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"Se Telefonando" is a song performed by the Italian singer Mina, released in May 1966. The music was composed, orchestrated and conducted by Ennio Morricone to Italian lyrics by Ghigo De Chiara and Maurizio Costanzo. (Reportedly Costanzo only contributed one word, in editing a previous version of a verse, to avoid censorship). The song was written for a television broadcast, called “Aria condizionata”.

"Se Telefonando"
Single by Mina
from the album Studio Uno 66
ReleasedMay 1966
LabelRi-Fi Record Company
Songwriter(s)Ennio Morricone (music)
Maurizio Costanzo (lyrics)
Ghigo De Chiara (lyrics)
Producer(s)Ennio Morricone

It was a standout track of Mina’s Studio Uno 66, the fifth-biggest-selling album of the year 1966 in Italy, which sold over a million copies worldwide.[1]

Morricone's sophisticated arrangement of "Se telefonando" was a combination of melodic trumpet lines, Hal Blaine–style drumming, a string set, a '60s Europop female choir, and intensive subsonic-sounding trombones. The main theme of the song thrills around just three notes, taken from the siren of a police car in Marseilles.[2]

The Italian Hitparade #7 song had eight transitions of tonality building tension throughout the chorus. In late 1966, Mina recorded an English version of the song for United Artists's release in English speaking countries.[3]

In the reader's poll conducted by the la Repubblica newspaper to celebrate Mina's 70th anniversary in 2010, 30,000 voters picked the track as the best song ever recorded by Mina.[4]

Cover versionsEdit

During the following decades, the song was covered by several performers in Italy and abroad, most notably by Françoise Hardy (in French “Je Changerais D'avis” and in English “I Will Change My Life”), Iva Zanicchi (1966), Orietta Berti (2003), Delta V (2005), Claudio Baglioni, Vanessa and the O's (2007), Neil Hannon (2008), Cheryl Porter (2008) and Etta Scollo (2011).[5]

In February 2015, the Italian singer Nek won with his cover of “Se Telefonando” the award for "Best Cover" during the Sanremo Music Festival 2015.[6][7][8] Nek’s version of the song sold over 50,000 copies in Italy.[9]


  1. ^ Top annuali album Retrieved February 6, 2013
  2. ^ Se telefonando HitParadeItalia site. Retrieved 27 June 2007
  3. ^ "Billboard, Vol. 78, Nr. 51". Billboard. 17 December 1966.
  4. ^ Gino Castaldo (25 March 2010). "E Mamma Mina cestinò i complimenti dei Beatles". La Repubblica (in Italian).
  5. ^ "Se telefonando". Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  6. ^ Suriani, Samantha (13 February 2014). "Sanremo 2015, Nek re della serata cover con "Se telefonando"". VelvetMusic (in Italian). Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Sanremo: Nek Vince La Serata Delle Cover". Radio Italia (in Italian). 13 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Se Telefonando". la Repubblica (in Italian). 14 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Se Telefonando". (in Portuguese). 16 May 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2016.

External linksEdit