A true story of perseverance.

The band is called Osaka Flu and the word was “whore.”

(If that didn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what will!)

The lead-singer and back-up vocalist had come to me for help.  Their band, based here in Arezzo – but, of course, with hopes to make it BIG – plays original tunes in clubs around Tuscany in a style that sounds like a mix between Oasis and Green Day.  Their angst-filled lyrics are all in English. But when I first met them, their overly Italian pronunciation was anything but.

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“No, no,” I admonished at our first lesson, “the ‘W’ in ‘whore’ is silent.  Not like ‘War.’ Just pronounce the ‘H’.  Like ‘Hore.’ That’s it.  Really punch that breath-sound in the letter ‘H.’ Good.”

Here I was helping a guy put the proper pronunciation on that dreadful misogynistic word.  Lovely. My mother would be so proud.

To be fair, the word was part of a metaphor, “You walked out the door, just like a whore….”  The girl in question was only being compared to that term; she was not directly referred to as such.  And anyway, it’s not like I can pretend that I never listened to my share of way-not-feminist bands in my day like, Guns-N-Roses, Van Halen and Motley Crue.  But I digress.

These young men were in earnest.  They truly wanted to sing with proper American-rocker like pronunciation. So I helped them.

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Yes, this is Osaka Flu. But this is not how our training sessions looked.. 😉

Every “Leesten” became “Listen.”

Every “Deen’t” became “Didn’t.”

Every “Going to” became “Gonna.”

Every “F**king” became “F**kin’.”  You get the idea.

The point here is not to take their choice of lyrics to task, but to demonstrate to you that these guys were dedicated and worked hard.  The lead singer can barely carry a conversation in English, but man, he was committed to singing in it.

They came once a week for about an hour.  They would sing a song and I would digitally record it. Then I would play it back and point out the mistakes and they would practice it again. And again. And again.

That was two years ago.   And they have now begun recording their first original cd – full of the songs that I helped them with.  Today, the lead singer picked me up and took me to the recording studio so I could listen to each track and let them know if it passed the grade to my finely tuned American-rocker-girl ears.

They did.  They sounded great.

Yes, each song was still filled with sex and drugs – it’s only rock-n-roll after all.  But each song also sounded like a real American-style rocker was singing it.  Their Italian accents had been successfully silenced.

These guys had a plan, they sought out someone who could help them, and they persevered. It has taken them two years, but they didn’t give up.  They stuck to it.

As I listened to their recordings today, I was honestly filled with pride.  There wasn’t a hint of ‘W’ in that aforementioned word.  Good job, gentlemen.

Til next time, what endeavor are you thinking about undertaking?  Will it take a long time?  So what! Why not get started now?! Let me know about it! 

Gina

For more information on how I may help you achieve your goals, reach out to me here – or please visit my website at GinaLondon.com 

Copyright 2014 Gina London. All rights reserved.

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La Volpe Come Fa? (What Does The Fox Say?)

Apparently “What Does The Fox Say?” is quite the hit.  In the United States and perhaps other parts of the world, the song is going off the charts.

Here in Italy, I had never even heard of it.  Not until my hip-to-all-things-pop-culture sister Andrea wrote me an email and asked me if the song was as popular in Tuscany as it is in the US.   My unscientific survey consisted of asking my cool personal trainer Elena whether she had heard it (she had not), and an hour and a half review of power house Radio/Web/TV station “RTL 102.5” which also did not turn up the Fox.

I went on YouTube and watched the video and also watched the two Norwegian brothers singing their hit on Ellen.

They’re cute.  The dance is quirkily catchy like “Gangnam Style” – which did sweep Italy along with the rest of the world.  But the lyrical query the song poses was no question for Lulu.

“Everybody knows the fox barks like a dog,” she said after watching the official video.  “It doesn’t go ‘Pow-pow-pow!’”

The most famous animal here in Tuscany is the Cinghiale.  (Read this earlier post about how one visited Lulu and me at a birthday party!)

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The wild boar roams the countryside, makes for delicious stew, sauce and sausage and is a mascot for the region.

Yes, here's the Cinghiale Store!
Yes, here’s the Cinghiale Store!

There doesn’t appear to be a song for the wild boar, but Lulu does have its shirt.

Lulu yesterday in a cinghiale shirt next to its domesticated cousin. What does the cinghiale say?
Lulu yesterday in a cinghiale shirt next to its domesticated cousin. What does the cinghiale say?

But Italians do have their own famous version of an animal sound song:  “Il Coccodrillo Come Fa” “How does the Croccodile go?” is a song that every kid, including Lulu, knows well.

The song’s Italian composer, Pino Massura, passed away this summer at 82. While he wrote beloved children’s songs, Massura also had a string of famous grown-up hits throughout his lifetime, including some recorded by Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and Elvis, (that American guy, not to be confused with the “Ylvis” guys from Norway who wrote the Fox).

Maybe the Norwegian brothers will go on to the same kind of enduring fame as Massura.  Or maybe not.

What does the Fox have to say about all of it?  I don’t know.  I live in Italy.

Until next time, Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!

Gina

P.S.  Do you love the Fox?  What’s your favorite animal song?  Share please!

And for more stories of adventures between a mother and her child, you’re invited to buy my book, Because I’m Small Now and You Love Me”