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Il Canto degli Italiani

Il Canto degli Italiani

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Il Canto degli Italiani (The Song of the Italians) is the Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 national anthem
National anthem
A national anthem is a generally patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people.- History :Anthems rose to prominence...

. It is best known among Italians as Inno di Mameli (Mameli's Hymn), after the author of the lyrics, or Fratelli d'Italia (Brothers of Italy), from its opening line
Incipit
Incipit is a Latin word meaning "it begins". The incipit of a text, such as a poem, song, or book, is the first few words of its opening line. In music, it can also refer to the opening notes of a composition. Before the development of titles, texts were often referred to by their incipits...

. The words were written in the autumn of 1847 in Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

, by the then 20-year-old student and patriot Goffredo Mameli
Goffredo Mameli
Goffredo Mameli was an Italian patriot, poet and writer, and a notable figure in the Italian Risorgimento. He is also the author of the lyrics of the current Italian national anthem.-Biography:...

, in a climate of popular struggle for unification and independence of Italy which foreshadowed the war against Austria
Italian Independence wars
The Wars of Italian Independence were three wars fought between Italian states and the Austrian Empire between 1848 and 1866, ending with the conquest of the entire Italian Peninsula...

. Two months later, they were set to music in Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

 by another Genoese
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

, Michele Novaro
Michele Novaro
Michele Novaro was an Italian songwriter. He composed the Italian national anthem popularly known as the "Inno di Mameli", which was unofficially adopted in 1946 and confirmed in 2005.-External links:...

. The hymn enjoyed widespread popularity throughout the period of the Risorgimento
Italian unification
Italian unification was the political and social movement that agglomerated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of Italy in the 19th century...

 and in the following decades.

After unification (1861) the adopted national anthem was the Marcia Reale
Marcia Reale
The Marcia Reale d'Ordinanza or Fanfara Reale was the official national anthem of Kingdom of Italy between 1861 and 1946...

, the Royal March (or Fanfara Reale), official hymn of the royal house of Savoy
House of Savoy
The House of Savoy was formed in the early 11th century in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, it grew from ruling a small county in that region to eventually rule the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until the end of World War II, king of Croatia and King of Armenia...

 composed in 1831 to order of Carlo Alberto di Savoia
Charles Albert of Sardinia
Charles Albert was the King of Piedmont-Sardinia from 1831 to 1849. He succeeded his distant cousin Charles Felix, and his name is bound with the first Italian statute and the First War of Independence...

. The Marcia Reale remained the Italian national anthem until the Italy became a republic in 1946.

Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century...

, in his Inno delle Nazioni (Hymn of the Nations), composed for the London International Exhibition of 1862, chose Il Canto degli Italiani and not the Marcia Reale to represent Italy, putting it beside God Save the Queen
God Save the Queen
"God Save the Queen" is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns...

 and the Marseillaise.

In 1946 Italy became a republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

, and on October 12, 1946, Il Canto degli Italiani was provisionally chosen as the country's new national anthem. This choice was made official in law only on November 17, 2005, almost 60 years later.

History


The first manuscript of the poem http://www.radiomarconi.com/marconi/fratell2ia.jpg, preserved at the Istituto Mazziniano in Genoa, appears in a personal copybook of the poet, where he collected notes, thoughts and other writings.
Of uncertain dating, the manuscript reveals anxiety and inspiration at the same time. The poet begins with È sorta dal feretro (It's risen from the bier) then seems to change his mind: leaves some room, begins a new paragraph and writes "Evviva l'Italia, l'Italia s'è desta" (Hurray Italy, Italy has awakened). The handwriting appears nervy and frenetic, with numerous spelling errors, among which are "Ilia" for "Italia" and "Ballilla" for "Balilla".

The last strophe is deleted by the author, to the point of being barely readable. It was dedicated to Italian women:
Italian
Tessete o fanciulle
bandiere e coccarde
fan l'alme gagliarde
l'invito d'amor.
English
Weave o maidens
flags and cockades
make souls gallant
the invitation of love.


The second manuscript is the copy that Mameli sent to Novaro for setting to music. It shows a much steadier handwriting, fixes misspellings, and has a significant modification: the incipit is "Fratelli d'Italia".
This copy is in the Museo del Risorgimento
Museum of the Risorgimento (Turin)
The Museum of the Risorgimento is one of the museums in Italy dedicated to the Risorgimento. It is housed in the Palazzo Carignano in Turin.-History:...

 in Turin.

The hymn was also printed on leaflets in Genoa, by the printing office Casamara. The Istituto Mazziniano has a copy of these, with hand annotations by Mameli himself. This sheet, subsequent to the two manuscripts, lacks the last strophe ("Son giunchi che piegano...") for fear of censorship. These leaflets were to be distributed on the December 10 demonstration, in Genoa.

December 10, 1847 was an historical day for Italy: the demonstration was officially dedicated to the 101st anniversary of the popular rebellion which led to the expulsion of the Austrian powers from the city; in fact it was an excuse to protest against foreign occupations in Italy and induce Carlo Alberto to embrace the Italian cause of liberty.
In this occasion the tricolor flag was shown and Mameli's hymn was publicly sung for the first time.

After December 10 the hymn spread all over the Italian peninsula, brought by the same patriots that participated to the Genoa demonstration.

Lyrics


This is the complete text of the original poem written by Goffredo Mameli; however the Italian anthem, as performed in every official occasion, is composed of the first stanza, sung twice, and the chorus, then ends with a loud "Sì!" ("Yes!"). The third stanza is an invocation to God to protect the loving union of the Italians struggling to form their unified nation once and for all, the fourth recalls popular heroic figures and moments of Italian independence such as the Vespri siciliani, the riot started in Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 by Balilla
Balilla
Balilla was the nickname of Giovan Battista Perasso, a Genoese boy who started the revolt of 1746 against the Habsburg forces that occupied the city in the War of the Austrian Succession by throwing a stone on an Austrian official....

 and the battle of Legnano
Battle of Legnano
The Battle of Legnano was fought on May 29, 1176, between the forces of the Holy Roman Empire, led by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, and the Lombard League.-The Lombard League:...

. The last stanza of the poem refers to the part played by Habsburg Austria and Czarist Russia in the partitions of Poland
Partitions of Poland
The Partitions of Poland or Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland for 123 years...

, linking its quest for independence to the Italian one.
Italian lyrics
Fratelli d'Italia,
l'Italia s'è desta,
dell'elmo di Scipio
s'è cinta la testa.
Dov'è la Vittoria?
Le porga la chioma,
ché schiava di Roma
Iddio la creò.

CORO:
Stringiamci a coorte,
siam pronti alla morte.
Siam pronti alla morte,
l'Italia chiamò.
Stringiamci a coorte,
siam pronti alla morte.
Siam pronti alla morte,
l'Italia chiamò, sì!

Noi fummo da secoli
calpesti, derisi,
perché non siam popolo,
perché siam divisi.
Raccolgaci un'unica
bandiera, una speme:
di fonderci insieme
già l'ora suonò.

CORO

Uniamoci, amiamoci,
l'unione e l'amore
rivelano ai popoli
le vie del Signore.
Giuriamo far libero
il suolo natio:
uniti, per Dio,
chi vincer ci può?

CORO

Dall'Alpi a Sicilia
dovunque è Legnano,
ogn'uom di Ferruccio
ha il core, ha la mano,
i bimbi d'Italia
si chiaman Balilla,
il suon d'ogni squilla
i Vespri suonò.

CORO

Son giunchi che piegano
le spade vendute:
già l'Aquila d'Austria
le penne ha perdute.
Il sangue d'Italia,
il sangue Polacco,
bevé, col cosacco,
ma il cor le bruciò.

CORO
English translation
Brothers of Italy,
Italy has woken,
Bound Scipio
Scipio Africanus
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus , also known as Scipio Africanus and Scipio the Elder, was a general in the Second Punic War and statesman of the Roman Republic...

's helmet
Upon her head.
Where is Victory
Victoria (mythology)
In ancient Roman religion, Victoria was the personified goddess of victory. She is the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Nike, and was associated with Bellona. She was adapted from the Sabine agricultural goddess Vacuna and had a temple on the Palatine Hill...

?
Let her bow down,
For God created her
Slave of Rome
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

.

CHORUS:
Let us join in a cohort
Cohort (military unit)
A cohort was the basic tactical unit of a Roman legion following the reforms of Gaius Marius in 107 BC.-Legionary cohort:...

,
We are ready to die.
We are ready to die,
Italy has called.
Let us join in a cohort,
We are ready to die.
We are ready to die,
Italy has called, yes!

We were for centuries
downtrodden, derided,
because we are not one people,
because we are divided.
Let one flag
Flag of Italy
The flag of Italy is a tricolour featuring three equally sized vertical pales of green, white, and red, with the green at the hoist side...

, one hope
gather us all.
The hour has struck
for us to unite.

CHORUS

Let us unite, let us love one another,
For union and love
Reveal to the people
The ways of the Lord.
Let us swear to set free
The land of our birth:
United, for God,
Who can overcome us?

CHORUS

From the Alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

 to Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

,
Legnano
Battle of Legnano
The Battle of Legnano was fought on May 29, 1176, between the forces of the Holy Roman Empire, led by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, and the Lombard League.-The Lombard League:...

 is everywhere;
Every man has the heart
and hand of Ferruccio
Francesco Ferruccio
Francesco Ferruccio was an Italian captain from Florence who fought in the Italian Wars.-Biography:...

The children of Italy
Are all called Balilla
Balilla
Balilla was the nickname of Giovan Battista Perasso, a Genoese boy who started the revolt of 1746 against the Habsburg forces that occupied the city in the War of the Austrian Succession by throwing a stone on an Austrian official....

;
Every trumpet blast
sounds the Vespers
Sicilian Vespers
The Sicilian Vespers is the name given to the successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out on the Easter of 1282 against the rule of the French/Angevin king Charles I, who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks three thousand French men and women were slain by...

.

CHORUS

Mercenary swords,
they're feeble reeds.
The Austrian eagle
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

Has already lost its plumes.
The blood of Italy
and the Polish blood
It drank, along with the Cossack,
But it burned its heart.

CHORUS

Audio


External links