Song of General Kim Il-sung

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"Song of General Kim Il-sung"
"Song of General Kim Il-sung" sheet music cover.jpg
Sheet music cover
Written 1946
Genre March
Composer(s) Kim Won-gyun
Lyricist(s) Ri Chan
Audio sample
Song of General Kim Il-sung
김일성장군의 노래
金日成將軍의 노래
Revised Romanization Gim Il-seong Janggunui Norae
McCune–Reischauer Kim Il-sŏng Changgunŭi Norae

"The Song of General Kim Il-sung" is a North Korean marching song composed by Kim Won-gyun in 1946. As a part of an ongoing cult of personality, the song praising Kim Il-sung, North Korea's "Eternal President", who died in 1994, is still widely played in that country.

Kim Il-sung

The song is a four-square march. It features paired two bar phrases in an A-B-A form,[1] with dotted rhythms. Percussion and brass instrumentation is intended to enhance the revolutionary tone of the song.[2]

The song, composed in 1946, is the earliest known work of art mentioning Kim Il-sung, and thus can be said to mark the beginning of his personality cult.[3]

In the early 1980s Kim Jong-il began promoting the song and it has since replaced "Aegukka", the national anthem, as the most important song played in public gatherings in the country. North Koreans typically know the lyrics by heart.[4]

The first two bars of the song are used as an interval signal on North Korean radio and television. According to North Korean sources, their satellites Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1, launched in 1998,[5] and Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2, supposedly launched in a test on 5 April 2009, are broadcasting this song among other data.[6]

Emulating a Buddhist tradition of carving sutras, its lyrics are carved in stones[2] as well as the Pyongyang Arch of Triumph.[7]

The song is played by the North Korean state television at the start of broadcasts each day. [8]

See also


  1. ^ Collège de France; Ok Yi; Daniel Bouchez; Yun-ik Chang (2000). Cahiers d'études coréennes. Centre dʹEtudes Coréennes du Collège de France. p. 112. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b Jane Portal (August 15, 2005). Art Under Control in North Korea. Reaktion Books. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-86189-236-2. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  3. ^ Jae-Cheon Lim (March 24, 2015). Leader Symbols and Personality Cult in North Korea: The Leader State. Routledge. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-317-56741-7. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  4. ^ Eddie Burdick (May 26, 2010). Three Days in the Hermit Kingdom: An American Visits North Korea. McFarland. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-7864-5653-6. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  5. ^ Brian Harvey; Henk H. F. Smid; Theo Pirard (January 30, 2011). Emerging Space Powers: The New Space Programs of Asia, the Middle East and South-America. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 443. ISBN 978-1-4419-0874-2. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  6. ^ "Defiant N Korea launches rocket". BBC News. 5 April 2009.
  7. ^ Justin Corfield (December 1, 2014). Historical Dictionary of Pyongyang. Anthem Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-78308-341-1. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  8. ^ "KCTV startup". YouTube. Retrieved 28 May 2017.

External links

  • "The Song of General Kim Il-sung" (instrumental) on YouTube
  • "The Song of General Kim Il-sung" (mp3) at Naenara
  • Lyrics in English at Naenara
  • Lyrics in Korean at Naenara
  • Score with English lyrics at Naenara
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