Bella ciao

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"Bella ciao"
English title Goodbye Beautiful!
Language Italian
Composer Traditional
Lyricist Anonymous
Language Italian

"Bella ciao" is an Italian partisan song originated during the Italian civil war (a conflict which led to the death of Benito Mussolini and to the collapse of the Fascist regime in the peninsula). It is used worldwide as a hymn of freedom and resistance.


The song "Bella ciao" was sung by the anti-fascist resistance movement active in Italy between 1943 and 1945. The author of the lyrics is unknown; the music and spirit of the song is based on a folk song sung by rice-weeders on the River Po basin in the early part of the 20th century – "Alla mattina appena alzata". A version of this song was recorded for music researchers by Italian folk singer Giovanna Daffini in 1962.[1] Other similar versions of the antecedents of "Bella ciao" appeared over the years, indicating that "Alla mattina appena alzata" must have been composed in the latter half of the 19th century.[2] The earliest written version is dated 1906 and comes from near Vercelli, Piedmont.[3]

International versions[edit]

In addition to the original Italian, the song has been recorded by various artists in many different languages, including Breton, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, English, Esperanto, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Kurdish, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Tagalog, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, and Ukrainian.[citation needed]

  • Italian band Banda Bassotti recorded the song on their 1993 album, Bella Ciao.
  • Soviet singer Muslim Magomayev performed the song at some of his concerts and he stated that it was Brezhnev's favorite by him.[4][5]
  • A rewritten version of the song can be heard on Chumbawamba's acoustic album A Singsong and a Scrap.
  • Another version of the song was recorded by the punk rock band Dog Faced Hermans[6] on their album, Every Day Time Bomb.
  • Former Yugoslav punk rock bands KUD Idijoti and later Goblini recorded their versions of the track.
  • In December 2013, during the Ukrainian "Euromaidan", the song was titled as "Vitya, Chao!" to the same tune performed by the journalist Olga Hutoryanets.
  • Hungarian punk rock band Aurora has performed the song.
  • filk musician Leslie Fish has written and performed several versions of the song, one of which can be found on the album Smoked Fish.
  • Folk artist Mirah lent her voice to this song on her 2004 album, To All We Stretch the Open Arm.
  • Anita Lane recorded a version in English for her 2001 album, Sex O'Clock.
  • Breton folk punk band Les Ramoneurs de menhirs recorded a version in Breton and French but called it "BellARB".
  • Danish psychedelic rock group Savage Rose have recorded a version of this song on the albums En Vugge Af Stål from 1982 and Ild Og Frihed (1989).
  • San Francisco punk band La Plebe perform "Bella Ciao" on their album, Brazo en Brazo.
  • Singer Manu Chao has also recorded a version of the song.
  • American folk/rock band Foolproof Four recorded a version of "Bella Ciao" in 2011.
  • Kurdish singer Ciwan Haco has included the song in his album Çaw Bella 1989 – Bochum – Germany.[7]
  • The tune has been ripped off in a song in the Indian Tollywood movie Businessman, starring Mahesh Babu, Music by S.S.Thaman.
  • The Italian Skapunk-Band Talco recorded the song on their 2006 album Combat Circus.
  • Konstantin Wecker and Hannes Wader, two German "Liedermacher" performed it live on the their collaboration album Was für eine Nacht.
  • Turkish band Grup Yorum have recorded a Turkish translation of the song on their 1987 album Haziranda Ölmek Zor / Berivan.
  • Anglo-American group Morning Bride have played the song live and on the radio.
  • Irish band NoLand Folk recorded a version for their 2007 album Never Going Home.
  • Turkish band Bandista has recorded a Turkish version, "Hoşçakal", on their album Daima!, in 2011.[8]
  • Bosnian Serb musician Goran Bregovic has recorded one version on his album Champagne for Gypsies (2012).[9]
  • Argentinian band El violinista del amor & los pibes que miraban recorded their version in 2013 for the album El violinista del amor & los pibes que miraban contra los fantasmas.
  • German folk duo Zupfgeigenhansel recorded a free adaption on their 1982 album Miteinander[10] that, instead of glorifying the death of the partisan, paints him as a reluctant anti-hero who is scared and despises war, but feels he has no other choice because of the atrocities he has seen.[11]
  • Thai anti-fascism band, "Faiyen" (Thai: ไฟเย็น, "Cold Flame") recorded a Thai version of the song called "Plodploy Plianplaeng" (Thai: ปลดปล่อย เปลี่ยนแปลง, "Liberate and Change").[12] It is used by the Red Shirts anti-fascism group during 2011 to present.

Recent use[edit]

As a hymn of freedom internationally known it was intoned still recently in many events: during the 2011 movement Occupy Wall Street in New York, during 2013–14 protests in Turkey in Taksim Gezi Park, during 2014 Hong Kong protests, during the funeral of two victims in the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris (January 2015), in Greece 2015 political campaign of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA)[13] and in Syria by the Kurds.[14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Recording made by musicologists Gianni Bosio and Roberto Leydi in 1962. Giovanna Daffini: "Alla mattina appena alzata", from the CD: Giovanna Daffini: L’amata genitrice (1991)
  2. ^ Bermani, Cesare (2003). "Guerra guerra ai palazzi e alle chiese". Odradek Edizioni. 
  3. ^ D. Massa, R. Palazzi and S. Vittone: Riseri d'al me coeur
  4. ^ Magomayev interview at "Russian Week", 2005.
  5. ^ "Bella Ciao - Muslim Magomaev". YouTube. 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  6. ^ "Dog Faced Hermans". 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  7. ^ "Çaw Bella". Ciwan Haco. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  8. ^ "Bandista". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ "Zupfgeigenhansel - Miteinander (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  11. ^ "Canzoni contro la guerra - Bella Ciao". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  12. ^ "ปลดปล่อย..เปลี่ยนแปลง". Youtube. 8 May 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links[edit]