The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #3662   Message #31473
Posted By: Ferrara
26-Jun-98 - 08:17 PM
Thread Name: Bella Ciao - WAV Files
Subject: RE: Bella Ciao - WAV Files
Two versions of Bella Ciao, words and music, are given in Jan/Feb 1971 SING OUT! (vol. 20, No. 3), if you can get hold of it.

One is almost identical to the version Ezio typed. The other is a woman's work song, sung by the rice workers in the Po Valley in Northern Italy. The article says the movie "Bitter Rice" is a good portrayal of those women's lives. Here is the song. I don't know whether it was earlier or later than the partisans' song, I suspect later. I also wonder whether there was originally a love song to the same tune?

Ezio, (or anyone), please correct any errors in the translation. It's singable, more or less, which meant I took a couple of small liberties.

Alla mattina, appena alzata,
O Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
Alla mattina, appena alzata,
In risaiami tocca andar.

In early morning, we've hardly wakened,
O bella ciao etc.
In early morning, we've hardly wakened,
To the rice fields we all must go.

(Same pattern for the rest of the song:)

E tra gli insetti e le zanzare, ...
Duro lavor ci tocca far.

And mid the insects and the mosquitoes ...
Hard labor is our lot.

IL Capo in piedi col suo bastone, ...
E noi curve a lavorar.

The boss stands upright, holding his truncheon ...
As we stoop and bend to work.

O mamma mia, o che tormento, ...
Io t'invoco ogni doman.

My dearest mother, this life is torture ...
Every day I call your name.

Ma verra' un giorno che tutte quante
lavoreremo in liberta'.

But a day is coming when all together
We shall work in liberty.