Vivo per lei or… music was my first love!

Inspired by the article about the Love Song in Many Languages, I decided to write about a different song with many language versions. One could also call it a love song even though it tells a slightly different love story. When I first started learning Italian in Italy I came across the song “Vivo per lei” and at first was of course pretty certain that it is about a man’s love for a woman.

However, the ‘lei’ (Italian for she) here is the music. It is a beautiful song with lyrics telling a story of an artist’s love for music. He only lives for her. And of course one could think that the pronouns ‘lei’ comes from the simple fact that in Italian music is ‘la musica’ – a feminine noun but after reading the lyrics it’s quite obvious that music is personified in the song and that it’s not a usual object, referred to as ‘it’ but an object of real emotions – a ‘she’, a ‘her’.

This touching song was performed by the Italian singer Andrea Bocelli in duos with various multinational female artists. I could find 6 different language versions, maybe you know of any other? They’re all exceptional and it’s really enjoyable to hear the same song in so many languages and be able to compare the lyrics. A nice way to learn or refresh one’s language skills too!

Vivo per leiItalian – Andrea Bocelli & Giorgia

I Live for HerEnglish – Andrea Bocelli & Hayley Westenra

Je vis pour elleFrench – Andrea Bocelli & Hélène Ségara

Ich lebe für sieGerman – Andrea Bocelli & Judy Weiss

Vivo por ellaSpanish – Andrea Bocelli (also singing in Spanish!) & Marta Sanchez

Vivo por elaBrazilian Portuguese – Andrea Bocelli & Sandy Leah


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