From Stephen Colbert to Jonathan Antoine to this, “Caruso”, written by Lucio Dalla.  What more needs to be told?  I first heard this performed on the album “DallAmeriCaruso” akmost 30 years ago when we regularly spent our weekends together at our condo in the By Ward Market, Ottawa sipping martinis by the fireplace. It still brings tears to my eyes. It speaks to the eternal magic of music for me.

Caruso” is a song written by Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla in 1986. It is dedicated to Enrico Caruso, an Italian tenor. Following Lucio Dalla’s death, the song entered the Italian Singles Chart, peaking at number two for two consecutive weeks. The single was also certified platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry.

Meaning of the song

The song simply tells about the pain and longings of a man who is about to die while he is looking into the eyes of a girl who was very dear to him. The lyrics contain various subtle references to people and places in Caruso’s life.

Lucio Dalla told the origin and the meaning of the song in an interview to one of the main Italian newspapers, the Corriere della Sera. He stopped by the coastal town of Sorrento and stayed in the Excelsior Vittoria Hotel, coincidentally in the very same room where many years earlier the tenor Enrico Caruso spent some time shortly before dying. Dalla was inspired to write the song after the owners told him about the last days of Caruso and in particular the latter’s passion for one of his young female students.