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April 23, 2006



Anyone know where to find the Turkish/Kurdish version from Grup Yorum that Wikipedia lists?

Jimmy Higgins

I sent the Grup Yorum version to burningman with a few others which he may wind up posting in the coming period...

Can Şafak

I listened an english version, I don't know who was the singer. It was sensitive. I'm looking for it.

Can Safak

I listened an english version, I don't know who was the singer. It was sensitive. I'm looking for it.


actually, KUD Idijoti are Croats, and they sing Bella Ciao in Italian, with some slightly different lyrics

Jimmy Higgins

Hey, burningman, you'll be pleased to hear of the radical youth contingent feeder march into Saturday's march in DC, called if I am not mistaken by a number of SDS chapters. They had, I am informed, two (2, count 'em, 2) marching bands--one an anarchist drumming and percussion outfit in full regalia--gas masks, bandanas, riot shields, etc.--and the other a "proper" marching band with horns and all. Both played Bella Ciao! (I doubt that any recording made on the spot would be worth posting, but maybe some other visitor to RF knows better.

the burningman

Most excellent. I've been pressing an old friend in a local NYC band to help record a US version of the song.

And I promise to update this entry with all the great versions you passed my way when I have more than a free afternoon...

John Lacny

Note to esteemed Comrade Jimmy Higgins: Kud Idijoti is not from Estonia, they are from former Yugoslavia. Specifically, they are from Pula, the largest city in Istria. This is a Croatian border region that had a lot of Italians, and was a center of dispute between Italy and Yugoslavia in the interwar period. After the War Against Fascism, most of the Italians (a good percentage of whom had been collaborators) fled Istria or were expelled by the Partisans, much as the volksdeutscher who had collaborated with the Nazis were expelled from most of Eastern Europe. But many people in this region still speak Italian as well as Serbo-Croatian.

Anyway, Kud Idijoti covered both "Bella ciao" and "Bandiera rossa," but their versions can be seen as implicitly irreverent in the context of Yugoslavia, which was built on a Partisan victory. I am told that when they held a concert once in Northern Italy -- where the Partisans were very popular, but where they were defeated after the war -- Kud Idijoti were loudly booed by Italian Communist youth.

"Bella ciao" is anti-fascist and therefore has wider appeal than "Bandiera rossa," which is explicitly socialist. Not too long ago I was in a chain style faux-Italian restaurant, and some version of "Bella ciao" was part of the soundtrack along with Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra.

Jimmy Higgins

Joma Sison sings Bella Ciao! On YouTube!!


Top that, burningman!

Jimmy Higgins

Below is the Philippine Inquirer article from which I learned of the Joma "Bella Ciao" (h/t DW). I have posted in full because I couldn't find a useable link. Ya gotta love the reference to Sison as "the Netherlands-based recording artist."


Jose Ma. Sison on YouTube, too
By Volt Contreras
Posted date: February 01, 2007

MANILA -- It looks like even founder Jose Ma. ''Joma'' Sison has to catch up with the digital revolution if he wants to pursue his ideological one.

Among hardcore Reds he may be idolized, but nowadays he also needs to be pixelized.

This is basically why two songs by Sison -- founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, icon to Asia's longest-running Maoist insurgency, and a ''terrorist'' in the eyes of post-9/11 US and European governments -- are currently playing on YouTube.

Sison, who turns 68 on February 8 and is in his 19th year of exile in Utrecht, The Netherlands, is the unseen troubadour behind two music videos which, according to the popular video-sharing website, were posted two to three months ago.

With guitar and violin accompaniment, he sings the Spanish version of "Bella Ciao," an originally Italian partisan song from World War II, as well as a Tagalog classic inspired by the poem "Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa (Love for the Native Land" by Andres Bonifacio, father of the Philippine Revolution against Spain.

In an e-mail to the Inquirer Thursday, Sison said two supporters of his actually posted the songs on YouTube. ''My wife and I do not know [them] personally. But they are very friendly to me because they defend me against nasty remarks about my revolutionary stand,'' he said.

He was apparently referring to the web denizens ''jakej5'' and ''Amoneth,'' the acknowledged sources of the two videos.

In Manila, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines) media officer Carl Ala said ''Bella'' and ''Pag-ibig'' were actually two tracks from a CD Sison started recording in 2004 and which was commercially released in ''alternative'' record shops and bookstores last year.

The CD, titled "Poetry In Song," was conceptualized mainly to help draw support for Sison's legal challenge in Europe against his being tagged a terrorist by Western powers.

Ala agreed that having Sison on a youth-oriented website could help bring the Leftist intellectual closer to today's mouse-clicking generation, most of whom may not even have been born yet when the revolutionary burst into Philippine history.

As Sison put it in response to a series of questions from the Philippine Daily Inquirer: ''Yes, I am conscious of seeking to reach out to the young, especially because they were not yet born when I began my struggle. I always try to reach out to the young because they continue the struggle.''

''I find them receptive to revolutionary ideas and revolutionary music. The crisis of the world capitalist system and the domestic ruling system of big compradors and landlords drive an increasing number of them to seek revolutionary change.''

A literature and political science professor before being known as an activist who led student demonstrations against the Vietnam War and the Marcos dictatorship in the late '60s and early '70s, the exiled Sison has gone more public with his lyrical side in recent years.

In March 2004, the Inquirer, mother company of, reported that he had taken to singing videoke at his Utrecht apartment during more relaxed times with guests. This was according to his supporters in Manila, who then held a tribute marking Sison's 40th year in the revolutionary cause.

''Not known to many people before, I sang at home to relax. I sang in church when I was a small boy. Some friends have encouraged me since two years ago to do recordings. Of course, my singing is something extra to whatever I have already accomplished,'' he said in Thursday's email.

The two videos don't actually show Sison singing -- they were more of a montage tracing the Marxist-Maoist struggle.

''Bella Ciao,'' being a universally adopted hymn of patriotism, draws imagery from paintings of Latin American peasant-warriors and Soviet propaganda materials resurrected from the Cold War era, climaxing with the portraits of the Marx, Stalin, Lenin, and Mao.

The more locally flavored ''Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa'' contains footage of violent rally dispersals in Manila, notably the infamous ''Mendiola Massacre,'' as well as scenes of poverty in the city and farms, and communist New People's Army guerrillas shaking hands with the poor folk.

When accessed by the Inquirer Thursday night, ''Bella'' had been viewed just over 4,000 times, ''Pag-ibig,'' close to 400 times.

All together, the ''comments'' panel for each song has spawned close to 40 entries, both pro- and anti-Sison -- the latter apparently accounting for the ' 'nasty remarks'' the exiled revolutionary referred to.

But as the Netherlands-based recording artist keenly noted: ''The feedback [I've been getting] is about my political ideas. It is not at all about the songs or about my singing. I am therefore encouraged to sing.''

Christopher Day

Japanese Ska version of Bella Ciao on YouTube:


there is an awesome Russian remake by Garik Sukachev. Very passionate :) You can download it for free here:


I have german version of this song by Hannes Wader and beautiful russian version performed by Muslim Magomaev and some other versions.


Please send MP3s of any additional versions to:

I'll be posting a more comprehensive list here one of these days... and in the meantime I'm collecting as many versions as possible.

Petra Emilia

I would like to know whether it's possible to find a good version in Spanish, a non-changed one.
Thanks for your help!


Chinese version:




There's also a dutch recording of Bella Ciao. The Mestizo band Mala Vita recorded their version Live on their first album Manifiesta.. I believe they still play it at gig's in Europe.

Jesse Luscious

There's also a great version by the German socialist skinhead band Commandantes on their debut cd "Lieder Fur Die Arbeiterklasse" on Mad Butcher Records.


Muslim Magomayev, great Soviet opera and popular music singer variant:


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Goran Trutin

I only want to correct the information about the KUD Idijoti. They are from Croatia, not from Estonia. Thank you.


there is a version by Vlado Kreslin on his album Cesta

Skwisgaar Skwigelf

Here's another one:

Mirah with the Black Cat Orchestra

Skwisgaar Skwigelf


Anita Lane

Done in a haunting style, with verses rendered in English. I quite like it.


Here is the Turkish version by Grup Yorum. But its lyrics are a little different from the lyrics posted by comrade Mirjam. The last two strophes are missing and the "kızıl çıçek (red flower)" in the last strophe is now "güzel çiçek (beautifull flower)". Turkey is not in its anarchist times with a big revolutionary power like in the past :(

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