(Dedicated to Carlo Giuliani)
Dall’album “Game Over”
(According to Alice, the feel was stolen from the Dog Faced Hermans)
“Studio version of live favourite “Bella Ciao” recorded and put up here in the wake of the death of Carlo Giuliani in Genoa. See below for lyrics and our reasons for doing it”

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 going to shake the Gates of Hell

And 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
I’ll say, “the sunlight dragged me here!”
Fuori dalla mia finestra il mondo si risveglia
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
E trascina i miei sensi alla luce del sole
Perché ci sono delle cose che devo fare

Ora augurami buona fortuna, ti devo lasciare
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
Con i miei amici andiamo verso la città,
Scuoteremo i Cancelli dell’Inferno

E gli diremo, noi gli diremo
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
Che il nostro sole non è in vendita
E augureremo ai bastardi di cadere stecchiti

La prossima volta che mi vedrai forse starò sorridendo
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
Sarò in prigione o forse in TV
E dirò: “E’ la luce del sole che mi ha portato qua!”

[When we heard that a trumpeter played Bella Ciao at a demo outside the Italian Embassy after Carlo Giuliani was murdered, we decided to record our version of Bella Ciao and put it up on the web to mark Carlo’s death. Originally a song of the Italian Partisans, Bella Ciao always has a particular resonance to audiences in Southern Europe who recognise its anti fascist significance. The Italian partisans, like their French counterparts, were a loosely allied underground resistance movement against fascists and Nazis. When we’re playing in Southern Europe and the brass section start the intro, a couple of people always raise their left fist in a gesture of defiance and solidarity. There is no equivalent protest song in the UK. We first heard a version of it when we played with the Dog Faced Hermans in the early nineties, we stole the feel but not the lyrics.
There are several versions of Bella Ciao, the most well known is probably that of a protest song of the “Mondine Piemontesi” (women working in the rice fields) in support for/love of the Italian partisans who were living in the hills trying to fight the invading fascist armies. The gist of the original lyrics is:

This morning i woke up and saw we’d been invaded
O partisan take me away, and if i die
Bury me in the mountains beneath a pretty flower;
People will see this flower and say
“What a pretty flower! Is this the flower of the partisan!?”
And they will know that I died for freedom

Before the manufacture of bands and sentiment merely for profit, popular song was far more likely to be oppositional. The subject matter was work, the tavern, struggle, prison, religion (and with the exception of the evergreen love song) more likely to express a world view that was antagonistic to that of the status quo. Songs provided an alternative view of life; when they dealt with prison and work they weren’t complimentary. They were an ongoing testimony to the existence of poverty, dissatisfaction, anger, bravery and the need for justice and didn’t echo the views of the ruling class. As with Bella Ciao, they sometimes provided allusions to a world that is free and revolutionary, crossing over from simply describing an existence to becoming a rallying call and a political song. Like the resistance movement it represents, Bella Ciao doesn’t have one author, it borrows from earlier popular ballads and has gone through the transition of being a song about the women supporting the partisans, to one written from the partisan’s point of view and after J18 and Seattle we reworked it to fit anti capitalist activists.

Bella Ciao talks of a life and death struggle, the shooting of protesters at Gothenberg and then Carlo’s murder in Genoa is a graphic illustration that the powers that be are upping the ante against the anti capitalist movement. Genoa’s Red Zone and the fact that world and business leaders are realising that they can only meet in the remotest parts of the world shows that capitalism is being forced into retreat and hasn’t won the battle for hearts and minds. For once its the multinationals and world leaders who are having to justify their behaviour, despite the media’s attempts to demonise protesters, public opinion is not with the WTO or the G8 leaders. The media claimed that the anti capitalist movement had its first martyr after Carlo’s death, which takes away from the fact that the protesters gather because they’re anti death and sick of the poverty and the many mundane deaths of a system based on profit. Bella Ciao isn’t glorifying Carlo’s death, we’re putting it up on the web to celebrate his life and the fact that he was part of the movement to create a world where human life is of more value than profit.]