And I am taking a refresher course in Italian on Monday nights.
Today, I attended a concert by Newpoli Mediterranean Pulse - Ritmi Della Terra.
This contemporary group takes traditional Southern Italian music, e.g. the Tarantella, and gives it a modern flair. Despite my almost adequate knowledge of Italian, I have a hard time understanding it when the speaker is speaking fast, and an even harder time when they use any of the many dialects - of which Southern Italy has many.
The music of the group Newpoli is a celebration of those many regions and dialects, and while I had a very difficult time understanding the lyrics (actually I probably only picked up a handful of words here and there) I found the sound of the language, the sound of the dialects, somewhat familiar.
The music itself has a very plaintive quality and I would call it a mix of Italy/Greece/North Africa
Here are a few YouTube videos of Newpoli.
I would caution that they may not appeal to most people's taste and I do find the female vocalists a bit shrill at times.
Much better in person.
Nun Te Vutà
'Na voce sola
My grandparents and their contemporaries would often revert to their first language when they got together; I recall the cadence, the sing-song rhythm, the sometimes guttural sounds, the melody of vowels.
I recall the many weddings of older cousins which I attended when I was young and the fun we had pretending to dance the tarantella when the live band finally played C'è la luna mezz'u mare, Mamma mia mi maritare.
Here's a version that will give you an idea of the various potential spouses one might marry: