INNO di MAMELI – Fratelli d’Italia

Inno Nazionale – Italian National Anthem

Goffredo Mameli – text Michele Novaro – music

The Italian national anthem is known under several names. The original name is “Il Canto degli Italiani”, but it is also called as the Brothers of Italy, Inno di Mameli, or Inno d’Italia.

It is a Risorgimento song written by Goffredo Mameli and set to music by Michele Novaro in 1847.

It was written in the key of Bb.

Although it was very popular during the Risorgimento, it was not the first Italian anthem..

In fact, in 1861, the House of Savoy, considering its text too republican and Jacobin, chose the Royal March as the Official Hymn of the newborn unification of Italy.

From 1943 to 1946, on the other hand, as an alternative to the Royal March, “The Legend of the Piave” was played and sung, as a patriotic hymn.

Il Canto degli italiani or better “Fratelli d’ItaliaWas chosen as the National Anthem on 12 October 1946, when, after the Second World War, Italy became a republic.

Curiosity: Il Canto degli Italiani – Fratelli d’Italia debuted on 10 December 1847 in Genoa on the occasion of a commemoration of the anti-Habsburg revolt in the Portoria district. 

The perpetrator of that revolt was a boy named Gian Battista Perasso known as Balilla.

Let us now recall the text, the known and the complete one, which is, without any doubt, much less known.

TESTO

Fra-telli 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 cre   ò.

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.

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. SI.

Lesser known text

Noi siamo da secoli Calpesti, derisi,

Perché non siam popolo, Perché siam divisi.

Raccolgaci un’unica Bandiera, una speme:

Di fonderci insieme Già l’ora suonò.

Stringiamci a coorte Siam pronti alla morte

Siam pronti alla morte L’Italia chiamò

Uniamoci, amiamoci, l’Unione, e l’amore

Rivelano ai Popoli Le vie del Signore;

Giuriamo far libero Il suolo natìo:

Uniti per Dio Chi vincer ci può?

Stringiamci a coorte Siam pronti alla morte

Siam pronti alla morte L’Italia chiamò

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.

Stringiamci a coorte Siam pronti alla morte

L’Italia chiamò.

Son giunchi che piegano e 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.

Stringiamci a coorte Siam pronti alla morte

Siam pronti alla morte L’Italia chiamò

Explanations:

l’elmo di Scipio: Italy has again on its head the helmet of Scipio (Scipio the African), the Roman general who in 202 BC defeated the Carthaginian Hannibal in Zama (now Algeria). Italy is back to fight. 

Le porga la chioma: Victory will be of Rome, that is of Italy. In ancient Rome, female slaves were cut their hair. So Victory will have to offer her hair to be cut, because Victory is a slave to Rome which will be the winner.

coorte: in the Roman army the legions (ie the army), was divided into many cohorts. Let’s join together in a cohort therefore means we remain united among us, fighters who are ready to die for our ideal. 

calpesti: trampled on

Raccolgaci: the language of Mameli is the poetic language of the nineteenth century. This pick us up in modern Italian would be pick us up, an exhortative subjunctive that assimilates the direct pronoun. The meaning is: it must gather us, hold us together. 

una speme: another literary and archaic word. It means hope. However, it is not too surprising that Mameli uses these words. In the language of pop music songs around 1950, these words are still found.

fonderci insieme: in the years of Goffredo Mameli Italy is still divided into many small states. The text says that it is time to merge, to achieve national unity. 

per Dio: here a double interpretation is quite possible. For God it is a Frenchism and therefore means “from God”: if we are united by God, by God’s will, no one will ever be able to overcome us. It is certain, however, that in Italian “per Dio” can also be an expletive, a rather strong exclamation. What did Goffredo Mameli ever want to mean? Since he was twenty, we like to think that he himself wanted to play on a double meaning (after all his relations with the Vatican were not very good, so much so that he died in Rome where he was fighting for the Republic)

Dovunque è Legnano: every Italian city is Legnano, the place where in 1176 the Lombard communes defeated the German Emperor Federico Barbarossa.

Ferruccio: every man is like Francesco Ferrucci, the man who defended Florence from Emperor Charles V in 1530. 

Balilla: is the nickname of the child who with the throwing of a stone in 1746 started the revolt in Genoa against the Austro-Piedmontese.

I Vespri: In 1282 the Sicilians rebelled against the invading French one evening, at the time of vespers. The revolt was then called the revolt of the Sicilian Vespers.

Le spade vendute: the mercenary soldiers bend like rushes and the eagle, symbol of Austria, loses its feathers. 

Il sangue polacco: Austria, allied with Russia (the Cossack), drank Polish blood, divided and dismembered Poland. But that blood drunk poisons the enemy.

Video: Fratelli d’Italia

Un abbraccio/ a big Hug

Marcus Dardi

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