Song Origins: Bella Ciao

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3 years ago
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At first, I heard this song and used it as one of our chants during the 30th South East Asian Games Football between the Philippines & Malaysia U-22, although we created it hours before kick-off. Our Malaysian brothers in Johor, the Boys of Straits - supporters of Johor Darul Ta'zim FC have their version of Bella Ciao. As the song became an anthem to different football clubs around Europe, but we'll tackle that later on.

It became popular for today's generation and part of the TV Series La Casa de Papel (The House of Paper) internationally known as Money Heist. I was able to finish the series during the weekend and became obsessed with it.

Sergio "El Professor" Marquina

Bella Ciao in the TV series was taught by Sergio/The Professor's grandfather who was part of the Partisan movement to fight fascism & the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini, as for the gang they sang this after digging the tunnel from a vault as their escape route, and Sergio & Andres (Berlin) sang this before their heist day at the Royal Mint of Spain. But looking back from its history, originally it was a protest folk song of rural Italy, where the hardships of the Modine in the 19th Century sang this against harsh working conditions in the rice fields.

The Partisans of World War II, Italy.

No one who wrote the song either. Decades later it adopted from 1943 to 1945 as they changed the lyrics, and became an anthem for the Italian resistance where El Partizano (The Partisans) - a group of young soldiers where they escape conscription, and to fight for freedom against German forces occupying Italy. Years later, it became an anthem for football clubs around Europe. The video below is from the supporters of A.S. Livorno Calcio in Livorno, Tuscany.

With the show's popularity, a Tifo (banner) was dedicated to the series during the match of Olympiakos and AC Milan (video below).

The song reached the shores of the United States. It became a chant for Atlanta United (video below) who are currently playing for the Major League Soccer. Your thoughts on this football chant? Post it in the comments down below.

From the football terraces to various covers of other artists it became a revolutionary song From Europe to the Middle East. From the left-wing Syriza party took power in Greece in 2015, the independence protests of the Catalans in Barcelona, Spain, the Yellow Vest movement 2 years ago in France, to the never-ending protests of Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, and Syria. Once again, the song gained international attention last year where all of Europe was in lockdown due to the pandemic as they sang it from their balconies.

From the rice fields of Italy to the Italian resistance during World War II. From football stadiums to global protests. From variations of different artists, Money Heist's popularity, to the current situation we face today. Bella Ciao represents rebellion against their oppressors, anti-establishment sentiments, and resistance against the system. For the full lyrics both from the Mondine & El Partizano, click/tap here to read more.


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