Authors: Franco Migliacci (lyrics) - Domenico Modugno (music)
Original interpreter: Domenico Modugno
It was not Salgari’s India, or Kipling’s or the India of the great religions that influenced the hippie culture. The India that Modugno sings about is an India of the late 1950s, that feels a lot like Naples and is represented with irony and affection. After WWII, the exotic song, already queen of the Roaring Twenties, was back in fashion, feeding on stereotypes, musically, and with settings that often verged on the comic. However, the story set to music by Mr. Volare in the year of his success at Sanremo is inspired by a true story: a young doctor, a good bourgeoisie citizen, meets a fascinating princess on vacation in Capri. The two fall in love. He flies to India to ask the Maharaja her father for her hand, and in October 1957, the wedding is celebrated under the eyes of the paparazzi. To adapt the story to the older clichés, the song transforms the doctor into a pizza chef who, as a true missionary of taste, lives happily teaching Indians the art of the most typical Neapolitan dish. Memorable interpretations were later made by Renato Carosone, Mina and, more recently, the Blue Dolls, while, at the time, the song was also performed by the Bulgarian singer Nora Nova.