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Volare (song)

Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu Eurovision Song Contest 1958 entryCountry ItalyArtist(s) Domenico Modugno Language ItalianComposer(s) Domenico Modugno Lyricist(s) Domenico Modugno
Franco Migliacci Place 3rd Points 13 Lyrics from Diggiloo Thrush

"Nel blu dipinto di blu" (literally "In the blue painted blue"), popularly known as "Volare" (Italian for the infinitive form of the verb "to fly"), is Domenico Modugno's signature song. It is the only song ever by an Italian artist to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

Domenico's Modugno's recording of this song was the first Grammy winner for Record of the Year (1958). It is also the very first, and so far, only foreign-language recording (sung entirely in Italian) to take this top honor.



Written by Domenico Modugno (music and lyrics) and Franco Migliacci (lyrics), "Nel blu dipinto di blu" was presented by Domenico Modugno and Johnny Dorelli at the 1958 Sanremo Music Festival, winning the contest and achieving instant popularity. It was then chosen to represent Italy in the 1958 Eurovision Song Contest and came third.

The song is a ballad in a dramatic chanson style, in which Modugno describes the feeling he has (which he likens to flying) when with his lover.

The English lyrics were written by Mitchell Parish.

At Eurovision

The song was performed first on the night (preceding the Netherlands' Corry Brokken with Heel De Wereld). At the close of voting, it had received 13 points, placing 3rd in a field of 10.

It was succeeded as Italian representative at the 1959 Contest by "Piove (Ciao, ciao bambina)", also performed by Modugno.


The song became widely known as "Volare", from its refrain, and reached the top of the charts all over the world through translations into various languages: "Dans le bleu du ciel bleu", France (translated by Jacques Larue in 1958); "En el azul del cielo", Spain; "Jouw ogen", Belgium; "Taivaan sinessä", Finland; "Azul pintado de azul", Mexico, Argentina, Brazil.

A year after the Eurovision the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held, and Modugno received awards for both Song of the Year and Record of the Year. Billboard magazine also awarded Modugno a prize for best song of the year, and he received three gold records from the recording industry: best singer, best song, best-seller album.

The song's popularity endures, and it was voted as the second favourite entry in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest at the 50th anniversary concert in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2005.

The song has been covered at least 100 times over the years. Versions were quickly recorded after the initial success - partly in English, partly in Italian - by The McGuire Sisters and Dean Martin. Mitchell Parish also prepared lyrics in English. Bobby Rydell had a top-ten hit with it in the summer of 1960. A Spanish version (partly in Italian) was recorded by the Gipsy Kings.

Sergio Franchi sang the song, with modified lyrics, as the television spokesman for the Plymouth Volaré in the 1970s.

It has even been used in a 2004 Arby's TV commercial.

A version was used by fans of Arsenal to serenade the midfielder Patrick Vieira, and Manchester United fans have created versions for cult heroes Diego Forlan and Nemanja Vidić, as well as a parody of Arsenal's song for Vieira, mocking the midfielder's error in the 1999 FA Cup Semi-Final replay which led to Ryan Giggs' famous extra-time winner.

It is also present in the video game Counter-Strike, within the map "cs_italy".

When former New York Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca would bat at Shea Stadium, a small snippet of the song would play.

In the first season of Quantum Leap in the episode Double Identity the title character Dr. Sam Beckett is shown singing the song.

Dancing with the Stars (U.S. season 6) featured Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas dancing the Samba (Brazilian dance) to the Gipsy Kings version of the song.


Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, creators of ABBA’s "Waterloo", voted as the "all time favourite song of the Eurovision Song Contest" said when they received the prize ("Volare" came second):[1]

"I myself voted for 'Volare' but I am pleased that so many people voted for us"
― Benny Andersson

Recorded versions

Preceded by
"Poor Little Fool" by Ricky NelsonBillboard Hot 100number-one single
August 18, 1958- August 24, 1958(one week)
September 1, 1958- September 28, 1958(four weeks) Succeeded by
"Little Star" by The ElegantsPreceded by
"All Shook Up" by Elvis PresleyBillboard Hot 100number-one single of the year
1958Succeeded by
"The Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton


  1. ^ Congratulation - 50 years of the Eurovision Song Contest

External links

Categories: 1958 singles | 1960 singles | Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles | Number-one singles in Australia | Grammy Award for Record of the Year | Grammy Award for Song of the Year | Eurovision songs of 1958 | Italian Eurovision songs | Italian songs | Dean Martin songs | Songs with lyrics by Mitchell Parish

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