The Italian Almanac

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Domenico Modugno

Italian News - September 29

A worldwide hit penned by an Italian songsmith 50 years ago, containing the famous 'Volare...oh-oh-oh-oh!' refrain, is the song that Italian mums and dads sing most often with their kids. The 1958 Domenico Modugno song - called Volare (Fly) - emerged at the top of the pile in a survey asking parents to list their family favourite for in-car sing-alongs or for helping tots get to sleep. Second in the list was the cheerful 'Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo' song that the fairy godmother sings to Cindarella when she is being prepared for the ball by her fairy godmother.

Another of the songs in the top five was also a Disney creation - Under the Sea, from the film The Little Mermaid, which came in fourth. Third and fifth were well-loved classics from the Zecchino D'Oro, a popular TV show revolving around a children's song contest. One, a happy tale about 44 cats, dated back to 1968 while the other, which extolled the virtue of a grandmother's tagliatelli, came out in 2003.

"Sharing a special song requires parents and children to get in tune with each other," said psychologist Maria Rita Ciceri, explaining that all the songs selected seemed to encapsulate a feeling of joy that families actively sought when they were together.

The survey, carried out by Walt Disney Italia along with the Radio Italia radio station, aimed to find the songs that, more than any others, managed to create a feeling of harmony and well-being in a family. Statistics showed that 42% of Italian families start singing almost as soon as they get in the car, while for 31%, the increasingly rare occurrence of everyone being together was often enough.