So, you want to be American?

This song, sung originally by Renato Carosone, attained notoriety after being sung by Jude Law, Matt Damon, along with Fiorello and The Guy Barker International Quartet, in 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' (a rather smooth adaption of Patricia Highsmith's novel...).

Within the film, it's purpose is two-fold: it presents a rather crude example of male bonding in a jazz nightclub, as well as playing with one of the film's central ideas - that of being someone else.

Tu Vuo' Fa L'Americano

Puorte 'e cazune cu nu stemma arreto
Na cuppulella cu 'a visiera aizata
Passe scampanianno pe' Tuleto
comm'a nu guappo, pe' te fá guardá!

Please(Refrain) from smoking while in this non-smoking nodeshell

Tu vuo' fá ll'americano
'mericano, 'mericano
Siente a me chi t''o ffa fá?
Tu vuoi vivere alla moda
ma se bevi "Whisky and Soda"
po' te siente 'e disturbá
Tu abballe 'o "Rock and Roll"
tu giochi a "Base Ball"
Ma 'e solde p''e Ccamel
chi te li dá?
La borsetta di mammá!?

Tu vuó' fá ll'americano
'mericano, 'mericano
ma si' nato in Italy!
Siente a me: Nun ce sta niente 'a fá
Okay, Napolitan!
Tu vuó' fá ll'american!
Tu vuó' fá ll'american!

Comme te pò capí chi te vò' bene
si tu lle parle miezo americano?
Quanno se fa ll'ammore sott''a luna
comme te vene 'ncapa 'e dí "I love you"?

Tu vuo' fá ll'americano
'mericano, 'mericano

This song is certainly very pretty in Italian (or in the Neapolitan dialect, as it apparently is), and it is enjoyable simply as a foreign song. Nevertheless, translations exist - one of the better ones I've found (courtesy of a vagrant wanderer named Emily) is below.


You want to be American?
You wear your trousers with a coat of arms on the behind
A small coppola with its peak lifted up
You go swinging through Tuleto as a bully, since
You want people to notice you!

You want to be American
'merican, 'merican
Listen to me, what's the use of it?
You want to live fashionably,
But if you drink "whisky and soda"
Then you feel dizzy
You dance "rock and roll"
You play "baseball"
But the money for Camels (or Camel cigarettes)
Who's gonna give it to you??
Mamma's bag!

You want to be American
'merican, 'merican
But you were born in Italy!
Listen to me there's nothing that can be done
Okay, Neapolitan!
You want to be American
You want to be American

How can you know the one who loves you
If you speak to her half American?
When you're making love under the moon,
How do you know how to
Say "I love you"?
You want to be American
You want to be American

Kudos to the Jude Law fansite at:


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