Tune of the Day: Bella ciao
“Bella ciao” (“Goodbye beautiful”) is an Italian protest folk song that originated in the hardships of the mondine, the paddy field workers in the late 19th century who sang it to protest against harsh working conditions in the paddy fields of North 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, the resistance of Italian partisans against the Nazi German forces occupying Italy, during the Italian Civil War, and the Italian partisan struggle against the fascist Italian Social Republic and its Nazi German allies. Versions of “Bella ciao” are still sung worldwide as an anti-fascist hymn of freedom and resistance.
One of the most famous recordings is that by the Italian folk singer Giovanna Daffini, who recorded both the mondina and the partisan versions. Many artists have recorded the song, including Herbert Pagani, Mary Hopkin, Sandie Shaw, and Manu Chao.
In 2012, the melody was adopted with adapted lyrics as a worldwide environmental activist song titled “Do it now”, demanding political action against global warming.
In 2017, the song received renewed popularity due to the singing of “Bella ciao” multiple times in the Spanish television series Money Heist. As a result of the popularity of the series, there was a flood of music releases in 2018.
In March 2020, the song once again gained international attention after Europeans and Italians in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic in Italy and Europe sang “Bella ciao” from the balconies of their housing complexes.
Thanks to Steve for suggesting this tune!