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Published on May 10, 2010
" Fratelli d italia"
Il Canto degli Italiani (The Chant of the Italians) is the Italian national anthem. It is best known among Italians as L'Inno di Mameli (Mameli's Hymn) and often referred to as Fratelli d'Italia (Brothers of Italy), from its opening line.
The words were written in the autumn of 1847 in Genoa, by the then 20-year-old student and patriot Goffredo Mameli, in a climate of popular struggle for unification and independence of Italy which foreshadowed the war against Austria.
Two months later, they were set to music in Turin by another Genoese, Michele Novaro. The hymn enjoyed widespread popularity throughout the period of the Risorgimento and in the following decades.
After unification (1861) the adopted national anthem was the Marcia Reale, the Royal March (or Fanfara Reale), official hymn of the royal house of Savoy composed in 1831 to order of Carlo Alberto di Savoia. The Marcia Reale remained the Italian national anthem until the birth of the republic.
Giuseppe Verdi, in his Inno delle Nazioni (Hymn of the Nations), composed for the London International Exhibition of 1862, chose Il Canto degli Italiani and not the Marcia Reale to represent Italy, putting it beside God Save the Queen and the Marseillaise.
In 1946 Italy became a republic, and on October 12, 1946, Il Canto degli Italiani was provisionally chosen as the country's new national anthem. This choice was made official in law only on November 17, 2005, almost 60 years later.
English translation: Brothers of Italy, Italy has awoken, with Scipio's helmet binding her head. Where is Victory? Let her bow down, For God has made her Rome's slave. CHORUS: Let us join in a cohort, We are ready to die. We are ready to die, Italy has called. Let us join in a cohort, We are ready to die. We are ready to die, Italy has called! We were for centuries Downtrodden and derided, because we are not one people, because we are divided. Let one flag, one hope gather us all. The hour has struck for us to join together. CHORUS Let us unite and love one another, Union and love Show the people The way of the Lord. Let us swear to free Our native soil; United under God, Who can defeat us? CHORUS From the Alps to Sicily, Legnano is everywhere; Every man has the heart and hand of Ferruccio The children of Italy Are all called Balilla; Every trumpet blast sounds the Vespers. CHORUS Mercenary swords, they're feeble reeds. The Austrian eagle Has already lost its plumes. The blood of Italy and the Polish blood It drank, along with the Cossack, But it burned its heart. CHORUS