Lucio Dalla – Caruso: Italian Lyrics and English Translation

Caruso is one of the most well-known Italian love songs. Written in 1986 by singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla, it is dedicated to acclaimed Italian opera singer Enrico Caruso.

In an interview, Dalla revealed the origin and meaning of the lyrics. After his boat broke down between Sorrento and Capri, the singer-songwriter had no choice but to spend the night in a hotel in Sorrento (known as Surriento in Neapolitan), a city overlooking the Bay of Naples. He chose the Excelsior Vittoria Hotel, and happened to stay in the very same hotel room that Enrico Caruso had stayed in, shortly before he passed away.

Panoramic beautiful aerial view of Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast in Italy in a beautiful summer day
An aerial view of Sorrento

The owners told him about Caruso’s final days and his alleged passion for one of his young female students to whom he was giving singing lessons. Inspired by these stories, Dalla went on to write the song and, well, the rest is history!

The life of the opera singer wasn’t the only strong influence for Caruso. Dalla also drew inspiration from the 1930s Neapolitan song Dicitencello vuje for the lyrics and music of the refrain, some of which is sung in the Neapolitan language. For example, in the last line of Caruso, Dalla says Che scioglie il sangue dint’e ‘vene sai which in standard Italian would be Che scioglie il sangue nelle vene sai.

Did you know that…?
Caruso has been covered by dozens of famous singers including Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Julio Iglesias, Laura Pausini, Mina, Il Volo, Gianna Nannini, Al Bano, Josh Groban, Lara Fabian, and more.


Lucio Dalla – Caruso: Italian Lyrics

Qui dove il mare luccica,
E tira forte il vento
Su una vecchia terrazza
Davanti al golfo di Surriento
Un uomo abbraccia una ragazza,
Dopo che aveva pianto
Poi si schiarisce la voce,
E ricomincia il canto.

Te voglio bene assaje,
Ma tanto tanto bene sai
è una catena ormai,
Che scioglie il sangue dint’ ‘e ‘vvene sai.

Vide le luci in mezzo al mare,
Pensò alle notti là in America
Ma erano solo le lampare
Nella bianca scia di un’elica
Sentì il dolore nella musica,
Si alzò dal pianoforte
Ma quando vide la luna uscire da una nuvola
Gli sembrò più dolce anche la morte
Guardò negli occhi la ragazza,
Quelli occhi verdi come il mare
Poi all’improvviso uscì una lacrima,
E lui credette di affogare

Te voglio bene assaje,
Ma tanto tanto bene sai
è una catena ormai,
Che scioglie il sangue dint’ ‘e ‘vvene sai

Potenza della lirica,
Dove ogni dramma è un falso
Che con un po’ di trucco e con la mimica
Puoi diventare un altro
Ma due occhi che ti guardano
Così vicini e veri
Ti fan scordare le parole,
Confondono i pensieri
Così diventa tutto piccolo,
Anche le notti là in America
Ti volti e vedi la tua vita
Come la scia di un’elica
Ma sì, è la vita che finisce,
Ma lui non ci pensò poi tanto
Anzi si sentiva già felice,
E ricominciò il suo canto

Te voglio bene assaje,
Ma tanto tanto bene sai
è una catena ormai,
Che scioglie il sangue dint’ ‘e ‘vvene sai



Lucio Dalla – Caruso: English Translation

Here where the sea shines,
And the wind blows strong
On an old terrace
In front of the Gulf of Surriento
A man hugs a girl,
After she cries
Then he clears his throat,
And starts to sing again.

I love you very much
Oh so very much, you know
It’s now a chain
That melts the blood inside our veins, you know

He saw the lights in the middle of the sea,
He thought of the nights there in America
But it was only the fishing lights
In the white wake of a propeller
He felt the pain in the music,
He got up from the piano
But when he saw the moon come out from behind a cloud
Even death seemed sweeter to him
He looked the girl in the eyes,
Those eyes as green as the sea
Then suddenly a tear fell,
And he thought he was drowning

I love you very much
Oh so very much, you know
It’s now a chain
That melts the blood inside our veins, you know

The power of opera,
Where every drama is a fake
With a little make-up and facial expressions
You can become someone else
But two eyes that look at you
So close and true
Make you forget the words,
They confuse thoughts
So everything becomes small,
Even the nights there in America
You turn around and see your life
Like the wake of a propeller
But yes, it’s life that ends,
But he didn’t think much about it
On the contrary, he already felt happy,
And his song began again

I love you very much
Oh so very much, you know
It’s now a chain
That melts the blood inside our veins, you know

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