105. Il Mondo (The World)

I know we’ve all seen these. In fact, I can’t stop seeing them. Videos of Italians in this time of lockdown and fear, out on their balconies or by their open windows, singing together at the top of their lungs. If they can’t be in physical community together, they have managed to find another way. I keep watching these clips over and over, blubbering the whole time.

According to the New York Times, many of the recitals are spontaneous. Others are pre-planned, such as the entire nation singing the national anthem at the time when the numbers of the infected and dead are announced every day, as a tribute to the doctors and nurses who have been working to the point of physical collapse. Some of the performers seem to be professional musicians and singers in their real life; most appear to be just regular people banging pots and pans together and singing out as loud as they can. Even dogs get in the act; you can sometimes hear them yapping along.

As my friend Bruce Beans says, “It is so emotionally stirring and simultaneously life-affirming.”

People (and dogs) singing  in Siena:

Even Elvis songs are a comfort:

The national anthem as a gesture of solidarity, from top to bottom of the Italian boot:

I got a jolt out of this one, posted by my cousin Clara in Rome. When I spent the summer in Gaeta in 1965 with my family, “Il Mondo” was the hit of the summer, heard everywhere you went. I think I even brought the single home with me to the U.S. The gentleman dancing in the video would be just the right demographic to have that particular song resonate. Just like it did for me.

(Note. It appears that video is no longer available, so I’ve substituted this one, also of “Il Mondo.”)


3 thoughts on “105. Il Mondo (The World)

  1. Thank you for this, Gigi—I hadn’t seen them.

    Really enjoy all of your Italia posts….:)

    Be well.




  2. Tried to comment earlier, so I hope this isn’t a near duplicate. Anyway . . . I remember vividly your playing the 45 of Il Mondo when you returned from Italy. We sat on your bed, and when the chorus of Il MON-doooo started, we stood up and threw out our arms dramatically, giggling wildly as we did so! A happy memory on this particularly dystopian Ides of March.


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