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Arranged for Cello & Piano "Torna a Surriento" is a Neapolitan song said to have been composed in 1902 by Ernesto De Curtis to words by his brother, Giambattista. The song was copyrighted officially in 1905; it has since become wildly popular, and has been sung by performers as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Beniamino Gigli, Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Enrico Caruso, José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Ruggero Raimondi, Meat Loaf, Mario Lanza, Franco Corelli, Robertino Loreti, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Muslim Magomayev, Francesco Albanese, Jerry Adriani, Roberto Carlos, Alfie Boe, Anna Calvi, Karel Gott, and Norton Buffalo with George Kahumoku, Jr.; Sergio Franchi covered the song in his 1962 RCA Victor Red Seal debut album, (Romantic Italian Songs), which peaked at #17 on the Billboard Top 200.
Claude Aveling wrote the English language lyrics, which are titled "Come Back to Sorrento". Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman re-arranged it and wrote a new set of lyrics for Elvis Presley ("Surrender").
The song was supposedly written at the request of a friend of Giambattista's, Guglielmo Tramontano, who was mayor of Sorrento in 1902 when the prime minister of Italy, Giuseppe Zanardelli, stayed at his hotel in that town; it was claimed that the piece was meant to celebrate Zanardelli's stay. More recent research indicates that the song may merely have been reworked for the occasion; family papers indicate that the brothers deposited a copy with the Italian Society of Authors and Editors in 1894, eight years before they claimed to have written it.
In the television show The Honeymooners, Ralph Kramden identifies the song in preparing for his appearance on a quiz show called "The $99,000 Answer." He mistakenly identifies it as "Take Me Back to Sorrento" and says it was written by "Ernesto Dequista," which his friend Ed Norton says is "absolutely correct."