This Is My Life/La Vita

Two days ago a new video appeared on YouTube with the full video of Shirley Bassey on the 1968 San Remo Festival. Till now there was only a short clip of this available.


931411_139419209579130_171403128_nLa Vita
Music written by B. Canfora
Original Italian words by A. Amurri
English lyrics by Norman Newell.

Released in 1968 on an Italian Single and on the Italian album La Vita. Available on CD digitally remastered on the collection Bassey – The EMI/UA Years 1959 – 1979.

For this song the lyrics of the original Italian song “La Vita” were partially rewritten in English by Norman Newell. In the next step he penned English words for the remaining Italian parts of the song and the result was This Is My Life.

In the spring of 1968 Shirley Bassey sang La Vita live at the San Remo Festival in Italy. Shirley Bassey had selected this song to win the festival with. Among the other contestants were Dionne Warwick and Louis Armstrong. Shirley Bassey received the greatest crowd ovation of any performer with her impassioned rendition of “La Vita”, but unfortunately she couldn’t get into the the finals, because of a long outstanding bias against non-Italian contestants, or maybe because of the dialect she has. Although she failed to win the festival, the Italian public fell in love with this Welsh diva.

A single with “This Is My Life” had been released in Italy then and to remember the public about the festival it has the note “XVIII Festival Di Sanremo” on the cover though it contains the English version (UA 3130, B-side: “Without A Word”).


la vita - ita sgl - centre




La vita





Funny how a lonely day,
can make a person say:
What good is my life
Funny how a breaking heart,
can make me start to say: W
hat good is my life
Funny how I often seem,
to think I’ll find another dream
In my life
Till I look around and see,
this great big world is part of me
And my life

Ah, la vita
Più bello della vita non c’è niente
E forse tanta gente non lo sa, non lo sa, non lo sa

Ah, la vita
Che cosa di più bello esiste al mondo
E non ce ne accorgiamo quasi mai, quasi mai, quasi mai

Sometime when I feel afraid,
I think of what a mess
I’ve made Of my life
Crying over my mistakes,
forgetting all the breaks
I’ve had In my life
I was put on earth to be,
a part of this great world is me
And my life
Guess I’ll just add up the score,
and count the things
I’m grateful for In my life

Ah, la vita
Più bello della vita non c’è niente
E forse tanta gente non lo sa, non lo sa, non lo sa

Ah, la vita
Che cosa di più bello esiste al mondo
E non ce ne accorgiamo quasi mai, quasi mai, quasi mai

Ah, la vita
Che cosa di più bello esiste al mondo
E non ce ne accorgiamo quasi mai, quasi mai, quasi mai

Ah, la vita
Ah, la vita
Ah, la vita

(Transcribed by Roman supported by Francesco)

8 thoughts on “This Is My Life/La Vita”

  1. Thank you Pieter. Great archive. I admire that DSB is not afraid to take on a challenge such as this music festival. La Vita one of my favorite DSB songs. I don’t think anyone can surpass her in singing it. Thanks again Pieter.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Yep! This Is My Life…
    This IS Shirley Bassey!
    This is Bassey’s anthem… a so called torchsong….a kind of statement…
    It fits Bassey like a glove…
    This is drama, this IS showbizz!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. GOWN GURU says–The dress, is true to the trends of that year (1968), and a bit frumpy to be honest, for our Shirley’s very slim figure at 31 years of age–high neck and long sleeves–but as I said, true to the trend of that year!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Ian, I heard that she dressed more conservatively when she came to perform on American TV. I think a host mentioned she wouldn’t be received well if she wore on TV in America the very provocative gowns she could wear in the UK. That is why when she was on the Mike Douglas show, etc. She was pretty much more covered up. This gown would have been perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello 🙂 I have a double LP of Shirley’s Greatest Hits (When you open the gate fold, the outside of the cover is a full length of Shirley in a floral dress) There is a version of This is My Life, that I have not been able to find anywhere else. I’m assuming it was a single version for a 45, from the same recording sessions as the original take. Do you have this track? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi David I was very intrigued when I saw your comment as I was not sure what version of the song was used. I have 4 different versions of the album you mention. There is a version from France with 40 tracks and they use the original track from the 1968 album ‘This Is My Life’. There is a 20 track version from America and the version on that is a ‘live’ one. I also have a 20 track album from France (Cat No UALA 715) and a 20 track album from Japan (Cat No GFX 9013/4) and both of these albums do in fact have the original UK single version. This is probably the same version you have on your album. I have to say the quality of the version on the Japanese album is super. DavidB.

      Liked by 1 person

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