Addio A Lugano

Farewell to Lugano


This song has a beautiful tune which some Italian anarchist friends visiting Dublin used to sing a lot. It took me a couple of years to find out what it was called and longer to get the lyrics. I belive it is about anarchists who to avoid conscription in WWI leave Italy and are homesick. It was also later sung by Italian anarchists fighting in the Spanish Revolution. Thanks to Davide Turcato <turk@cs.sfu.ca> for the translation and some corrections to the lyrics.
The above version of the source of this song was told to me by an Italian anarchist, however, another Italian anarchist writes ....
 
"The historical origin of the song is the following: the Empress Elizabeth of Austria was killed in Switzerland in September 1898, by an Italian anarchist: those were the days of the 'propaganda by the deed', that aimed at arousing a popular upheaval through the killing of a tyrant (like the killing of King Umberto I in Italy, or the actions of the Russian nihilists). Her death caused the expulsion from Switzerland of all anarchists, including those not involved in the killing. Such expulsion gave rise to the song 'Addio Lugano bella', strictly anonymous according to the anarchist spirit of the time"
Lugano is a town on the Swiss/Italian border which _if_ the border has not moved would favour the 2nd version. However its also the name of the district around the town which includes Lake Lugano and an Italian enclave.
Some further comments from Davide " The music is anonymous, but the words are by Pietro Gori. Now, Pietro Gori died in 1911, which would rule out your friend's version, as WWI started after Gori's death. You can find some more evidence at: http://www.imprese.com/bfspisa/archbiblio/Gori2.htm Look at the year 1895 (I assume you can read some Italian...)
Further information welcome!!

Addio Lugano bella
o dolce terra mia*
scacciati senza colpa
gli anarchici van via
e partono cantando
con la speranza in cuor
Ed é per voi sfruttati
per voi lavoratori
che siamo ammanettati
al par dei malfattori
Eppur la nostra idea
non é che idea d'amor
Anonimi compagni
amici che restate
le veritá sociali
da forti propagate
E' questa la vendetta
che noi vi domandiam
Ma tu che ci discacci
con una vil menzogna
repubblica borghese
un dí ne avrai vergogna
Ed oggi* t'accusiamo
in faccia all'avvenir
Banditi senza tregua
andrem di terra in terra
a predicar la pace
ed a bandir la guerra
La pace tra gli oppressi
la guerra agli oppressor
Elvezia il tuo governo
schiavo d'altrui si rende
di un popolo gagliardo
le tradizioni offende
E insulta la leggenda
del tuo Guglielmo Tell
Addio cari compagni
amici luganesi
addio bianche di neve
montagne ticinesi
i cavalieri erranti
son trascinati al nord
* Not sure about this correction - Davide
Farewell beautiful Lugano
my sweet land,
driven away guiltlessly
the anarchists are leaving,
and they set off singing
with hope in their heart.
It is for you exploited
for you workers
that we are handcuffed
just like criminals.
Yet our ideal
is but an ideal of love.
Anonymous comrades
friends who remain
the social truths
do spread like strong people.
This is the revenge
that we ask of you.
And you who drive us away
with an infamous lie,
you bourgeois republic
will be ashamed one day.
Today we accuse you
in the face of the future.
Ceaselessly banished
we will go from land to land
promoting peace
and declaring war,
peace among the oppressed
war to the oppressors.
Helvetia, your government
makes itself someone else's slave,
a brave people's
traditions it offends
and insults the legend
of your William Tell.
Farewell dear comrades
friends of Lugano
farewell white snowy
Ticinese mountains
the knight-errants
are dragged to the North.


Other Anarchist, libertarian and rebel songs

Revolt collection