|English title||"Goodbye Beautiful"|
"Bella ciao" (Italian pronunciation: [ˈbɛlla ˈtʃaːo]; "Goodbye beautiful") is an Italian protest folk song from the late 19th century, originally sung by the mondina workers in protest to the harsh working conditions in the paddy fields of northern Italy.
The song was modified and adopted as an anthem of the anti-fascist resistance by the Italian partisans between 1943 and 1945 during the Italian Resistance against the Nazi German forces occupying Italy, and, during the Italian Civil War, the Italian partisan struggle against the fascist Italian Social Republic and its Nazi German allies. Versions of "Bella ciao" continue to be sung worldwide as an anti-fascist hymn of freedom and resistance.
"Bella Ciao" was originally sung as "Alla mattina appena alzata" by seasonal workers of paddy fields of rice, especially in Italy's Po Valley from the late 19th century to the first half of the 20th century with different lyrics. They worked at monda (weeding) the rice fields in northern Italy, to help the healthy growth of young rice plants. It took place during the flooding of the fields, from the end of April to the beginning of June every year, during which the delicate shoots needed to be protected, during the first stages of their development, from temperature differences between the day and the night. It consisted of two phases: transplanting the plants and pruning the weeds.
Monda was an extremely tiring task, carried out mostly by women known as mondinas, from the poorest social classes. They would spend their workdays with their bare feet in water up to their knees, and their back bent for many hours. The atrocious working conditions, long hours and very low pay led to constant dissatisfaction and, at times, to rebellious movements and riots in the early years of the 20th century. The struggles against the supervising padroni was even harder, with plenty of clandestine workers ready to compromise even further the already low wages just to get work. Besides "Bella ciao", similar songs by the mondina women included "Sciur padrun da li beli braghi bianchi" and "Se otto ore vi sembran poche".
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. The earliest written version is dated 1906 and comes from near Vercelli, Piedmont.
|Italian lyrics||English translation|
Alla mattina appena alzata
In the morning I got up
|Italian lyrics||English translation|
Una mattina mi son svegliato,
One morning I awakened,
One of the most famous recordings is that of the Italian folk singer Giovanna Daffini who recorded both the mondina and the partisan versions. It appears in her 1975 album Amore mio non piangere. Many artists have recorded the song, including Herbert Pagani, Mary Hopkin, Sandie Shaw, and Manu Chao.
- 1964: Yves Montand as a single
- 1965: Milva as a single taken from her album Canti della libertà
- 1965: I Marcellos Ferial from their first album
- 1969: Quilapayún in the album Basta
- 1975: Giovanna Daffini in her album Amore mio non piangere
- 1975: Leslie Fish, on the album It’s Sister Jenny’s Turn to Throw the Bomb
- 1989: The Savage Rose on the album Ild og frihed
- 1989: Grup Yorum on the album Haziranda Ölmek Zor
- 1993: Modena City Ramblers on the album Combat Folk
- 1993: Banda Bassotti on the album Gridalo Forte Records 
- 1995: Thomas Fersen on the album Les Ronds de carotte
- 2001: Red Army Choir on the album The Definitive Collection
- 2001: Anita Lane on the album "Sex O'Clock"
- 2010: Talco on the album Combat Circus
- 2011: Boulevard des airs on their album Paris-Buenos Aires
- 2012: Goran Bregović on the album Champagne For Gypsies
- 2018: Marc Ribot and Tom Waits on the album Songs of Resistance 1942–2018 by Marc Ribot
- 2018: Hardwell and Maddix released a big room version
- 2019: DJ Ötzi melody only with rewritten lyrics in controversial approach
- 2019: Amparo Sánchez and Juan Pinilla released a Flamenca interpretation for the congress of the European Left
In addition to the original Italian, the song has been recorded by various artists in many different languages, including Albanian, Arabic, Belarusian, Bosnian, Breton, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, English, Esperanto, Finnish, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Hebrew, Japanese, Kashmiri, Kurdish, Persian, Macedonian, Malayalam, Marathi, Norwegian, Occitan, Punjabi, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Syriac, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil ,Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Turkish, Ukrainian and Yiddish.
- Azerbaijani Soviet singer Muslim Magomayev performed the song at some of his concerts and he stated that it was Brezhnev's favorite by him.
- The Chinese version of the song featured in the Chinese translation of the Yugoslavian film The Bridge.
- 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 on their album, Every Day Time Bomb.
- Former Yugoslav punk rock bands KUD Idijoti and later Goblini recorded their versions of the track.
- Hungarian punk rock band Aurora has performed the song.
- Folk 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".
- Swedish progg group Knuntna nävar included a version in Swedish named I Alla Länder on their album De svarta listornas folk from 1973.
- Danish psychedelic rock group The 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.
- French-born musician of Spanish origin Manu Chao has also recorded a version of the song.
- Kurdish Singer Ciwan Haco has included the song in his album Çaw Bella 1989 – Bochum – Germany. He sang it in Kurmanji Kurdish he added the Kurmanji masculine vocative case article 'lo' to the lyrics to give it some locality .
- Kurdish music band Koma Dengê Azadî has also included the song with a different style in their album Çaw Bella 1991 – Istanbul – Turkey. The song was revived during ISIS attack on Kobane 2014.
- The tune has been used in the song "Pilla Chao" from the 2011 Telugu language film Businessman, composed by S. Thaman and also dubbed as "Penne Chaavu" in the Malayalam version of the same film.
- The 2013 Hindi language film Besharam starring Ranbir Kapoor uses the tune in the song "Love Ki Ghanti."
- Italian ska punk band Talco recorded the song on their 2006 album Combat Circus.
- German Liedermacher Hannes Wader recorded a German version on Wader, Hannes (1977). Hannes Wader singt Arbeiterlieder [sings workers' songs] (in German). Mercury.
- Konstantin Wecker and Hannes Wader performed it live on their collaboration album Was für eine Nacht.
- Turkish band Grup Yorum have recorded a Turkish translation of the song on their 1988 album Haziranda Ölmek Zor / Berivan.
- Turkish band Bandista has recorded a Turkish version, "Hoşçakal", on their album Daima!, in 2011.
- Bosnian musician Goran Bregović has recorded one version on his album Champagne for Gypsies (2012).
- German folk duo Zupfgeigenhansel recorded a free adaptation on their 1982 album Miteinander 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.
- Thai anti-fascism band Faiyen recorded a Thai version of the song called "Plodploy Plianplaeng" (Thai: ปลดปล่อย เปลี่ยนแปลง, "Liberate and Change"). It has been used by the Red Shirts anti-fascism group since 2011.
- Spanish punk rock band Boikot recorded a modified version in Spanish.
- An a cappela version was recorded by The Swingle Singers in 1991 on their album Folk Music Around The World
- Belarusian folk punk band Dzieciuki recorded a modified version in Belarusian under the name "Трымайся, браце!" ("Hold fast, brother!").
- Patric recorded "Bèla Ciaò", a version in Occitan for his 2010 album, Colors.
- Mike Singer recorded an Electro dance version in June 2018.
- Hardwell and Maddix released an EDM version of the song in 2018.
- American DJ Steve Aoki and Marnik also made an EDM version in 2018.
- Marc Ribot collaborated with Tom Waits to create their own version for 2018. It is the first song Tom Waits has done in 2 years. This appears on the Marc Ribot album Songs of Resistance 1942–2018.
- In 2019, Extinction Rebellion modified the text to suit their mission and named their new version "Rebella Ciao".
- In 2019, Spanish singer Najwa released her take on the Spanish version of the song, that later served as the music in the ending credits of the fourth season of Money Heist (in which she plays Alicia Sierra).
- In September 2019, Lebanese singer Shiraz released her remixed version of the song that topped the Lebanese Singles Chart.
- In October 2019, in CAA and NRC protests Poojan Sahil, made a Hindi version "Wapas Jao" of Bella Ciao in Hindi.
- On 6 January 2020, a Hindi version of this song was used by protesters in Mumbai who were agitating against the Indian government (Citizenship Amendment Act protests).
- On 17 December 2020, with the rise of Farmers Protest in India, Poojan Sahil, made a rendition (not translation) of Bella Ciao in Punjabi against the new farm laws in India
- In 2020, protest group Men In Black Denmark, used the song's melody, renaming it "Mette Ciao", referring to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
In popular culture
As an internationally known hymn of freedom, it was intoned at many historic and revolutionary events. The song originally aligned itself with Italian partisans fighting against Nazi German occupation troops, but has since become to merely stand for the inherent rights of all people to be liberated from tyranny.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2021)
In 2017 and 2018, the song received renewed popularity due to the singing of "Bella ciao" multiple times in the Spanish television series Money Heist. The character Tokyo recounts in one of her narrations, "The life of the Professor revolved around a single idea: Resistance. His grandfather, who had fought against the fascists in Italy, taught him the song and he taught us." The song is played in emblematic moments in the series as a metaphor for freedom. The part 2 finale is also titled "Bella ciao."
As a result of the popularity of the series, there was a flood of music releases in 2018:
- El Profesor and Berlin original version from the series
- New Brazilian bass version of the song by Alok, Bhaskar, Jetlag Music, André Sarate and Adolfo Celdran
- In April 2018, Dutch hardstyle DJ duo Gunz For Hire (Ran-D & Adaro) released a remix of the song.
- On 18 May 2018, a completely revamped French version with new French-language lyrics keeping a few lines in Italian was released by Maître Gims, Vitaa, Dadju, Slimane and Naestro. The version topped SNEP, the official French Singles Chart and was certified Diamond in 2020.
- In June 2018, the German pop singer Mike Singer released his own version that charted on the German Singles Chart.
- In June 2018, DJs Steve Aoki and Marnik released an EDM cover of "Bella Ciao".
- In August 2018, Dutch DJs Maddix and Hardwell released their own twist on the popular song.
- On 21 May 2020, a version from Grup Yorum, of which two members had died due to a hunger strike, was aired instead of the Adhan from some minarets in İzmir; the authorities arrested a woman for the act the same day.
- In May 2021, American rapper Hopsin sampled the song in "Be11a Ciao". He cites Netflix series La Casa De Papel as his inspiration for including it in a song.
|14 April 2018||Bella Ciao (La Casa de Papel Remix)||Meder||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|14 April 2018||Bella Ciao||Bella Ciao||119||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|14 April 2018||Bella Ciao||The Bear||45||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|14 April 2018||Bella Ciao (1995 version)||Thomas Fersen||153||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|14 April 2018||Bella Ciao||Red Army Choir (Les Chœurs de l'Armée rouge)||147||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|21 April 2018||Bella Ciao||Sound of Legend||29||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|21 April 2018||Bella Ciao (Hugel Remix)||El Profesor||11||1||13||4
|28 April 2018||Bella Ciao||Ska J||159||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|5 May 2018||Bella Ciao||Manu Pilas||27||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|12 May 2018||Bella Ciao||Rémy||66||—||—||Tip||—||—||—||—|
|12 May 2018||Bella Ciao||El Profesor & Berlin||4||35||—||21
|19 May 2018||Bella Ciao||Naestro, Maître Gims, Vitaa, Dadju, Slimane||1||—||—||13||—||—||—||57|
|25 May 2018||Bella Ciao||Young Ellens||—||—||—||—||—||27||—||—|
|29 June 2018||Bella Ciao||Mike Singer||—||59||—||—||44||—||—||80|
The melody is often used as a football chant by Italian ultras groups of Cosenza Calcio, A.S. Livorno and also outside of Italy by A.E.K., Portland Timbers, Atlanta United FC, Motherwell, Aris Thessaloniki, Panathinaikos F.C. and FC Zürich fans.
In April 2018, supporters from the Portuguese soccer club F.C. Porto adapted the song with the lyrics "Penta Xau" ("Bye bye fifth"), referring to the lost opportunity by rival club S.L. Benfica to win a fifth national championship in a row, a feat only F.C. Porto has achieved in the country.
The song was also adapted by Brazilian fans during World Cup 2018 to tease and taunt Argentina about their possible exit in the first round, which eventually did not occur, with references to Argentine players Di María, Mascherano, and Messi (Brazil and Argentina have a well-known football rivalry).
The song was the inspiration for the #EleNão movement against extreme right wing Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro.
During nationwide protests in Colombia in 2019, the anti-fascist song was adapted by demonstrators to oppose the government of Iván Duque of the Centro Democrático party, who have been for years questioned or investigated for systematic violations of the Constitution, the environment, Human Rights and Crimes against humanity. As the presidential period of Duque ends in 2022, since 2019 the song, dubbed as 'Duque Chao', is sung and interpreted in protests in Colombia and by the diáspora, also during the national strike demonstrations of April and May 2021, in which citizens have been killed, injured and disappeared by state police forces.
In March 2020, the song once again gained international attention after Europeans and Italians in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy and Europe sang "Bella ciao" from the balconies of their housing complexes.
"Bella Ciao" has been used many times in soundtracks of films. Examples include:
- 1969: "Most (Savage Bridge)", directed by Hajrudin Krvavac, Yugoslavia
- 2000: À l'attaque! directed by Robert Guédiguian
- 2010: L'Immortel directed by Richard Berry, where "Bella Ciao" is sung by a prisoner
- 2012: Businessman directed by Puri Jagannadh, where "Pilla Chao" is sung by Vijay Surya
- 2013: "Besharam" directed by Abhinav Kashyap, where "Love Ki Ghanti" is sung by Sujeet Shetty, Ranbir Kapoor, & Amitosh Nagpal.
- 2017: Money Heist, Spanish TV series, sung many times by the robbers
- 2018: Bella Ciao!, a feature film. Whistled on soundtrack during the beginning title and performed by The Carnival Band in a scene.
- 2019: The Two Popes, a biographical film directed by Fernando Meirelles
- 2020: There Is No Evil, Iranian drama film directed by Mohammad Rasoulof
- "Bandiera Rossa" – another Italian revolutionary song
- "Fischia il vento" – another song associated with the Italian partisans
- Silverman, Jerry (2011). Songs That Made History Around the World. Mel Bay Publications. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-61065-016-8.
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- D. Massa, R. Palazzi and S. Vittone: Riseri d'al me coeur
- Marchenkov, Vladimir L. (26 June 2014). Arts and Terror. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 9781443862370 – via Google Books.
- 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)
- "Bella Ciao (delle Mondine)". www.antiwarsongs.org.
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- 2020: Daniele Vitale played Bella Ciao in this "BALCONY SAX PERFORMANCE" in ITALY during the COVID-19 period of self-isolation during the Spring.
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- "Bandista". Tayfabandista.org. Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
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- "ปลดปล่อย..เปลี่ยนแปลง". Youtube. 8 May 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
- The Swingle Singers – Around The World – Folk Music – An A Cappela Song Collection (CD, Album) at Discogs
- BELLA CIAO - Hindi Version | WAPAS JAO | Money Heist | Netflix, retrieved 10 September 2021
- Hum Bharat Vaasi – The Banned, retrieved 7 January 2020
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- "Turkey arrests woman after 'hacked' mosques play WWII anti-facist song". 21 May 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
- "Hopsin shares video for new song "Be11a Ciao" – Watch". 18 May 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
- Peak chart positions for singles in Poland:
- "Sing for the climate – Because we must raise our voices NOW". Sing for the Climate.
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- Ferreira, Marta Leite. "Com raízes na Alemanha, esta é a origem do novo cântico do FC Porto". Observador.
- "Brasileños adaptan 'Bella ciao' para burlarse y 'despedir' a Messi" (in Portuguese). msn.om. 22 June 2018.
- Simone Soares and Flavia Simão (24 September 2018). "EleNão: Aprenda a letra da música dos atos da Primavera feminista" [NotHim: Learn the lyrics of the anthem of Feminist Spring] (in Portuguese). Esquerda On-line. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
- "¡Que belleza, "Duque chao"!" (in Spanish) – via Twitter.
- "¿Qué cantó la gente que marchó el 21N en el paro nacional?" (in Spanish). El Tiempo. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
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- "View from Rome's rooftops: Singing offers hope but it doesn't hide fear and frustration". thelocal.it. 16 March 2020.
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|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Text of "Bella ciao" in 50 languages, with commentaries