Il Canto degli Italiani
|English: The Song of the Italians|
Goffredo Mameli, author of the text of the Italian national anthem.
National anthem of
|Also known as||Inno di Mameli
English: Mameli's Hymn
English: Brothers of Italy
|Lyrics||Goffredo Mameli, 1847|
|Music||Michele Novaro, 1847|
|Adopted||October 12, 1946 (de facto)
November 17, 2005 (de jure)
Il Canto degli Italiani (The Song of the Italians) is the Italian national anthem. It is best known among Italians as Inno di Mameli (Mameli's Hymn), after the author of the lyrics, or Fratelli d'Italia (Brothers of Italy), from its opening line. The words were written in the autumn of 1847 in Genoa, by the then 20-year-old student and patriot Goffredo Mameli, in a climate of popular struggle for unification and independence of Italy which foreshadowed the war against Austria. Two months later, they were set to music in Turin by another Genoese, Michele Novaro. The hymn enjoyed widespread popularity throughout the period of the Risorgimento and in the following decades.
After unification (1861) the adopted national anthem was the Marcia Reale, the Royal March (or Fanfara Reale), official hymn of the royal house of Savoy composed in 1831 to order of Carlo Alberto di Savoia. The Marcia Reale remained the Italian national anthem until Italy became a republic in 1946.
Giuseppe Verdi, in his Inno delle Nazioni (Hymn of the Nations), composed for the London International Exhibition of 1862, chose Il Canto degli Italiani – and not the Marcia Reale – to represent Italy, putting it beside God Save the Queen and La Marseillaise.
In 1946 Italy became a republic, and on October 12, 1946, Il Canto degli Italiani was provisionally chosen as the country's new national anthem. This choice was made official in law only on November 17, 2005, almost 60 years later.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2012)|
The first manuscript of the poem , preserved at the Istituto Mazziniano in Genoa, appears in a personal copybook of the poet, where he collected notes, thoughts and other writings. Of uncertain dating, the manuscript reveals anxiety and inspiration at the same time. The poet begins with È sorta dal feretro (It's risen from the bier) then seems to change his mind: leaves some room, begins a new paragraph and writes "Evviva l'Italia, l'Italia s'è desta" (Hurray Italy, Italy has awakened). The handwriting appears nervy and frenetic, with numerous spelling errors, among which are "Ilia" for "Italia" and "Ballilla" for "Balilla".
The last strophe is deleted by the author, to the point of being barely readable. It was dedicated to Italian women:
The second manuscript is the copy that Mameli sent to Novaro for setting to music. It shows a much steadier handwriting, fixes misspellings, and has a significant modification: the incipit is "Fratelli d'Italia". This copy is in the Museo del Risorgimento in Turin.
The hymn was also printed on leaflets in Genoa, by the printing office Casamara. The Istituto Mazziniano has a copy of these, with hand annotations by Mameli himself. This sheet, subsequent to the two manuscripts, lacks the last strophe ("Son giunchi che piegano...") for fear of censorship. These leaflets were to be distributed on the December 10 demonstration, in Genoa.
December 10, 1847 was an historical day for Italy: the demonstration was officially dedicated to the 101st anniversary of the popular rebellion which led to the expulsion of the Austrian powers from the city; in fact it was an excuse to protest against foreign occupations in Italy and induce Carlo Alberto to embrace the Italian cause of liberty. In this occasion the tricolor flag was shown and Mameli's hymn was publicly sung for the first time.
After December 10 the hymn spread all over the Italian peninsula, brought by the same patriots that participated to the Genoa demonstration.
This is the complete text of the original poem written by Goffredo Mameli. However, the Italian anthem, as commonly performed in official occasions, is composed of the first stanza sung twice, and the chorus, then ends with a loud "Sì!" ("Yes!").
The first stanza presents the personification of Italy who is ready to go to war to become free, and shall be victorious as Rome was in ancient times. In the second stanza the author complains that Italy has been a divided nation for a long time, and calls for unity. The third stanza is an invocation to God to protect the loving union of the Italians struggling to unify their nation once and for all. The fourth stanza recalls popular heroic figures and moments of the Italian fight for independence such as the vespri siciliani, the riot started in Genoa by Balilla, and the battle of Legnano. The last stanza of the poem refers to the part played by Habsburg Austria and Czarist Russia in the partitions of Poland, linking its quest for independence to the Italian one.
- "Italy - Il Canto degli Italiani/Fratelli d'Italia". NationalAnthems.me. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
- A different tense may be found: Noi siamo da secoli, "We have been for centuries".
- Le porga la chioma literally translates as "Let her offer her locks to [Italy]", a possible reference to the ancient custom of slaves cutting their hair short as a sign of servitude. (See )
- Siam pronti alla morte may be understood both as an indicative ("We are ready to die") and as an imperative ("Let us be ready to die").
|Italian Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Page on the official site of the Quirinale, residence of the Head of State
(in Italian with several recorded performances – click on ascolta l'Inno and choose a file to listen)
- Free sheet music of Il Canto degli Italiani from Cantorion.org
- Streaming audio, lyrics and information about the Italian national anthem
- Fratelli d'Italia: Free scores at the International Music Score Library Project (Version for chorus and piano by Claudio Dall'Albero on a musical proposal of Luciano Berio)