‘La Casa de Papel’: The story behind ‘Bella Ciao’, the flagship song of the Netflix series

Alex Pina’s fiction is in its final stretch after becoming an international phenomenon. Season 5 premieres on September 3.

“One morning I got up …”. Si eres fan de The Money HeistSurely you have not been slow to continue the lyrics of the song. Since it appeared in its first chapters until now – which is about to premiere season 5 – ‘Bella Ciao’ has become an icon for fans of the series and a symbol of resistance outside of fiction. We have been singing it for several years, since the Álex Pina series became a phenomenon, but what story does it hide behind?

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‘Bella, Ciao’ (Adiós, bella) is an Italian folk song that was used by the Italian Resistance during WWII and has been seen as an anti-fascist anthem ever since. During the war, it was used mostly in the Emilia Romana region, but it spread throughout the Italian partisan movement.

The origin of the subject is not at all clear and, although there are those who place it in the 19th century, in the rice fields of northern Italy, the reality is different. The most widely supported theory is that it comes from a Jewish song called ‘Oi oi di koilen’. It was first recorded in 1919 by the Ukrainian accordionist Mishka Ziganoff and you only have to listen a little to find similarities. The song was traveling between Europe and the United States and in each trip it underwent some modification.

‘Bella Ciao’ began to spread in the middle of the 20th century through various communist youth festivals and had other moments of splendor in addition to the war conflict. In the demonstrations of 1968 it appeared again with force and got to have very popular versions in France or Chile.

It has been covered several times in our country. The first to sing it in Spanish was the singer-songwriter Adolfo Celdrán, the song was part of his first album punished with censorship in 69. He re-released it in the reissue that was published in 2004. Madrid groups Boycott and Scoundrels They have also made their own version, which has been joined by other bands such as the Argentinian Carmina Burana, the Italians Redska and the French Mano Negra. The last interpretation we know of is the one carried out by the robbers of The Money Heist, which, in turn, has given rise to many interpretations.

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‘Bella Ciao’ couldn’t fit better in the Netflix series. The El Professor gang carries out its own resistance against the corrupt powers that exist in Spain – and in other countries, that is why it has had such an international impact. According to Tokio (Úrsula Corberó) in a voice-over, the connections of the leader of the robbers with this issue are very deep. “The life of The Professor revolved around a single idea: ‘Resistance’. His grandfather, who had resisted alongside the partisans to defeat the fascists in Italy, had taught him that song. And then he showed it to us“.

The Money Heist it has been a great success. The agreement with Netflix allowed Alex Pina’s fiction to be liked both in Europe and in Latin America. The Atresmedia series has managed to captivate the public thanks to the characters or the careful production. Therefore, since the series began, fans can not stop humming a catchy song that be part of the history of the great robbery.