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Bella ciao (English translation)

Italian
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Bella ciao

Una mattina mi son svegliato1
o bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
una mattina mi son svegliato
e ho trovato l’invasor.2
 
O partigiano, portami via,
o bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
o partigiano, portami via
che mi sento di morir.3
 
E se io muoio da partigiano4
o bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
e se io muoio da partigiano
tu mi devi seppellir.
 
E seppellire lassù in montagna,
o bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
e seppellire lassù in montagna
sotto l’ombra di un bel fior.
 
Tutte le genti che passeranno,
o bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
tutte le genti che passeranno
mi diranno: «Che bel fior!»
 
E questo è il fiore del partigiano
o bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
e questo è il fiore del partigiano
morto per la libertà.
E questo è il fiore del partigiano
morto per la libertà.
 
  • 1. Altre versioni recitano «(que)sta mattina mi sono alzato».
  • 2. L'invasore sono i soldati tedeschi. Italia e Germania erano alleati nella Seconda Guerra Mondiale, fino all'8 settembre 1943, quando l'Italia si arrese agli Alleati. Questo portò la Germania a occupare parti del territorio italiano, e alla guerra civile, fino alla fine della guerra nel 1945.
  • 3. Questo può significare «perché sento che sto per morire» o «perché non ho più voglia di vivere».
  • 4. Partigiano si riferisce specificamente a un membro della Resistenza italiana contro i nazi-fascisti durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale.
Last edited by Valeriu RautValeriu Raut on Wed, 12/06/2019 - 08:57
English translationEnglish
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Farewell My Darling

Versions: #1#2#3#4
One morning I woke up
Oh, farewell my darling, farewell my love, farewell my sweet, farewell, farewell
One morning I woke up
And I discovered an invader.
 
Oh partisan, take me with you,
Oh, farewell my darling, farewell my love, farewell my sweet, farewell, farewell
Oh partisan, take me with you
For I feel like I am about to die
 
And if I die as a partisan
Oh, farewell my darling, farewell my love, farewell my sweet, farewell, farewell,
And if I die as a partisan
You must then bury me.
 
And bury me up there, in the mountains
Oh, farewell my darling, farewell my love, farewell my sweet, farewell, farewell
And bury me up there, in the mountains
Below the shadow of a beautiful flower.
 
And all the people who pass on by
Oh, farewell my darling, farewell my love, farewell my sweet, farewell, farewell
And all the people who pass on by
They will say of me: "What a beautiful flower!"
 
And such is the flower of the partisan
Oh, farewell my darling, farewell my love, farewell my sweet, farewell, farewell
He died for our freedom,
And such is the flower of the partisan
He died for our freedom.
 
Thanks!
thanked 21 times
Submitted by Ww WwWw Ww on Thu, 12/09/2019 - 05:02
Last edited by Ww WwWw Ww on Wed, 15/04/2020 - 18:29
Author's comments:

A nonlyrical guitar/accordion version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ij5JaEIcPc

Comments
IceyIcey    Mon, 06/04/2020 - 21:31

The translation is overall very well made, but there's one, important misunderstanding regarding the main line.
"Bella" is female, while a word like "ciao", not having any gender, would be automatically associated with the male form, which is the one used to cover anything that doesn't have any assigned gender in Italian (e.g. loanwords are for the vast majority masculine, except some exceptions usually linked to some very specific reason). Hence, "bella" is most definitely not an adjective of "ciao", but a substantive, referring to the partisan's woman, to whom he's talking to throughout the song ("tu mi devi seppellire lassù in montagna, sotto l’ombra di un bel fior"): http://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/bella
The most basic and direct translation of "bella, ciao" is surely "bye, beauty", you may play a bit with the line, but that's it means in any case. "A fine farewell" or "a fine hello" are translations that went very astray from the actual meaning.

Ww WwWw Ww    Mon, 06/04/2020 - 22:20

I would agree only if it was Ciao, Bella/Ciao Bella. That would give it the meaning that others believe it has. But it pertains to Italia (to a partisan in this version). A singular feminine entity. There is no mention of a human woman to reaffirm the meaning as pertaining to a woman. If the writer was addressing someone inimitably the writer failed expound on it at all in the lyrics (no love story). The story line would go in a different direction. If researched you will find that this song has had numerous changes in lyrics covering the 19th century to the present. This is a latter version and appears to be 20th century. Bella ciao therefore takes on a different meaning in this version.

As you have referenced on that link it does not identify women alone. Beyond that link it is a descriptor/adjective that also has the general definition of nice or beautiful. In this form it can pertain to such things as the day, the weather, positive attributes of a person, quantity, et cetera. Keep it mind it is the feminine version of bello. In that circumstance it applies to the greeting of ciao and is therefore a modifier/adjective to it as a noun. Ciao is the object in this case (to Italy, the feminine addressee) . I would expect to see Ciao, Belle if speaking in the plural. Bella ciao to be about a woman (maiden) would be Bella, Ciao. So bella ciao is like good day/morrow to you. Something to consider...

IceyIcey    Tue, 07/04/2020 - 08:53

"Bella ciao" is not the neatest Italian line you could find, but folk songs tend to take several linguistic liberties and I don't expect a non-fluent speaker to figure it out alone, because it's a really tricky sentence. But I ask you to trust the sensibility of a native speaker when I say that "ciao" is no substantive here and it can't be. As I said, if it was, it would require a "bel" instead of "bella", and there's just no doubt on that.

And no, this is surely not a love song, but this doesn't mean the partisan can't be talking to his wife/fiancé/lover. The general meaning of the song is: a man wakes up realising his country was invaded and decides to go and fight it, so he bids farewell to his wife/fiancé/lover, accepting the fact he might never see her again and in such case, he asks her to bury him in the mountains. You can argue that this "bella" might refer to his country, that would actually be a possibility, but there's no arguing on the fact that "ciao" is not a substantive here and if it was, it would definitely not be female.

Again, this text is not the easiest and doesn't use the plainest Italian possible, and as a native speaker I'm telling you which parts you missed to figure out as a non-fluent speaker.

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