words and music and stories

roma - trastevere“Vecchio frac” (literally “Old tailcoat”, or better “White tie”) is a song written by Domenico Modugno, considered the first of the great Italian singer-songwriters, who wrote and recorded many hits throughout the 1960s.

It is a poignant ballad that tells the last hours of a mysterious character: an elegant man dressed in white tie suit, who is walking at midnight through the deserted streets and takes his own life at dawn.
This song was inspired by the story of prince Raimondo Lanza di Trabia, (*) a lover of sports cars and soccer, nicknamed the “great dandy”, or the “last Sicilian prince”, who, at the age of 39, committed suicide by jumping from the window of a hotel in Rome.

This piece gave Modugno some problems with censorship, which abhorred any mention of physical relationships that at the time were considered immoral. He was made to turn the final…

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