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Mina (1961)

Connie Francis (1963)

Mike Patton (2010)

The following excerpt is from an interview conducted with famous Italian songwriter Gino Paoli which first appeared in an edition of Italian news periodical La Repubblica in June of 1976. Paoli was promoting his recently released record ‘Le Canzoni di Gino Paoli’, a collection of his most popular songs. It has been translated from the original Italian into English with as much accuracy and fidelity as possible for the readers benefit.*

LR: Tell me, do you really believe that ‘love can grow at any moment in any place’ Signor Paoli?

GP: Ah, did I say that? Yes, ‘Il Cielo in una Stanza’, my greatest triumph I feel. But I think it has been misinterpreted over the years.

LR: The meaning of the song, the lyrics?

GP: Not the lyrics or their meaning, no no. people can interpret a song in their own way, find their own meaning or poetry in it, that is the gift and curse of art. Once you have given birth to it, it is no longer yours, a baby stork free to roam the rice fields. There is a part of your soul that remains entwined in it’s melody but it exists beyond your own mortality. What I mean is the title of the song, which in the English man’s language is translated literally as ‘ the sky in the room’.

LR: ‘The sky in the room’; a metaphor for the mysterious, sensual afterglow of love-making, one that has stirred the imagination of millions of listeners since the songs release in 1960. You feel the title has been falsely read?

GP: Yes. And just to clarify young man/woman, the song was inspired by love-making in a brothel, with a prostitute, who had one leg, four teeth and giant bosoms. The room in which we banged was right next door to the town abbatoir so the stench of rotting animal flesh served to remind my younger self that death also visits upon us all and not just healthy ‘cavallos’. So, my pleasure that as I went deep inside her was tempered by this profound knowledge though I still managed to reach orgasm quite quickly. She was good, very good. Oh yes, I remember how she used those lips with such skill and patience, especially when she placed them on my…

LR: Signor Paoli, you were saying? The title of the song?

GP: Ah si, si, scusi. Yes, the original title of the song was in fact not ‘Il Cielo In Una Stanza’ but in fact ‘Il Ragazzo In Una Stanza’ which for stupid English dum dums means ‘ the guy in a room.’ But when i presented this title to my record company, RCA Italiana they looked at me with confusion, asking me to explain the title to them. So I explained that ‘the guy in a room’ was in fact a pimp who used to stand in the corner of the room while many guys banged away at his whores. So, on that day in the brothel, this pimp watched as I banged and was banged by his favourite whore, Teresa. But the people at the record company looked at me as if I had just lost my mind and convinced me to change the title to ‘the sky in the room’ so people would be not be confused and eventually enraged or both when listening to the song. So a more poetic title was chosen over one that suggested seediness and possible homosexuality. And the truth is i felt like I was flying in the sky after Teresa had her way with my young body. Jesus, she was good.

LR: Maestro, thank you for your wisdom and your time.

* The interview may not have actually occurred in Italy at that time or in any country, timezone or reality but as pure speculation is 100% accurate.