Nonsense Song from Modern Times (Titine)

Music by Leo Daniderff, Lyrics by Charles Chaplin, Sung by Charles Chaplin

In 1936 the little fellow, Chaplin’s little tramp, had been one of the most famous figures in the world for over 20 years. Instantly recognisable, internationally loved.

When Chaplin sang this song in Modern Times it was the very first time that the world heard his voice, after two decades of silent pantomime.

The opening instrumental sequence is very long because in the film, Charlie has written the words of the song on his shirt cuff, which flies across the restaurant as soon as he makes his grand entrance. He dances around desperately looking for it, but the customers start complaining about the delay, so he has to make up the words.

Ingeniously, in spite of the introduction of sound, Chaplin thus retained the Little Tramp’s gift for communication with people worldwide. The post production film dialogue continuity for foreign distribution of the film simply states “Note! Very important. Mr Chaplin sings a song in a ‘Bogus’ language (no translation needed)”

The first part of the song goes something like this:

Titine

SE BELLA GIU SATORE
JE NOTRE SO CAFORE
JE NOTRE SI CAVORE
JE LA TU LA TI LA TWAH

LA SPINASH O LA BOUCHON
CIGARETTO PORTOBELLO
SI RAKISH SPAGHALETTO
TI LA TU LA TI LA TWAH

SENORA PILASINA
VOULEZ-VOUS LE TAXIMETER?
LE ZIONTA SU LA SEATA
TU LA TU LA TU LA WA

Lyrics © Copyright Roy Export Company Establishment. All Rights Reserved.