as I can.  Funiculi Funicula is reaching all the way to Italy!

Funiculi Funicula happens to be a song that I heard a lot growing up.  I could almost sing along in Italian at one point.  My mom and dad both liked listening to Italian songs and so that was what was played a lot in our house.  Dean Martin sings Italian is even something I have incorporated into my iTunes library so when I put my iPhone on shuffle, occasionally I get a blast from that part of my past.

At any rate, Funiculi Funicula is a Neopolitan song written in 1880 by Luigi Denza with lyrics by Peppino Turco.  It was actually written to commemorate the opening of the first Funicular cable car on Mount Vesuvius.

If you look carefully you can see it going up the side of the mountain.  It was destroyed in 1944 by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Funicular in Hastings, England

Here is one that is in England.  Doesn't that look like a fun ride?  In California, we have a modern version of the cable car going up some of the hills in San Francisco.  

But, I digress.  Back to the song, Funiculi Funicula.  The original lyrics are translated to be the story of a young man who compares his sweetheart to a volcano and invites her to join him in a romantic trip to the summit.

I prefer the more recent version, translated by Edward Oxenford, sometimes called "A Merry Life."  The first verse goes like this:

Some think the world is made for fun and frolic,
And so do I!  And so do I!
Some think it well to be all melancholic,
To pine and sigh; to pine and sigh;
But I, I love to spend my time in singing,
Some joyous song, some joyous song,
To set the air with music bravely ringing
Is far from wrong!  Is far from wrong!

Harken, harken, music sounds a-far!
Harken, harken with a happy heart!
Funiculi, funicula, funiculi, funicula!
Joy is everywhere, funiculi, funicula!

It would be expected that Italian singers such as Connie Francis and Mario Lanza would sing this song but I was quite surprised in doing the background for this post to learn that Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead used to use it as part of their warm up.  Take a listen if you like:

And if you need a little more, here is Annette Funicello singing her version, "Dream Boy."

There is my "F" fun for the challenge.  What about you?  Ever take a trip on a funicular?  Love Annette?  Dead-Head?  I'd love to hear about it!


  1. What a fun song! I've been on the funicular in Scarborough, Aberystwyth, Llandudno and Hastings :)

    @LunaNoctis from There She Goes

    1. Wow! You're a traveler! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Fun post Janet. I was totally clueless about the meaning of funicular, and now you have me wanting to one. Good job.

    1. Thanks, Deborah! I can't ever remember riding on the ones in San Francisco so that's on my list now!

  3. Fun to hear and see Jerry Garcia

    1. Yes, I wasn't really a fan but it was cool to hear them do the song. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I had no idea what a funicular was until now! That's cool that Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead used the song in warm-ups. Wow, that performance by Annette is from 1962, the year I was born! Neat song.

    Hope you're having fun with the A-Z.

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Michele! Yes, I am having fun. Going to check out yours now..


I'd love to hear your thoughts!