If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know I’m really into cycling. I poked around trails on a hybrid bike for years, but two years ago at age 59, I bought a road bike and have never looked back.
During the cold winters in my city of Winnipeg, Canada, I ride on a smart indoor trainer connected to the Internet and using the bicycle training program Zwift.com.
Zwift is essentially the gamification of indoor training, and it is motivating, enjoyable and very effective in building cycling strength and fitness. The “smart” part means that when I encounter an incline on my route, the trainer automatically adds resistance, so I have to work harder to “climb” the hill (or mountain… some of those climbs are long!). Zwift also features group rides and races, and members can also create meet-ups with friends. The platform includes seven “worlds,” which are representations of real-life locations like London, Paris, New York and other places including some world-championship courses, plus the fictional land of Watopia, which has been expanded several times since Zwift’s inception. At a peak point earlier this year, over 46,000 people from around the globe were using the app at the same time, riding different courses among the three daily choices of Zwift worlds.
A member of a real-life, local riding club associated with my favourite and go-to bike shop Alter Ego Sports has created meet-ups all winter. I am fortunate to be on his invite list and rode in the majority of them, sometimes acting as a “sweep” (a rider at the back who uses their virtual slipstream to help pull slower riders back to the group if they fall off the back and can’t catch up on their own). There’s also text-based chat for banter; some groups even use Discord, a separate app that creates voice-chat channels people use for gaming or other Internet-connected activities. Many of the UK-based group rides on Zwift use Discord, and there are many active groups there with high attendance due to the extensive restrictions they’ve had against exercising outdoors during the pandemic.
Anyway, in his Facebook posts advertising the local Sunday group rides, our dedicated and humourous ride leader, Glen, has often posted today’s selection as motivation to his audience. It’s a very catchy tune, so I thought it was about time I shared it. It’s also a great Friday song, with its quick beat and fun melody and (apparently, according to an article on Wikipedia) nonsensical lyrics, other than a refrain of “all right.”
Italian singer, songwriter, actor and filmmaker Adriano Celentano wrote “Prisencolinensinainciusol” and recorded it with his wife, actor, singer and TV producer Claudia Mori in 1972. There are several lower-resolution versions of the original video on the Internet, showing a delightful staging of the song with Celentano lecturing to a classroom of young women grooving to the beat with the backdrop of a studio audience.
Celentano, who is now 83, re-released the video in 2012, the 40th anniversary of the song. That version, which I’m sharing here, has higher quality video and audio; however, it lasts for over 12 minutes with a long preamble, and the song itself is accompanied and followed by montages of film and other pop culture, plus cloud formations (more on that below).
Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the 40th-anniversary video from Adriano Celentano’s official YouTube channel (I’ve cued up the video to start at the beginning of the song, but I am also providing the original link, so you can view the full video if you want (it’s fun… though after the extended song and montages finish at 9:23, it’s just videos of cloud formations… then a bit of Pope John Paul at the very end… slightly odd). I’m also providing a link to one of the lower-quality versions as it provides the shorter, original 1972 version, if you’re pressed for time.)