A song by Chumbawamba I am misinformed (not the first time). This is actually a traditional song, my mother says from around the Second World War, covered and arranged by Chumbawamba. As I don't know the original lyrics, I cannot be sure, but I assume that Chumbawamba have added/changed some, although my mother says it is faithful to the original tune. It appears on Article 14, Irregular Records' benefit CD for Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture.

I like Chumbawamba. They're political and anti-capitalist and they make good music, something that an upbringing in folk music had taught me was a near-legendary combination. They pull it off. They're most famous for dumping a bucket of water over John Prescott at the Brit Awards. I was much more impressed when, at the same ceremony, they briefly changed the lyrics to their only hit, Tubthumping. The line "He sings a song to remind him of the good times, he sings a song to remind him of the best times" became "New Labour sold out the dockers, just like they sold out the rest of us". The dockers in question were the Liverpool dockers, who were on strike at the time.

My point being, this song is revolutionary, and also enjoyable. I think "Our sunlight is not for franchise" is a fantastic anti-capitalist sentiment, while the tune, being all jazz trombone and drums and saxophone and hand-clapping, is great for getting you dancing around your living room with a manic grin on your face. It's good music for summer holidays.

According to the album sleeve, Chumbawamba are joined by T. Greenwood on saxophone and S. Pugsley on trombone.

{Slow trombone instrumental}

One two three four!

{Instrumental of verse}

The world is waking outside my window
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
Drags my senses into the sunlight
For there are things that I must do

Wish me luck now; I have to leave you
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
With my friends now, up to the city
We're gonna shake the gates of hell

I will tell them, we will tell them
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
That our sunlight is not for franchise
And wish the bastards drop down dead

{clapping starts}
Next time you see me I may be smiling
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
I'll be in prison, or on the TV
{Female singer only}
I'll say the sunlight dragged me here

{Instrumental of first line}
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
{Instrumental of next two lines}

{Instrumental of first line}
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
{Instrumental of next two lines}

{clapping starts again}
I will tell them, we will tell them
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
That our sunlight is not for franchise
And wish the bastards drop down dead

Next time you see me I may be smiling
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
I'll be in prison, or on the TV
{Female singer only}
I'll say the sunlight dragged me here

{Instrumental of first line}
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
{Instrumental of next two lines}

{Instrumental of first line}
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
{Instrumental of next two lines}

Bella Ciao was the song of the Italian partisans of the Second World War ; its melody is from a traditionnal Italian folk song, usually sung by women working in the rice fields, but the words were written in 1942 by members of the Italian Communist Party, whose names are forgotten now. At the time those partisans were fighting the Fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini, for liberty... Though they had a peculiar vision of liberty : their Party had no qualms about killing people who had a different vision of liberty.

However the song is very beautiful ; and it quickly became one of the famous revolutionary songs of Europe, sung by all during the war, along with the Internationale. Indeed as the above write-up shows, it has been recently rediscovered by the anti-globalization movement.

Una mattina, Mi son' svegliato
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
Una mattina, Mi son' svegliato
E ho trovato l'invasor'.

This morning i woke up
And I saw the invader

O partigiano, Porta mi via
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
O partigiano, Porta mi via
Che mi sento di mori'.

O partisan take me away,
I feel I'm dying

Se io muio, Da partigiano
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
Se io muio, Da partigiano
Tu mi devi sepelli'.

If I die, as a partisan
You'll have to bury me

Mi sepellirai, Lassù 'n montagna
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
Mi sepellirai, Lassù 'n montagna
Sotto l'ombra d'un bel fior.

You'll bury me up on the mountain
In the shadow of a pretty flower

E la gente, Che passeranno
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
E la gente, Che passeranno
Che dirà : O che bel fior' !

And the people as they pass by
Will say : What a pretty flower !

Quest' è il fiore, Della partigiano
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao,
Quest' è il fiore, Della partigiano
Morta per la libertà !

It is the flower of the partisan
Who died for liberty

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