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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
9th July, 2006. An army of blue shirt footballers huddle together as they sing the national anthem with their heads held high. A stadium full of hopeful fans, a chance to make their country proud. The players belt out each single word of the song with such raw emotion and hunger. That was the match in which Italy won the world cup for the fourth time.
National anthems bring people together as they demonstrate their love and loyalty for their country. Each national anthem has its own story of the struggles of a nation and the Italian anthem is no exception.
You may get slightly confused as the Italian anthem has three different names: the official name is ’L’Inno di Mameli’ (the hymn of Mameli) but most people refer to the anthem as either ‘Fratelli d’Italia’ (brothers of Italy – the first line of the anthem) or ‘Il Canto degli Italiani’ (the song of the Italians). The lyrics of the hymn were written by Goffredo Mameli, a young Genoese student, and were accompanied by music a few months later by Michele Novaro. The anthem was written back in 1847 when the Italian peninsular had just started its uphill battle to becoming independent, a struggle which was won in 1861 as the peninsular became the Italian Republic. You’d be surprised to learn that although the hymn has been a crowd favourite since its origin it only became the official national anthem of Italy in 2005!
The Italians take their anthem very seriously so when an art museum in northern Italy showcased a toilet that played the Italian National Anthem whenever it flushed the case was taken to Italy’s Supreme Court. While some argue it is pure art and the hymn is not the national symbol of Italy others argue it was a sign of disrespect to the ‘brothers of Italy’; only when the court releases its decision will we know just what is going to happen to the singing toilet!
Below is the first chorus and verse of the anthem with the English translation, why not try listening to the anthem on Youtube? Or test yourself and see if you know all the words to the English national anthem ‘God Save the Queen’!
Fratelli d'Italia / l'Italia s'è desta / dell'elmo di Scipio / s'è cinta la testa. / Dov'è la Vittoria? / Le porga la chioma, / ché schiava di Roma / Iddio la creò.
Stringiamci a coorte, / siam pronti alla morte. / Siam pronti alla morte, / l'Italia chiamò. / Stringiamci a coorte, / siam pronti alla morte. / Siam pronti alla morte, / l'Italia chiamò, sì!
Brothers of Italy/ Italy has awoken/ Bound Scipio’s* helmet/ Upon her head / Where is the Victory? / Let her bow down / For slave of Rome / God created her
Let us all join in cohort / We are ready to die / We are ready to die / Let us all join in cohort / We are ready to die / Italy has called, yes!
*Scipio: Scipio Africanus was a highly powerful General in Ancient Rome who defeated Hannibal during the Second Punic War.