©1992-2001 The Living. Net

In La topolino amaranto of 1975, it is particularly effective, not just because of the instinctive level it works on, but also because of the sparing precision and unexpected arrival of its use. The song tells of the joys of zooming around postwar Italy in a "topolino", a classic runabout of the period: "Bionda, non guardar dal finestrino / che c'è un paesaggio che non va / è appena finito il temporale / e sei case su dieci sono andate giù…/.../ beviti 'sto cielo azzurro e alto, / che sembra di smalto e corre con noi" (Blondie don't look out the window, cause there's a landscape that isn't fitting, the storm has just passed, and six out of ten houses have gone down… drink up this sky, blue and high that seems of lacquer and runs with us…)

In this case, the sudden image of the storm, having left few houses standing, catches the listener completely unaware and seems totally unrelated to the context, yet the fact that it momentarily spoils the perfection of the so far impeccable and purely stereotyped tableau, serves to charge the instant with a peculiar tension. The music of the eighties live version (as can be heard on Concerti of 1985), tends to enhance the effect because the typical folk line is enriched with more be-bopish chromaticisms.

3.1.6 Personification and Synaesthesia

Worthy of note are also the final personification of the sky and the use of synaesthesia just before hand, further means of expression that crop up from time to time, as for example in these lines from Una giornata al mare (A day at the seaside, 1974): "Dico due balle ad un tizio / seduto su un'auto più in là / un'auto che sa di vernice / di donne di velocità / e laggiù sento tuffi nel mare/nel sole o nel tempo, chissà… "( I have a natter with some guy sitting on a car further over there, a car that tastes-or smells-of paint, of women, of speed; and down there I hear dives in the sea, in the sun or in time, who knows...) and again in Alle prese con una verde milonga (Struggling with a green milonga,1981) "E ammesso che la milonga / fosse una canzone / ebbene io l'ho svegliata e / l'ho guidata ad un ritmo piu` lento..." (And supposing that the milonga was a song, well I awoke her and led her at a slower rhythm...), or in Paso doble (1987): "Le frasi dell'amore sempre uguali / le stesse ormai per tutti, / questa stanza si è annoiata..." (The words of love always the same by now for everyone, this room has grown bored) and again in Il nostro amico Angiolino (Our friend Angiolino,1979) "Noi suoniamo e suscitiamo sentimenti / e i sentimenti se ne vanno / a impigliarsi nei capelli tutti biondi / della moglie di Angiolino." (We play and stir up feelings and the feelings go and get tangled in the hair, all blonde, of the wife of Angiolino).

3.1.7 Uses of the colloquial register, the popular voice

What is still common to the overall nature of the songs, is the ongoing use of a down-to-earth and colloquial style, yet Conte's lyrics are anything but lacking when it comes to variety of diction, the more florid terms are simply interwoven or in some cases juxtaposed for effect. In fact the range of vocabulary tends to increase with each new record, to the point where in the later albums one comes across words such as "pediluvio" (foot-bath) or "pleistocenico" (pleistocene). The previously referred to "La Sapienza" research considers Conte's choices as "voci rare e preziose".