Words & Melody: Italian, 1940s
Arranged: Ricardo Andino
It’s been said that this was a workers’ song for Italian women, with the same origins as La Lega. However, the version we’ve learned is that of the Italian partisans of World War II marching against the Nazi invader, and it tells of a soldier’s wish to be buried in the mountains beneath a beautiful flower if they should have to die for liberty.
One morning I was awakened and found the invader
Oh partisan, take me away, I feel I am dying
And if I die with the partisan you must bury me
And bury me up there on the mountain under the shade of a beautiful flower
All the people who will pass by will say: “Oh what a lovely flower!”
And this is the flower of the partisan who died for freedom!
Una mattina mi sono alzata,
O bella ciao, bella ciao,
Bella ciao, ciao, ciao.
Una mattina mi sono alzata
E ho trovato l’invasor.
O partigiano portami via…
Che mi sento di morir.
E se io muoio da partigiano…
Tu mi devi seppellir.
E seppellire lassù in montagna…
Sotto l’ombra di un bel fior.
Tutte le gente che passeranno…
Gli diranno: ‘O che bel fior!’
E questo é il fiore del partigiano…
Morto per la libertà!