Naples is a thousand fears.
Naples is the voice of the children
that raises slowly, gently and
you know you are not alone.
Naples is a bitter sun,
Naples is the smell of the sea.
Naples is a dirty piece of paper
And no one cares about it
And everyone awaits their fate.
Naples is a stroll
In the alleys among the people.
Naples is a dream
And the whole world knows it
But they don’t know the truth.
First released on Guiseppe “Pino” Daniele’s 1977 debut album Terra Mia, Napule è (Naples Is) has become the anthem of this city. As relevant, as beloved today as it was thirty plus years ago, perhaps even more so. A melancholy ode to his beloved city, written and sung in the only language it could have been, Neapolitan.
Perhaps the most famous Neapolitan cantautore – singer-songwriter, Daniele’s musical style is what he termed taramblù, a mix of traditional Neapolitan tarantella, rumba, and blues. His Napule è, a poignant narrative about the contradictions, indifference, and social injustices in the city in which he was born and raised written when he was just 18 years old.
In June 1977 Daniele performed Napule è with Luciano Pavarotti as part of the Pavarotti and Friends show and he has re-released the song on several of his albums including Yes I know My Way in 1998, Napule è in 2000, and a duet with Francesco De Gregori on his In Touralbum in 2002. In 2009, Napule è was included in the repertoire when Daniele played to a sold out crowd at Harlem’s Apollo Theater in New York, the first Italian artist ever invited to perform there.
In this version, Live at The Place 2008, Daniele performs Napule è with his old friend James Senese. A Neapolitan Saxophonist, the two met in 1976 when Daniele played bass in Senese’s band Napoli Centrale.