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Bandiera Rossa

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Wikipedia article

'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.


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 libert'" 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 works

Art music

'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 culture

Notable covers of the song were made by the Slovenian punk-rock band Pankrti in 1984 on the 'Rdei album' (Red album),Archived at [https://ghostarchive.org/varchive/youtube/20211210/6J7ri91oVcM Ghostarchive] and the [https://web.archive.org/web/20070903100512/http://youtube.com:80/watch?v=6J7ri91oVcM Wayback Machine]: 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. 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 text

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

Foreign-language versions

One of the most widely known Italian songs, 'Bandiera Rossa' has been rendered in several languages including: English, Croatian, Slovenian, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Turkish, Kurdish, Finnish, Icelandic, Maltese, Russian, Esperanto, and Filipino.

See also

* another Italian partisan song

* another song associated with the Italian partisans

* another Italian partisan song

* - A Yiddish partisan song popularized during WW2


Further reading


Category:Political party songs

Category:Italian songs

Category:1908 songs

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