Show Business: Blue Nell Rides Again

Few of them could understand the lyrics, but none of them could escape the tune. Wherever they went in Italy this summer, tourists were attacked by the lilting, insidious and all-but-meaningless lyrics of Nel Blu, Dipinto di Bin (In the Blue, Painted Blue). From nightclub star to curbside troubadour, everyone was belting out the refrain of Italy's most popular song. And the tourists were humming it before they went home.

Last week they were still humming, but the far-off foreign drone had risen to a resounding chorus. By the polls, Nel Blu is the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!