This is perhaps the most famous Italian song of the First World War and remained popular for many decades afterwards. Reproduced below are the lyrics to the song, both in Italian plus an English translation. Use the player above to listen to a version of the song performed by Giovanni Martinelli in Il Piave mormorava calmo e placido al passaggio dei primi fanti il ventiquattro maggio; l'esercito marciava per raggiunger la frontiera per far contro il nemico una barriera! Muti passaron quella notte i fanti tacere bisognava andare avanti. S'udiva intanto dalle amate sponde sommesso e lieve il tripudiar de l' onde.
On the 24th of May , almost a year after the start of WWI, Italy entered the conflict by declaring war on Austria. The river Piave runs north of Venice and at the time it marked the border between the newly born Italian kingdom and the Austro Hungarian Empire. On the dawn of the 24th of May the Italian army crossed the river and began their attack on the Austrian army. This famous song succinctly describes the main advances and retreats of the two armies during the conflict as witnessed by the river Piave, which is depicted as an active participant in the war. The first stanza of the song describes the crossing of the Piave by the Italian infantry. In the second stanza we hear about the tragic defeat of the Italian army at the battle of Caporetto now in Slovenia , which was fought in November The third stanza describes the resistance of the Italian army along the banks of the Piave, their final defensive line. And the last stanza, written immediately after the war, celebrates the Italian victory against the Austrians. La Canzone del Piave immediately became very popular, and remained so for many years.
La canzone del Piave (prima versione)
Mario after the Battle of the Piave River in June The song is divided in four parts and is a brief history of the Italian front during World War I. The march of the Italian army in May from Veneto to the frontline. The Italian defeat at Caporetto. The resistance along the Piave river. The final battle and the victory. From the beloved river banks they heard light and low the exultation of the waves.
La Brenta divenne il Brenta, la Livenza il Livenza Translation done by doctorJoJo. In case you want to reprint it, please ask for permission first and always cite my name as its author. Copyright: doctorJoJo.