How Money Heist's theme song became a symbol of unity during the pandemic

How Money Heist's theme song became a symbol of unity during the pandemic

On the other side of the world, the catchy tune of 'Bella Ciao', the theme song from Netflix series Money Heist, could be heard pouring out from the balconies of Italians and Germans in lockdown. Albeit the slightly off-tune singing, the collective chiming of voices was not in celebration of Money Heist's fourth season. Instead, it was a symbol of freedom and solidarity which bound people together in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Spanish television drama series built around a heist became a global phenomenon since its debut on Netflix. Apart from being the most-watched non-English television series in 2018, Money Heist won best drama at the 46th Emmy Awards, with critical acclaim for its unconventional approach towards Spanish television. With its latest release last month, Season 4 marked the end of close to a year of anticipation for its fans. 

'Bella Ciao' was one of the theme songs of Money Heist that grew in popularity following the show's success. The Youtube video of the Professor and Berlin singing 'Bella Ciao' in Season 1 proved to be a fan favourite, having reached 68 million views since December 2018.

However, the symbolic meaning of 'Bella Ciao' extends far beyond Money Heist, for generations till today.

'Bella Ciao', which translates to 'Goodbye, Beautiful', was an Italian folk song which originated from the paddy fields of Northern Italy and was sung by workers to pass time. During the Second World War, the song took on a more serious undertone as a symbol of anti-Facist resistance and was recognised worldwide as a symbol of freedom. It is no wonder the song became a key motif of Money Heist, a show which depicted the revolution of the resistance.

The song resurfaced again last week, when many Italians took to their windows and sung 'Bella Ciao' with gusto, in celebration of the 75th anniversary of their liberation from the Nazis in World War II. Amidst the lockdown and the grave circumstances surrounding the pandemic, the video had brought smiles to the many who replied, especially Money Heist fans.

Another video from the streets of Italy documented a heartwarming moment for the Italians despite a tough period for their country:

As the Coronavirus death toll continues to escalate in Italy, Germans from the Bavarian town of Bamberg were captured singing 'Bella Ciao' from their rooftops as an act of solidarity to Italy.

With this display of togetherness and their strong fighting spirit, perhaps the Italians will be able to bid 'Bella Ciao' to the pandemic soon.

Here are both the Italian lyrics and the English translation of 'Bella Ciao', adapted from Genius:

Una mattina mi son alzato
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
Una mattina mi son alzato
E ho trovato l'invasor

O partigiano, portami via
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
O partigiano, portami via
Ché mi sento di morir

E se io muoio da partigiano
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
E se io muoio da partigiano
Tu mi devi seppellir

E seppellire lassù in montagna
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao, ciao, ciao
E seppellire lassù in montagna
Sotto l'ombra di un bel fior

E le genti che passeranno
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
E le genti che passeranno
Mi diranno «che bel fior.»

Questo è il fiore del partigiano
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
Questo è il fiore del partigiano
Morto per la libertà

The English translation:

One morning I awakened
Oh Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful! Bye! Bye!
One morning I awakened
And I found the invader

Oh partisan carry me away
Oh Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful! Bye! Bye!
Oh partisan carry me away
Because I feel death approaching

And if I die as a partisan
(And if I die on the mountain)
Oh Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful! Bye! Bye!
And if I die as a partisan
(And if I die on the mountain)
Then you must bury me

Bury me up in the mountain
(And you have to bury me)
Oh Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful! Bye! Bye!
Bury me up in the mountain
(And you have to bury me)
Under the shade of a beautiful flower

And the people who shall pass
(And all those who shall pass)
Oh Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful! Bye! Bye!
And the people who shall pass
(And all those who shall pass)
Will tell me: "what a beautiful flower"
(And they will say: "what a beautiful flower")

This is the flower of the partisan

(And this is the flower of the partisan)
Oh Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful!

Bye! Bye!
This is the flower of the partisan

(And this is the flower of the partisan)
Who died for freedom

 

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