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Tom Waits Sings 'Bella Ciao' For Marc Ribot As An Act Of 'Resistance'

Guitarist Marc Ribot has an unpredictable and far-reaching catalog that's taken him through rock, jazz and many avant-garde variations thereon. Now, he's releasing a pointedly titled set of protest music — Songs of Resistance 1942-2018 — that calls on a group of guests as versatile and iconoclastic as he is.

"Bella Ciao (Goodbye Beautiful)" features Tom Waits' first recorded performance in two years, and the singer's incalculably weary voice is a nice match for this old Italian folk ballad, written to protest fascism in Italy. And, in case the target of Ribot's "Bella Ciao" remake isn't clear, it accompanies a video — directed by Jem Cohen — that incorporates footage from recent rallies protesting President Trump's immigration policies.


Songs of Resistance 1942-2018 comes out Sept. 14 via Anti-.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)