The Song of the Italians

“Il Canto degli Italiani” is the national anthem of Italy.  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 the opening line.  The words were written in 1847 in Genoa by a 20-year old student and patriot Goffredo Mameli.  Two months later they were set to music in Turin by another Genovese, Michele Novaro.

The hymn enjoyed widespread popularity throughout Risorgimento and in the following decades.  Nevertheless, after Italian unification in 1861, the adopted national anthem was the “Marcia Reale” (Royal March), the official hymn of the House of Savoy composed in 1831.  After the second world war, Italy became a republic and on October 12, 1946, Il Canto degli Italiani was provisionally chosen as the country’s new national anthem.  The choice was made official in law only on November 23, 2012.

FRATELLI d’Italia

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.

Brothers of Italy,
Italy has woken,
Bound Scipio’s helmet
Upon her head.
Where is Victory?
Let her bow down,[12]
For God created her
Slave of Rome.

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!

CHORUS
Let us join in a 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!

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.

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

CORO / CHORUS

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?

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?

CORO / CHORUS

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.

From the Alps to Sicily,
Legnano is everywhere;
Every man has the heart
and hand of Ferruccio
The children of Italy
Are all called Balilla;
Every trumpet blast
sounds the Vespers.

CORO / CHORUS

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

Mercenary swords,
they’re feeble reeds.
The Austrian eagle
Has already lost its plumes.
The blood of Italy
and the Polish blood
It drank, along with the Cossack,
But it burned its heart.

CORO / CHORUS

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