PersonaVideo February, 1st 2011 by

"We No Speak Americano" - Yolanda Be Cool

 

We No Speak Americano is adapted from the original song composed in 1956  by Renato Carosone “Tu Vuo’ Fa L’ americano,”which referred to the many Italian emigrants who went to America to begin a new life and most of them could not speak any English (or americano, as they called it).  This humorous song sums up their situation when trying to adapt to this new world and culture.  

Italian Immigration phenomenon of the 19th and 20th Century is often referred to as the Italian Diaspora.  This large-scale migration of Italians away from Italy occurred in several distinct waves:

The first wave occurred between the unification of Italy in 1861 and 1900. At the time of unification, Italy’s population was approximately 24 million. Over 7 million people emigrated over the next forty years, 66% from the northern regions and 33% from the south. More than half went to other European countries, while the rest went overseas to North and South America, Australia and New Zealand.

The second period of mass migration occurred between 1900 and 1914, the beginning of World War I. During this time, over 9 million Italians, mostly from the rural south, sailed for North or South America. In 1913 alone, 872,598 people left Italy.

The third wave of Italian emigration followed World War II, along with Europeans from a variety of countries. After six years of war, many people dreamed of a fresh start in a new homeland. The motives behind this mass exodus were complex, and often associated with the region where the immigrants originated, but poverty and lack of opportunity played a major role in their decisions to leave their families, friends, towns, villages and regions in Italy.

Italians Leaving for the Americas

 

Dario Poli

Composer, artist, and a published author and illustrator. He is initiator of the campaign to present a better image Internationally, of Marbella and the Costa del Sol. Composer of the music "Marbella Marbella" used as the anthem of the campaign and also many other recorded compositions including Nostradamus, and Corazon, for The Children for Peace Onlus charity in Rome as well as the co-author of the powerful musical drama Lady X and The Power of Destiny. He is also the editor and a founder member of this website.

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2 Comments

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  • Its sad in someways, thinking about all the families that were separated, and in those times mostly forever, (remember how long it took to cross the Atlantic), and of course the costs involved. I like the idea of the freedom to move around, and I like mixed cultural places, London my home town has every race, creed and colour which I find fasinating,Ibiza where I now live is a famed melting pot for many many nationalities, perhaps that is how I came to settle here,
    Thanks for this insight.
    Chris

    • You are so right Chris! the video is amusing, but In fact, it was always a traumatic experience for those who were forced to leave their families, friends and homlands to voyage into the unknown, with no security or Human Rights, to try and eak out a better life for themselves and escape the enslavement of poverty, armed only their courage, health and hope. But many did not make it. The same story applies during the growth of the British Empire, that transported people to the colonies either voluntary or involuntary!

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