We No Speak Americano

Album: Single Release Only (2010)
Charted: 1 29
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Yolanda Be Cool is an Australian band comprising the duo Sylvester Martinez and Johnson Peterson. They joined forces with Australian producer DCUP (real name Duncan MacLennan) to release this single.
  • The song samples the 1956 Neapolitan language song "Tu vuò fà l'americano" (You Want to be American) by Italian singer Renato Carosone. The tune later featured in the 1960 film It Started in Naples, in which it was sung by Sofia Loren and Clark Gable. It was also performed by Rosario Fiorello in the 1999 movie The Talented Mr Ripley.
  • "We No Speak" originally reached #4 in Yolanda Be Cool's native Australia. It went on to be a hit throughout Europe topping the charts in several countries including The Netherlands and Denmark.
  • Before the song was released in the UK, a "spoiler" version was recorded by Marco Calliari to capitalize on the already high levels of demand for the record. As a consequence there were two different renderings of the song on the UK singles chart at the same time.
  • This was the first song by an Australian act to top the UK singles chart for six years. The previous Antipodean to reach #1 was Peter Andre with the re-released "Mysterious Girl" in March 2004.
  • The song was the first ever UK #1 single to be sung predominantly in Italian. The previous chart-topper to feature chorus in anything other than English was Las Ketchup's "The Ketchup Song," whose lyrics were a mixture of Spanish and gibberish English.
    Co-incidentally, the last dance track produced in Australia that reached #1 in UK also contained a sample of an Italian song. Madison Avenue's 1999 chart-topper, "Don't Call Me Baby," sampled the bass line from "Ma Quale Idea" by Italian disco artist Pino D'Angio.
  • American gymnast Gabby Douglas used this song in her gold medal-winning final floor routine at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
  • Why Yolanda Be Cool? The name is a reference to a line in the Pulp Fiction movie, where Samuel L. Jackson's character Jules shouts "Yolanda, be cool!" to a female armed robber named Yolanda.
  • Yolanda Be Cool issued a product recall of the hit song in October 2012, saying the tune can no longer be played as "the beats are no longer fresh." Fans were urged to destroy all digital and analogue recordings of the global smash and visit the duo's official website for a free replacement track.
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-OutsSong Writing

The 10 biggest "retirement tours" that didn't take.

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"They're Playing My Song

Chris and his wife Tina were the rhythm section for Talking Heads when they formed The Tom Tom Club. "Genius of Love" was their blockbuster, but David Byrne only mentioned it once.

Kevin GodleySongwriter Interviews

Kevin Godley talks about directing classic videos for The Police, U2 and Duran Duran, and discusses song and videos he made with 10cc and Godley & Creme.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

John ParrSongwriter Interviews

John tells the "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" story and explains why he disappeared for so long.

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?