Se Tu Ragazzo Mio
If you my boy
Vittorio and Gabriella Ferri (lyrics) - Piero Pintucci (music)
It was with this song that Gabriella Ferri became known by the vast television audience, after having made her debut as an innovative performer of traditional Roman songs. Se tu ragazzo mio was taken to Sanremo in 1969, the last of five editions that included the participation of illustrious foreign singers paired with Italian singers. Ferri - at Renzo Arbore's suggestion - was paired with Stevie Wonder, an exponent of a musical style that was the polar opposite of the Roman singer/songwriter's style. But the pair, thanks to a song tailored to suit them both, made sparks fly despite being eliminated from the competition at the first round. Enough to dissuade Ferri from returning to the Ariston stage.
However, the record met with some success and prompted RCA to release a 33 rpm album that contained that song along with various unreleased tracks, many of which were written by the artist herself with her father Vittorio. They were set to music mostly by Piero Pintucci, two years later the winner of Sanremo in 1972 with I giorni dell’arcobaleno. The combination of the extended melody that recalls the Roman stornellate (verse) with the soul (the refrain) of a then 18-year-old Stevie Wonder is a small miracle of ethnic coexistence, which the latter worked with at other levels in songs like Ebony and Ivory, in duo with Paul McCartney. The song was also performed by Nada, the Camaleonti and Nicky Nicolai with Stefano Di Battista.