It's a wonderful life

How many of you watched or will watch It’s a Wonderful Life this December?

Ever since I first saw this movie decades ago (remember when it was out of copyright and was on all the time?) I’ve wanted to know what was the name of the song was that is being sung in the background when George is praying in Mr. Martini’s restaurant. None of my gigging musician friends knew either.

So, let’s see. Directed by Italian American Frank Capra. The setting is a restaurant owned by the Italian stereotype Mr Martini. You can make out at least “una canzone d’amor”, if not the rest of the lyrics which goes by at warp 9, so the words are Italian. Must be an Italian folk song right? Or at least an Italian Holiday song since the scene takes place on Christmas Eve. Those are the collections I’ve searched through but no luck.

One of my Facebook friends from Italy, Patrizia De Lisa, (who may be my cousin!) commented on a photo of my kitty Giacomo that I posted, so I asked her if she knew the song. She didn’t, but kindly asked around. It turns out NOT to be an Italian song, but an American pop tune from the 1930s.

The “Italian” song was performed by that French Irish American, Rudy Vallee who was a popular crooner of that era!

On YouTube

Here are the lyrics

Vieni, vieni, vieni, vieni, vieni tu sei bella, bella, bella, bella, bella bella accanto a me.

vieni, vieni, vieni, vieni, vieni tu sei bella, bella, bella, bella, bella bella accanto a me.

Paola, mia rondinella, sei la piu bella sei e nel mio core, a,

Paola voglio cantare una canzone d’amor.