A Somewhat Socialist Song-Time Sunday

Happy New Year!  Buon’ Anno e Buona Fortuna!  I hope everyone had an overall great 2011, and that 2012 treats everyone extra-nice.

For today’s song, I’ve chosen an old feministy/socialisty anthem, whose name I’m not entirely sure of.  But it’s great.  It was born out of the opposition to Fascism at the turn of the last century.  The lyrics are a little extreme, but so were the conditions these women were living under.

Lyrics:

Sebben che siamo donne,
Paura non abbiamo:
Per amor dei nostri figli,
Per amor dei nostri figli;

Sebben che siamo donne,
Paura non abbiamo,
Per amor dei nostri figli
In lega ci mettiamo.

A oilì oilì oilà e la lega la crescerà
E noialtri socialisti, e noialtri socialisti
A oilì oilì olià e la lega la crescerà
E noialtri socialisti vogliamo la libertà .

E la libertà non vien
Perchè non c’è l’unione:
Crumiri col padrone
Son tutti da ammazzar.

A oilì oilì oilà …

Sebben che siamo donne,
Paura non abbiamo:
Abbiamo delle belle buone lingue
E ben ci difendiamo.

A oilì oilì…

E voialtri signoroni
Che ci avete tanto orgoglio,
Abbassate la superbia
E aprite il portafoglio.

A oilì oilì oilà e la lega la crescerà
E noialtri socialisti, e noialtri socialisti
A oilì oilì olià e la lega la crescerà
E noialtri socialisti i voroma vess pagà .

A oilì oilì olià …

And a rough translation:

Even though we are women,
We do not have fear:
For the sake [love?] of our children,
For the sake of our children;

Even though we are women,
We do not have fear,
For the sake of our children
We will make a league [?].

A oilì oilì Oila, and the league will grow,
And we socialists, and we socialists…
A oilì oilì olia,  and the league will grow,
And we socialists want freedom.

And freedom is not coming
Because there is no union:
Strikebreakers [lit: scabs] and the padrone [boss, landowner] –
They are all to be killed.

A oilì oilì Oila …

Even though we are women,
We do not have fear:
We have some pretty good language,
And well we defend ourselves. [I think these lines get a little lost in translation – but basically, the singers know that they are capable of speaking out.]

A oilì oilì …

And all you people [refering to the upperclass, I think]
While we have so much pride,
Lower your pride
And you open your wallet. [This verse confuses me a little – if anyone can find a better translation, let me know.]

A oilì oilì Oila, and the league will grow,
And we socialists, and we socialists…
A oilì oilì olia, and the league will grow,
And the rest of us socialists [something about oppressed pay?]
A oilì oilì olia …

 

Translation on this one was really difficult.  I started with Google translate, which I know is pretty imperfect, but I’m usually able to tweak it around so that it makes sense.  The last verse talks about “vess’ paga,” and I found out that “vessare” means “to oppress.”  Unfortunately, I can’t make sense of the word “voroma.”  As I said, if anyone can translate this a little better, or knows of a better translation somewhere, let me know.

Anyway, I first heard this song during my Italian Futurist class, in the film 1900.  When I first heard it, I thought the opening line was “Perche siamo donne, paura non abbiamo,” which translates to “because we are women, we have no fear” rather than, “even though we are women….”  It’s an interesting concept I’ve been throwing around, especially since the Italian Socialist women had to be really tough stuff at this point in time.

Dinner should be ready soon (yum, borscht!), so I’ll leave this as is.  I hope everyone has a wonderful remaining New Year’s Day!  Ciao!

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About lapiccolacoccinella

I consistently have trouble with self-definition, but I'll give it my best shot here.... I am a twentysomething Italian-American woman from New England who loves clowning and cats and goth subculture and animanga and art and writing and books. I am an aspiring author and artist who currently blogs for Amazing Stories Magazine. I love getting feedback and advice from readers in order to allow my work to grow. View all posts by lapiccolacoccinella

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