An obscure 19th century folk song was adopted and updated by Italian partisans because it tells the story of hardship, loss and separation. Roughly translated the song is ‘Goodbye Beautiful.’
Although the song is now increasingly famous (massive crowds sung the song in protests in Italian cities against racism at the end of 2019), it was not always the more famous or popular partisan song.
‘Fischia il Vento’ is considered the official song of the Italian partisans, but Bella Ciao, with its rousing and defiant tune as well as the updated and reflective lyrics depicting patriotic sacrifice, became popular among Italian Trade Unionists in the 1950’s. It is still sung now to both celebrate the individuals, their great achievements or mourn their passing.
Many Italians find the song uplifting and patriotic and it is often seen as a battle cry, a symbol of Italy’s social history. It is a song of love, hope and defiance.