Balocchi E Profumi
Toys and Perfumes
Author: E.A. Mario (music and lyrics)
Original performer: Gennaro Pasquariello
This song, with a tango rhythm, was premiered in 1928 by Gennaro Pasquariello at the Teatro Eden in Naples. Outstanding among the greatest hits by the Neapolitan E.A. Mario, it was immediately taken up in various interpretations, giving it the status of a classic in an age in decline: the Roaring Twenties, whose uninhibited immorality the song sanctions, in a dramatic crescendo that ends in tragedy. In three stanzas, the typical “feuilleton” affair takes the stage, with a girl and a selfish, insensitive mother as protagonists. The girl falls ill but her mother’s change of heart comes too late when she finally lets her touch the much desired playthings. The ruthless condemnation of “unnatural” conduct, combined with a striking melody, made this song timeless, from the cafè-chantant era to the 1960s, when it became a signature piece for Claudio Villa and Luciano Tajoli. Also recorded by Aurelio Fierro, Angela Luce, Giorgio Consolini, Milva, it has often been distorted into a cabaret register that exalts the dramatic aspect (Milly, Peppe Barra).