Song Of The Day 4/4/2015: Gianfranco & Gian Piero Reverberi - "Nel Cimitero Di Tucson"

TUMWATER, WA – A few weeks ago I had this idea for a theme week: songs that inspired other songs in rather plain, obvious ways. Last weekend’s 10cc song that allegedly inspired Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” was the driver behind that notion. But I didn’t get very far in my research, because it was strangely difficult to find writeups where somebody would admit they got the idea for their song from another song. By that point, dinner was on the table and I had to say grace, so I just abandoned the idea, except for this one.

“Nel Cimitero Di Tucson,” I’m sure you won’t take too long to figure out, was appropriated by Gnarls Barkley for their international, embargo-bucking 2005 hit “Crazy,” the best single of its decade. Originally it was Gianfranco & Gian Piero Reverberi’s theme to an Italian spaghetti western called Preparati la bara! (“Prepare a Coffin!”). The director was Ferdinando Baldi, a film name I am not familiar with, but made a lot of films in what online resources call the “sword-and-sandal” genre. Namely, costume epics, usually Biblical. “Sword-and-sandal” was coined by film critics as a term of derision.

Preparati la bar! starred Terence Hill, who despite the Anglo taint of his name was born in Venice, Italy. He played a character named Django. Actually it was a prequel to the film Django by Sergio Corbucci, a 1966 classic that probably influenced all the people you’d assumed it influenced, including Quentin Tarantino. Preparati la bar! was a revenge film that purported to explain how Django became the cold hard badass he was. He drags a coffin around with him, for one thing. That’s got to be almost as inconvenient to lug around as those bathtubs in Cialis commercials. And probably more suspicious. Maybe I’m crazy.

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