Peasant or Empress? – La Marianna

(Popular Song – 1848)

Popular singing is an artistic form that is lost in the mists of time.

Popular singing was born with human civilization.

The first popular songs are thought to have originated with the first human settlements linked to agriculture where the songs were used to better withstand the labors of work and make everything more pleasant. We are talking about 20,000 years ago.

It is interesting to understand and explain the distinction, used in English, between pop and folk music:

Pop music is a popular music written for the people while folk music is a popular music written spontaneously by the people and handed down.

La Marianna is a popular song from the end of the 19th century that tells in a cheerful and lively way the love affairs of a peasant girl named Marianna who waits for the sun to go down to meet her lovers in the countryside.

Another meaning attributed to this song is even more curious. This song is said to have been used for satirical-patriotic purposes in Lombardy in 1848.

In fact, at that time the empress of Austria was called Maria Anna di Savoia and was the wife of Ferdinand I of Austria.

Ferdinand I was not a good politician, so much so that the empire was practically managed by Minister Metternich.

Maria Anna and her husband, at the first riots of 1848, abdicated in favor of Francesco Giuseppe (nicknamed Cecco Beppe, husband of Sissi).

With this song the Milanese people sang with great satisfaction“La Marianna la va in campagna chissà quando ritornerà” (Marianna goes to the countryside who knows when she will return) hoping that neither she nor the Austrian domination would ever return.

Video: La Marianna

Un abbraccio/ a big Hug

Marcus Dardi


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