Mambo Italiano

Rosemary Clooney

About Mambo Italiano

"Mambo Italiano" is a popular song written by Bob Merrill in 1954 for the American singer Rosemary Clooney. The song became a hit for Clooney, reaching the Top Ten in record charts in the US and France and No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart early in 1955. The song has shown enduring popularity, with several cover versions and appearances in numerous films.


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A girl went back to Napoli 
Because she missed the scenery 
The native dances and the charming songs 
But wait a minute, something's wrong

Hey, mambo, mambo italiano
Hey, mambo, mambo italiano 
Go, go, go you mixed up siciliano 
All you calabrese do the mambo like a crazy with a 
Hey mambo, don't wanna tarantella 
Hey mambo, no more a mozzarella 
Hey mambo, mambo italiano

Try an enchilada with the fishy baccalà and then a 
Hey cumpa', I love a how you dance a rhumba 
But take a some advice, paisano 
Learn how to mambo 
If you gonna be a square 
You ain't a gonna go nowhere

Hey mambo, mambo italiano 
Hey mambo, mambo italiano 
Go, go, Joe, shake like a Giovano
Hello, cosa dici, getta happy in the feets a when you
Mambo italiano 

Shake-a baby, shake-a 'cause I love a when you take a me 

Mama say stop-a or I'm gonna tell papa 
And a hey già drool you don't a have to go to school 
Just make-a wid da beat bambino 
It's a like a vino 
Kid, you good a lookin' but you don't a-know what's cookin' till you 

Hey mambo, mambo italiano 
Hey mambo, mambo italiano 
Ho, ho, Joe, you mixed up siciliano 
It's a so delish a everybody come, capisci
How to mambo italiano 

'Ats nice! (unh)

 Watch: New Singing Lesson Videos Can Make Anyone A Great Singer

Rosemary Clooney

Rosemary Clooney (May 23, 1928 – June 29, 2002) was an American singer and actress. She came to prominence in the early 1950s with the novelty hit "Come On-a My House" written by William Saroyan and his cousin Ross Bagdasarian (better known as David Seville, the father figure of Alvin and the Chipmunks), which was followed by other pop numbers such as "Botch-a-Me" (a cover version of the Italian song Ba-Ba-Baciami Piccina by Alberto Rabagliati), "Mambo Italiano", "Tenderly", "Half as Much", "Hey There" and "This Ole House", although she had success as a jazz vocalist. Clooney's career languished in the 1960s, partly due to problems related to depression and drug addiction, but revived in 1977, when her White Christmas co-star Bing Crosby asked her to appear w… more »

4 fans

Written by: BOB MERRILL

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

15 facts about this song

Release Year
"Mambo Italiano" by Bob Merrill was released by Rosemary Clooney in 1954.
Record Label
Rosemary Clooney's version of "Mambo Italiano" was released under the Columbia Records label.
Hit Song
"Mambo Italiano" quickly became a major hit upon release, reaching number 1 on the U.K. Singles Chart and number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.
Recording Time
According to Clooney, the song was recorded in one take, as she was afraid her toddler would start crying and disrupt the recording session.
Song Origin
Bob Merrill wrote "Mambo Italiano" on a napkin in an Italian restaurant in New York City.
As the title suggests, the song blends the up-tempo rhythms of the mambo dance with Italian-American themes and lyrics.
The song faced backlash from some Italian-American groups who felt it promoted negative stereotypes. Despite this, it has become an emblematic piece of Italian-American culture.
Cover Versions
Over the years, "Mambo Italiano" has been covered by numerous artists including Bette Midler and Dean Martin.
Film Usage
The song was used in the soundtracks of several movies like "Married To The Mob" in 1988, "Man of the House" in 2005, and "Dolce Vita" in 2010.
Representational Impact
Despite its controversy, "Mambo Italiano" played a significant role in popularizing Italian-American culture and ethnic music styles in the 1950s mainstream.
The running time of the original recording of "Mambo Italiano" by Rosemary Clooney is approximately 2 minutes and 32 seconds.
Chart Performance
Notably, the song was banned by all ABC owned stations but it still reached the Top 10, showing its popularity among audiences.
Song Writing Credits
Despite being most associated with Rosemary Clooney, Bob Merrill is credited with both the music and lyrics for "Mambo Italiano".
Album Placement
The song appeared on the album "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" performed by Rosemary Clooney.
Cultural Influence
The song is often played during Italian-American feasts and festivals around the United States.

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