Monday, April 25, 2005

Bella ciao - a rebel song, a liberation song

Not as famous as many traditional songs from my town Napoli, nor as "Volare (Nel blu dipinto di blu)", nor as "Quando, quando, quando", but if I have found more than 100 versions of "Bella ciao" on the net, by different artists, in many different genres and languages, that will mean something to many people. Right?

Surely that was the most played song today in Italy. Today was April 25, the Liberation Day in Italy. Liberation from nazi-fascist regime, reached by Partisans 60 years ago with a popular insurgence, before Allied Forces came to last hit to Nazi.

There are many many versions of "Bella ciao" as I said. Here comes someone.

A splendid ethereal and striking version by Anita Lane, Nick Cave's author and inspiring muse, member of the unseparable Bad Seeds, taken from his album “Sex o’clock” (Mute records 2001).
Anita Lane - Bella ciao

Another beautiful easy listening version of the song by Mirah, Phil Elverum's Microphones female vocalist, from his album “To all we stretch the open arm” with The Black Cat Orchestra (YoYo records 2004).
Mirah - Bella ciao

Another one by Spaceheads from the self-titled album (1996): a really strange version with experimental/avant/jazz/dub/trip/acoustic/techno/space contaminations, committed to the voice of Marion Coutts, singer out of the Dog Faced Hermans, anarcho-punk band from Netherlands.
Spaceheads - Bella ciao

To stay in anarcho-punk community, here comes another version of "Bella ciao" by Chumbawamba, unreleased and dedicated to Carlo Giuliani, the 20 years old italian boy killed by italian police in Genova, in the summer of 2001 during the protests against the G8 economy, liberism and their wild globalization.
Chumbawamba - Bella ciao

For the hard to please ones there is the version by Swingle Singers, famous ensamble made by Ward Swingle in the early ’60s in Paris.
Swingle Singers - Bella ciao

But the non-standard version are so many.
Could someone help me to give a name to this (hungarian?) heavy metal band? Vàltozat?
Vàltozat (?) - Bella ciao

Do you like this speed-folk-metal version by russian 44 Leningrad?
44 Leningrad - Bella ciao

Here you can find the punk version by swiss band PunkSeck
PunkSeck - Bella ciao

So many the ska versions too: german by Heiter Bis Wolkig, spanish by Los Canallas and italians by Banda Bassotti.
Heiter Bis Wolkig - Bella ciao
Los Canallas - Bella ciao
Banda Bassotti - Bella ciao

I finish with the folk version by italian Modena City Ramblers, that also comes at the end of their usual concert in the Piazza del Popolo in Rome, May 1st, International Workers' Day.
Modena City Ramblers - Bella ciao

Resistance. Now and ever.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice collection, and I am trying to download the files -- but your file hosting is terrible! has only let me d/l the first two songs.

PLEASE also include ID3 tags on your MP3s so that the file name does not matter. It gets truncated to the first word when I download (Firefox on a Mac).

I will try again later.

7:27 AM  
Blogger nrkey said...

If you still will have problems in downloading files, feel free to send a message to my e-mail ( and togheter we will try to find a solution.
Good luck :-)

10:38 AM  
Anonymous tumasch said...

Great songs, thanks a lot.
Do you know the turkish version, I think by a guy named Tekin, called "Ciao Bella"? That's one of my favorite versions.

11:39 PM  
Blogger nrkey said...

I know the turkish version "Çav Bella" by Grup Yorum from their 1988 album "Haziranda Ölmek Zor / Berivan".
Is it the same version than your?
Here comes the lyrics:

çav bella

işte bir sabah
uyandığımda çav bella....
elleri bağlanmış buldum yurdumu
her yanı işgal altında

sen ey partizan
beni de götür çav bella...
beni de götür dağlarınıza dayanamam tutsaklığa

eğer ölürsem
ben partizanca çav bella...
sen gömmelisin ellerinle beni
ellerinle toprağına

güneş doğacak
açacak çiçek çav bella...
gelip geçenler diyecek “merhaba”
“merhaba ey güzel çiçek”


12:14 PM  
Blogger nrkey said...

I'm looking for the version by Kýzýlýrmak and the one by Çeşitli (?). Do you know them?

12:33 PM  
Anonymous tumasch said...

I'm trying to find the "Tekin" song on the www, but can't find it right now; I look it up this evening in my archieve if it's the same as Grup Yorum's version.
I don't think I know Kýzýlýrmak or Çeşitli versions, but I will also check.
While searching for Tekin I ran across a version by Mahmut Abi, surf to
, but you probably know that one already ;-)
Later- Tumasch

3:15 AM  
Blogger nrkey said...

Watch out Tumasch!
Mahmut Abi's version is a parody of "Bella ciao".
I would like to believe that one is an humoristic version of the song.
I hope to be wrong but honestly it seems to me a bit offensive towards turkish (and italian) people, because the italian man (Sergio)playng with misunderstanding in the song advises and adresses Mahmut Abi (italian style admirer)to an easy girl named "Bella" to find sex.
Lyrics are really off topic in despite of the music theme.
I really like humorism and I hope that is a kind of satirical ..... A bad figure for us both turkish and italian people.
Have fun.

4:17 AM  
Anonymous tumasch said...

Well, that happens, when someone (like me) neither understands turkish nor italian :-(
I could translate german lyrics though :-)

5:48 AM  
Anonymous tumasch said...

Kýzýlýrmak & Çeşitli: sorry, don't have them.
The lyrics you posted are the lyrics used in the song I thought is by Tekin- maybe it's the same as Grup Yorum!
"My" song is played live by a single man with his guitar, almost at the end a second voice joins in. I'll drop you a note.

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Blogger der likedeeler said...

The Link for the Chumbawamba Version has changed: the new one is here:

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