Vox Populi

Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry

Video: Charlie Chaplin — Modern Times “Nonsense Song” (1936)

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When Chaplin sang this song in Modern Times, he was internationally famous, but it was the very first time that the world had heard his voice, after two decades of silent pantomime.

The opening instrumental sequence is very long because in the film, Charlie has written the words of the song on his shirt cuff, which flies across the restaurant as soon as he makes his grand entrance. He dances around desperately looking for it, but the customers start complaining about the delay, so he has to make up the words.

The opening lines of the song, which is pure gibberish, goes something like this:

SE BELLA GIU SATORE
JE NOTRE SO CAFORE
JE NOTRE SI CAVORE
JE LA TU LA TI LA TWAH

LA SPINASH O LA BOUCHON
CIGARETTO PORTOBELLO…

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