He sang for kings, queens, and Presidents; for such notables as Wyatt Earp and Al Capone; but he was most beloved by the common people of the world. He went through a succession of too many lovers and not enough loves, but only married once, in the twilight of his life, after his voice had failed and he had returned to Naples. That is the setting for this song: performed first, appropriately, by the outstanding tenor of our own times:
If that doesn't touch your heart, at least a little, you need to consult a cardiologist. Nobody can outclass Pavarotti's rendition of the song, but that doesn't mean that nobody else should sing it. For a more gentle, but equally dramatic, treatment of the song, we turn to the enchanting Lara Fabian, the internationally popular Belgian/Italian/Canadian lyric soprano known for her remarkable range. This is an important rendition of the song, because here we might imagine we're listening to the words of the girl with the green eyes - - - who was either Caruso's wife or daughter; the lyric doesn't make it clear which one.
.The song was originally recorded by its author, Lucio Dalla, and became a smash hit. Since then, it hs been performed and recorded by scores of artists. Although the real strength of the song lies in its lyrics, it can be performed as an instrumental: as here, in a classical/jazz style, by Chris Botti:
It does not detract from Dalla's wonderful composition to recognize that certain elements, and a certain line, were "borrowed" from another song featured on this blog, the incandescent "Dicitencello Vuie." Other minor changes were made by other singers; for example, Pavarotti's use of the word "lyric" becomes "opera" in other covers. In any case, "Caruso" is a gem. We end with another sensitive and wistful performance by Andrea Bocelli, who never disappoints. I hope you enjoy it!