Bandiera Rossa

Bandiera Rossa (Italian for "Red Flag"), often also called Avanti Popolo after its opening words (also to avoid any confusion with The three flags, another socialist song) is one of the most famous songs of the Italian labour movement. It glorifies the red flag, symbol of the socialist and communist movement. The text was written by Carlo Tuzzi in 1908; the melody is taken from two Lombard folk songs.

Bandiera Rossa

Political Song of Italy
LyricsCarlo Tuzzi, 1889
Audio sample
Bandiera Rossa performed by Corale Verdi Milano between 1900 and 1959

VersionsEdit

Apart from the first Italian text, there are several variants which are identified with certain socialist or communist parties. The last two lines "Evviva il comunismo e la libertà" were put in the text after the rise of Benito Mussolini; at the same time the original beginning "Compagni avanti alla riscossa" was changed to "Avanti o popolo, alla riscossa". Also, the word "comunismo" at the end of the chorus is often replaced with "socialismo", especially in more recent renderings of the song.

Influence on other worksEdit

Art musicEdit

Bandiera Rossa was notably quoted in Frederic Rzewski's piano works The People United Will Never Be Defeated! and No Place to Go but Around.

In popular cultureEdit

Notable covers of the song were made by the Slovenian punk-rock band Pankrti in 1984 on the Rdeči album (Red album),[1][2] as well as the Croatian punk-rock band KUD Idijoti in 1990, on their album Mi smo ovdje samo zbog para (We are only here for the money). Scottish band, Tarneybackle released a version of the song as part of a medley of Spanish Civil War music.[3] The song also appears on UK punk/oi! band Angelic Upstarts' 2002 album Sons of Sparticus.

The title of the 1986 Israeli film Avanti Popolo is taken from the song. The film's protagonists – Israeli and Egyptian soldiers, particularly unheroic in their attitudes and actions, wander the Sinai Desert in the aftermath of the 1967 War. In one notable scene, the soldiers facetiously sing the song.

Excerpt from the textEdit

First verse:
Avanti popolo, alla riscossa,
Bandiera rossa, Bandiera rossa.
Avanti popolo, alla riscossa,
Bandiera rossa trionferà.

Refrain:

Bandiera rossa trionferà
Bandiera rossa trionferà
Bandiera rossa trionferà
Evviva il comunismo e la libertà.
Literal Translation:
Forward people, towards redemption
Red Flag, Red Flag
Forward people, towards redemption
Red Flag will triumph.
Red Flag will be triumphant,
Red Flag will be triumphant,
Red Flag will be triumphant,
Long live communism and freedom.

This version translated for marxists.org by Clara Statello and Mitchell Abidor.[4]

Foreign-language versionsEdit

One of the most widely known Italian songs, Bandiera Rossa has been rendered in several languages including: English, Croatian, Slovenian, German,[5] French,[6] Swedish,[7] Norwegian, Danish,[8] Turkish,[9] Kurdish,[9] Finnish,[10] Icelandic, Maltese, Russian,[10] Esperanto,[11] and Filipino.[12]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Bandiera Rossa by Pankrti. YouTube.
  2. ^ "Pankrti – Rdeči Album (1984, Vinyl)".
  3. ^ "CDs and Reviews". www.tarneybackle.co.uk. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Lyrics: Bandiera rossa (Marxists Internet Archive)". 2015-06-23. Retrieved 2015-06-23.
  5. ^ "DDR Lieder - "Bandiera Rossa"" [GDR Song - "Bandiera Rossa"] (in French). YouTube. 2011-08-16. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  6. ^ "Bandiera rossa - (Französisch)". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2013-10-06. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  7. ^ "Bandiera Rossa". YouTube. 2008-08-30. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  8. ^ "Søren Sidevind - Avanti Popolo". YouTube. 2010-01-06. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  9. ^ a b "1 Mayıs ! İşçinin emekçinin bayramı !". YouTube. 2011-04-30. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  10. ^ a b "Bandiera rossa - (Italienisch / Deutsch / Finnisch / Russisch)". YouTube. 2011-01-31. Archived from the original on 2016-05-29. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  11. ^ "Ruĝa Flago - Gianfranco MOLLE". YouTube. 2013-04-04. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  12. ^ Bandiera Rossa in Filipino (Sulong ka, Bayan), retrieved 2022-04-11

Further readingEdit