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Bersagliere Ha Cento Penne

Italian World War I song

The Bersaglieri and the Alpini are members of two different corps of the Italian army. The first is a light infantry corps known for fighting while running. Their hats hold many feathers, which move beautifully while they run. The second corps fights in the mountains, the Alps, in Northern Italy. Their hats have just one feather. This song of the Alpini compares the two hats, contending that the Alpini have the greatest valor.

Bersagliere Ha Cento Penne, translated as The Marskman Has One Hundred Feathers, is an Italian World War I song recalling the extraordinary hardships of the Alpine Front.

It reminds us that the Alpini are the ones who, even after other soldiers have left their posts for more comfortable quarters, still fight on through the torments of the Alpine winter. Even should they fall from the cliffs on which they fight and die, they are happy to perish amid the beauty of their mountains.

The Alpini became famous for their songs, and Bersagliere Ha Cento Penne was composed by their members in World War I. It is here sung by the Coro Grigna.

Listen to Bersagliere Ha Cento Penne


Bersagliere ha cento penne,
Ma l’Alpino ne ha una sola,
Un pò più lunga un pò più mora,
Sol l’Alpin la può portare.

Quando scende la notte buia,
Tutti dormono laggiù alla Pieve,
Ma con la faccia giù nella neve,
Sol l’Alpin non può dormir.

Sui le monti vien giù la neve,
La tormenta dell’inverno,
Ma se venisse anche l’inferno,
Sol l’Alpin può stare lassù.

Se dall’alto di rupo cade,
Confortate i vostri cuori,
Perchè se cade in mezzo ai fiori,
Non gli importa di morir.

Perchè se cade in mezzo ai fiori,
Non gli importa di morir.

English translation:

Bersagliere have a hundred feathers,
But the Alpino has only one,
A little longer and a little bit more black,
Only the Alpino can wear it.

When the dark night descends,
Everyone is sleeping down in Pieve,
But, with the snow falling on his face,
Only the Alpino cannot sleep.

On the mountains the snow comes down,
The torment of winter,
But even if Hell were to come,
Only the Alpini can be up there.

If he falls from the high cliffs,
Comfort your hearts,
Because if he falls amid the flowers,
He does not care if he dies.

Because if he falls amid the flowers,
He does not care if he dies.

sheet musci for Bersagliere ha cento penne

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A painting of an Italian Alpini soldier from World War I

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