Written by Rocco Granata
First sung by Rocco Granata
Like all one-hit wonders, this song was a great success but the only one of the career of this singer-songwriter. And still, ‘Marina’ is one of the most popular Italian songs of all time, especially among Italian communities abroad. Released as the B side of ‘Manuela’ during the economic miracle (1959), ‘Marina’ immediately soared to number one in Belgium, to where Rocca Granata’s family had emigrated from their native Cosenza. It then became a hit in Italy (thanks to the version by Marino Marini), holding the top position on the charts for 15 weeks. Its success also spread to Germany, Holland and Norway; in total, it sold over a million copies. What was interpreted as a hymn of encouragement for all emigrants (the 1956 tragedy of Marcinelle was still alive in their memories) soon became a permanent fixture of the Italian music scene, as versions of the song were produced by numerous singers at home, including Claudio Villa and Peppino Di Capri, as well as by others who straddled the border between Italy and the world, such as Dalida, Dean Martin and Caterina Valente. Thirty years later (1989), Rocco Granata re-released the song in the New Beat idiom (the dance music style that began in Belgium), so ‘Marina’ again reached the number one position on the charts and was even declared the ‘greatest Italian success of all time’ in Germany.