I’ve been listening to Marc Almond’s Tenement Symphony for a while, and I noticed an odd thing. I noticed that Days of Pearly Spencer bore an impossibly coincidental resemblance to an Italian song sung by Caterina Caselli. For some reason I’d assumed all of Almond’s album was original material. As it turns out, Almond’s song is a slightly rewritten version of Il Volto Della Vita, a 1968 hit for Caselli, which is in turn a translation of The Days of Pearly Spencer by the Irish songwriter David McWilliams. McWilliams wrote the song in 1967 about a homeless man he’d seen. It’s unclear if Marc Almond was inspired by the original cut or by Caselli’s version. Knowing what we know about Marc Almond’s eclectic tastes, it could be either, or both.