Il Canto degli Italiani

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Goffredo Mameli, author of the anthem

"Il Canto degli Italiani" (Italian pronunciation: [il ˈkanto deʎʎ itaˈljaːni]; "The Song of the Italians") also known as "Inno di Mameli" (Italian pronunciation: [ˈinno di maˈmɛːli]; Mameli's Hymn, from the name of the author) and "Fratelli d'Italia" (Italian pronunciation: [fraˈtɛlli diˈtaːlja]; "Brothers of Italy", from the incipit) is the Italian national anthem.[1]

The words were written by Goffredo Mameli in the autumn of 1847 in Genoa when he was 20-years-old. The words were later set to music by Michele Novaro in the same year. The song was successful during the Risorgimento because of hopes in the unification of the Italy. After the unification in 1861, however, the Marcia Reale was adopted as Savoy's official anthem. "Il Canto degli Italiani" became the anthem of Italy after 1946, when Italy became a republic.[2]

In 2012, a bill was pass in making schools to teach the line "Fratelli d'Italia" in the anthem.[3]

Lyrics[change | change source]

Italian original IPA transcription English translation

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!

Noi fummo da secoli[N 1]
calpesti, derisi,
perché non siam popolo,
perché siam divisi.
Raccolgaci un'unica
bandiera, una speme:
di fonderci insieme
già l'ora suonò.


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?


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.


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.


[fraˈtɛlli diˈtaːlja |]
[liˈtaːlja ˌsɛ dˈdesta |]
[delˈlelmo di ʃˈʃiːpjo]
[ˌsɛ tˈtʃinta la ˈtɛsta ǁ]
[doˈvɛ lla vitˈtɔːrja |]
[le ˈpɔrɡa la ˈkjɔːma |]
[ke ˈskjaːva di ˈroːma]
[idˈdiːo la kreˈɔ ǁ]

[strinˈdʒantʃ a kkoˈorte |]
[ˌsjam ˈprontj alla ˈmɔrte ǁ]
[ˌsjam ˈprontj alla ˈmɔrte |]
[liˈtaːlja kjaˈmɔ ǁ]
[strinˈdʒamtʃ a kkoˈorte |]
[ˌsjam ˈprontj alla ˈmɔrte ǁ]
[ˌsjam ˈprontj alla ˈmɔrte |]
[liˈtaːlja kjaˈmɔ ǁ]

[ˌnoi ˈfummo da (s)ˈsɛːkoli]
[kalˈpesti | deˈriːzi |]
[perˈke nnon ˌsjam ˈpɔːpolo |]
[perˈke sˌsjam diˈviːzi ǁ]
[rakˈkɔlɡatʃ uˈnuːnika]
[banˈdjɛːra (|) una ˈspɛːme |]
[di ˈfondertʃ inˈsjɛːme]
[ˌdʒa lˈloːra swoˈnɔ ǁ]


[uˈnjaːmotʃ(i |) aˈmjaːmotʃi |]
[luˈnjoːn(e) e llaˈmoːre]
[riˈveːlano ai ˈpɔːpoli]
[le ˈviːe del siɲˈɲoːre ǁ]
[dʒuˈrjaːmo far ˈliːbero]
[il ˈswɔːlo naˈtiːo |]
[uˈniːti | per ˈdiːo |]
[ˌki vˈvintʃer tʃi ˈpwɔ ǁ]


[dalˈlalpj a ssiˈtʃiːlja]
[doˈvuŋkw(e) ˌɛ lleɲˈɲaːno |]
[oɲˈɲwɔn di ferˈruttʃo]
[ˌa il ˈkɔːre | ˌa lla ˈmaːno |]
[i ˈbimbi diˈtaːlja]
[si ˈkjaːmam baˈlilla |]
[il ˈswɔn ˌdoɲɲi ˈskwilla]
[i ˈvɛspri swoˈnɔ ǁ]


[ˌson ˈdʒuŋki ke pˈpjɛːɡano]
[le ˈspaːde venˈduːte |]
[ˌdʒa lˈlaːkwila ˈdaustrja]
[le ˈpenne ˌa pperˈduːte ǁ]
[il ˈsaŋɡwe diˈtaːlja |]
[il ˈsaŋɡwe poˈlakko |]
[beˈve | kol koˈzakko |]
[ma il ˈkɔr le bruˈtʃɔ ǁ]


Brothers of Italy,[N 2]
Italy has woken,[N 3]
bound Scipio's helmet[N 4]
Upon her head.[N 5]
Where is Victory?[N 6]
Let her bow down,[N 7]
Because as a slave of Rome[N 8]
God created her.[N 9]

Let us join in a cohort,[N 10]
we are ready for death.[5]
We are ready for death,
Italy has called.[N 11]
Let us join in a cohort,
We are ready for death.
We are ready for death,
Italy has called![N 12]

We were for centuries
downtrodden, derided,
because we are not one people,
because we are divided.[N 13]
Let one flag, one hope
gather us all.
The hour has struck
for us to unite.[N 14]


Let us unite, let us love one another,
Union and love
Reveal to the peoples
The ways of the Lord.
Let us swear to set free
The land of our birth:
United, by God,
Who can overcome us?[N 15]


From the Alps to Sicily,
Legnano is everywhere;[N 16]
Every man hath the heart
and hand of Ferruccio[N 17]
The children of Italy
Are all called Balilla;[N 18]
Every trumpet blast
soundeth the Vespers.[N 19]


The mercenary swords
Are feeble reeds.[N 20]
Already the Eagle of Austria
Hath lost its plumes.[N 21]
The blood of Italy,
the Polish blood[N 22]
It drank, along with the Cossack,[N 23]
But it burned its heart.[N 24]


Notes[change | change source]

  1. A different tense may be found: Noi siamo da secoli, "We have been for centuries".
  2. The Italians belong to a single people and are therefore "brothers"
  3. "Italy has woken up", that is, it is ready to fight.
  4. Scipio Africanus, winner of Battle of Zama, is brought as an example for the ability of the Roman Republic to recover from the defeat and fight valiantly and victoriously against the enemy.
  5. Scipione's helmet, which Italy has now worn, is a symbol of the impending struggle against the Austrian Empire oppressor
  6. The goddess Victoria. For a long time the goddess Vittoria was closely linked to ancient Rome, but now she is ready to dedicate herself to the new Italy for the series of wars that are necessary to drive the foreigner out of the national soil and to unify the country.
  7. Le porga la chioma can also be more literally translated as "Let her tender her hair to Rome" or "Tender her hair". Here the poet refers to the use, in ancient Rome, of cutting hair to slaves to distinguish them from free women who instead wore long hair. So the Victory must turn the hair to Italy to be cut off and become "slave" of it.
  8. The sense is that ancient Rome made, with its conquests, the goddess Victoria "its slave".
  9. Ancient Rome was great by God's design.
  10. The phrase "cohort" can also be translated more literally as "Let us tighten in a cohort". The cohort (in Latin cohors, cohortis) was a combat unit of the Roman army, tenth part of a Roman legion. This very strong military reference, reinforced by the appeal to the glory and military power of ancient Rome, once again calls all men to arms against the oppressor.
  11. It alludes to the call to arms of the Italian people with the aim of driving out the foreign ruler from national soil and unifying Italy, still divided into pre-unification states.
  12. Although the final exclamation, "Yes!", is not included in the original text, it is always used in all official occasions.
  13. Mameli underlines the fact that Italy, understood as the Italian region, was not united. At the time, in fact, (1847) it was still divided into nine states. For this reason, Italy had for centuries been often treated as a land of conquest.
  14. The hope that Italy, still divided in the pre-unification states, will finally gather under a single flag, merging into one country.
  15. The third verse, which is dedicated to the political thought of Giuseppe Mazzini, founder of Young Italy and Young Europe, incites the search for national unity through the help of divine providence and thanks to the participation of the entire Italian people finally united in an intent common.
  16. In the Battle of Legnano of 29 May 1176 the Lombard League defeated Frederick Barbarossa, here the event rises to symbolize the fight against foreign oppression. Legnano, thanks to the historic battle, is the only city, besides Rome, to be mentioned in the Italian national anthem.
  17. Francesco Ferruccio, symbol of the siege of Florence (2 August 1530), with which the troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, wanted to bring down the Republic of Florence to restore the Medici lordship. In this circumstance, the dying Ferruccio was cowardly finished with a stab by Fabrizio Maramaldo, a captain of fortune in the service of Carlo V. "Vile, you kill a dead man", were the famous words of infamy that the hero addressed to his killer.
  18. Nickname of Giovan Battista Perasso who on 5 December 1746 began, with the throwing of a stone, to an officer, to the Genoese revolt that ended with the chase of the Archduchy of Austria, who had occupied the city for several months.
  19. The Sicilian Vespers, the Easter Monday uprising of 1282 against the French extended to all of Sicily after having begun in Palermo, unleashed by the sound of all the bells of the city.
  20. Mercenaries, whose use is anachronistically attributed to Austrian Empire, not valiant as the patriotic heroes, but weak as rushes.
  21. Austrian Empire is in decline.
  22. Poland, too, had been invaded by Austrian Empire, which had been dismembered with the help of Russian Empire and Kingdom of Prussia. The fate of Poland is singularly linked to that of Italy. Also Poland's anthem "Poland Is Not Yet Lost" was written in Italy and originally titled ″Song of the Polish Legions in Italy″.
  23. With the Russian Empire.
  24. A wish and an omen: the blood of oppressed peoples, who will rise up against the Austrian Empire, will mark the end.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Italy – "Il Canto degli Italiani"". Retrieved 2011-11-24.
  2. Riconoscimento del «Canto degli italiani» di Goffredo Mameli quale inno nazionale della Repubblica (2017-12-04). Gazzetta Ufficiale.
  3. "INNO DI MAMELI, INSEGNAMENTO OBBLIGATORIO NELLE SCUOLE ITALIANE. LA CAMERA PPROVA IL DDL | Data 24 News | Sondaggio | Media | Politica". Archived from the original on 2014-11-13. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
  4. Simboli – Inno.
  5. Renga, Dana (5 July 2019). Mafia Movies: A Reader, Second Edition. p. 216. ISBN 978-1487520137.