State Anthem of the Soviet Union

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Государственный гимн СССР[a]
English: State Anthem of the Soviet Union
Gosudarstvenny gimn SSSR
USSR Anthem Music Sheet.InstrumentalSimple.svg
Musical sheet of the national anthem.

National anthem of the  Soviet Union
State anthem of the  Russian SFSR
Also known as Славься, Отечество наше Свободное
English: "Be Glorious, our free Motherland"
Lyrics Gabriel El-Registan, Sergey Mikhalkov (1943 and 1977)
Music Alexander Alexandrov, c. 1938
Adopted 15 March 1944
1 September 1977 (modified version)
Relinquished 26 December 1991
(as national anthem of the Soviet Union)
23 November 1990
(as state anthem of the Russian SFSR)
Audio sample
"State Anthem of the USSR" (instrumental)

The "State Anthem of the Soviet Union" (Russian: Госуда́рственный гимн Сове́тского Сою́за, translit. Gosudárstvenny gimn Sovétskogo Soyúza Russian pronunciation: [ɡəsʊˈdarstvʲɪnːɨj ɡʲimn sɐvʲˈet͡skəvə sɐˈjuzə]), also unofficially known as "Slav’sya, Otechestvo nashe svobodnoye" (Russian: Сла́вься, Оте́чество на́ше свобо́дное, lit. 'Be Glorious, our free Motherland') was the official national anthem of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the state anthem of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1944 to 1991, replacing "The Internationale". The lyrics were written by Sergey Mikhalkov (1913–2009) in collaboration with Gabriel El-Registan (1899–1945) and the music was composed by Alexander Alexandrov (1883–1946). Although the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, the melody of its national anthem continues to be used in the Russian Federation's national anthem, which has different lyrics from the version used in the Soviet Union.

History

Origins

The music was originally composed by Alexander Alexandrov in circa 1938 for the Hymn of the Bolshevik Party. The opening bars of this song were sampled from one of Alexandrov's previous pieces, Life Has Become Better.[1][2] This song was based off a quote said by former Soviet Union General Secretary Joseph Stalin at the First All-Union Meeting of the Stakhanovites on November 17, 1935.[3] The manner of this song alludes to Stalin's cult of personality.

When the Communist International (Comintern) was dissolved in 1943 in order for the Soviet Union to maintain its alliance with the other Allies of World War II, a new musical piece was needed to replace "The Internationale" as the national anthem. A contest was held in mid to late 1943 for a new anthem to be selected, with more than 200 submitted entries.[4] Alexandrov's music was chosen by Stalin personally, who both praised and criticized the song.[5] Once the song was selected, new lyrics had to be written. Stalin thought that the hymn to be short, and that it had to invoke the Red Army's impending victory over the forces of Germany on the Eastern Front. The poets Sergey Mikhalkov and Gabriel El-Registan were selected to write new lyrics by Stalin's staffers, and were called to Moscow. They were tasked with writing new lyrics which referenced not only the Great Patriotic War, but also "a Country of Soviets". The first draft of the lyrics were completed overnight. Stalin had suggested more lyrics be made about himself, and so an extra line was added making reference to Stalin inspiring the people.

The anthem was first published on 7 November 1943, was played for the first time on Soviet radio at midnight on 1 January 1944 and was officially adopted on 15 March the same year.[6] The newly created lyrics had three different refrains following three different stanzas; in each refrain, the second line was consequently modified with references to friendship, then happiness and finally to glory. Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union's war against Germany were originally invoked in the second and third verses respectively.

Post-Stalin era

With the process of de-Stalinization inaugurated after Stalin's death, the lyrics which referred to Stalin were considered unacceptable and during 1953–1977 the anthem was performed without lyrics.[7] A notable exception took place at the 1976 Canada Cup ice hockey tournament, where the singer Roger Doucet insisted on performing the anthem with lyrics, after consultations with Russian studies scholars from Université de Montréal and the Soviet team officials.[8][9] In 1977, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the October Revolution, revised lyrics, earlier written in 1970 by the original author Sergey Mikhalkov,[10] were adopted. The varying refrains were replaced by a uniform refrain following all stanzas; the line praising Stalin was dropped, as were the lines referring to the Great Patriotic War. A notable change in the lyrics is the replacement of a line referencing the Flag of the Soviet Union to one mentioning the Bolshevik Party in the form of "Partiya Lenina" (The party of Lenin). These lyrics were also present in the original Bolshevik party anthem at the same location within the melody, followed by the lyrics "Partiya Stalina" (The party of Stalin).

Post-1991 use

Use in the Russian Federation

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian Federation adopted a new wordless anthem called the "Patriotic Song", although there were suggestions for adopting lyrics. As a result, a few different versions were produced.[11] In 2000, the current national anthem of Russia was introduced, which used the music of the Soviet national anthem and the lyrics written by Sergey Mikhalkov.

State Union of Russia and Belarus

Also, the same music was used for a proposal of the anthem of the State Union of Russia and Belarus entitled Derzhavny Soyuz Narodov (Union of Sovereign Nations). Although never officially adopted, the lyrics of that piece were not tied to any specific nationality, and could be adopted for a broader union. However, there appears to be no plans to utilize that piece in any official role. The anthem also had official versions in the languages of every Soviet republic and in several other Soviet languages.

Decommunization

In some post-Soviet states which adopted decommunization laws banning the Communist symbolism, performing the Soviet anthem is illegal. For example, since 2015 in Ukraine the offenders face up to five years of prison.[12] Similar laws were adopted in Latvia,[13] and Lithuania[14].

Lyrics

Below is a set of tables containing the lyrics for the hymn. As there were two official versions of the lyrics (one in 1944 and one in 1977) both are included within their own tables.

Original lyrics

Lyrics for the 1944 version
Russian (Cyrillic) Transliteration (BGN/PCGN) Literal translation

Союз нерушимый республик свободных
Сплотила навеки Великая Русь!
Да здравствует созданный волей народов
Единый, могучий Советский Союз!

Soyuz nerushimy respublik svobodnykh
Splotila naveki velikaya Rus’!
Da zdravstvuyet sozdanny voley narodov
Yediny, moguchy Sovetsky Soyuz!

An unbreakable union of free republics,
The Great Russia has welded forever to stand.
Long live the creation of the will of the people,
The united, mighty Soviet Union!

Славься, Отечество наше свободное,
Дружбы народов надёжный оплот!
Знамя Советское, знамя народное
Пусть от победы к победе ведёт!
Slav'sya, Otechestvo nashe svobodnoye,
Druzhby narodov nadyozhny oplot!
Znamya Sovetskoye, znamya narodnoye
Pust' ot pobedy k pobede vedyot!
Be glorious, our free Motherland,
A reliable stronghold of the peoples' friendship!
Banner of the Soviets, Banner of the people,
May it lead from victory to victory!

Сквозь грозы сияло нам солнце свободы,
И Ленин великий нам путь озарил:
Нас вырастил Сталин — на верность народу,
На труд и на подвиги нас вдохновил!

Skvoz’ grozy siyalo nam solntse svobody,
I Lenin veliky nam put’ ozaril:
Nas vyrastil Stalin – na vernost’ narodu,
Na trud i na podvigi nas vdokhnovil!

Through tempests the sun of freedom shone to us,
And the great Lenin illuminated our path,
We were raised by Stalin to be true to the people,
To labour and heroic deeds he inspired us!

Славься, Отечество наше свободное,
Счастья народов надёжный оплот!
Знамя Советское, знамя народное
Пусть от победы к победе ведёт!
Slav'sya, Otechestvo nashe svobodnoye,
Schast'ya narodov nadyozhny oplot!
Znamya Sovetskoye, znamya narodnoye
Pust' ot pobedy k pobede vedyot!
Be glorious, our free Motherland,
A reliable stronghold of the peoples' happiness!
Banner of the Soviets, Banner of the people,
May it lead from victory to victory!

Мы армию нашу растили в сраженьях.
Захватчиков подлых с дороги сметём!
Мы в битвах решаем судьбу поколений,
Мы к славе Отчизну свою поведём!

My armiyu nashu rastili v srazhen’yakh,
Zakhvatchikov podlykh s dorogi smetyom!
My v bitvakh reshayem sud’bu pokoleny,
My k slave Otchiznu svoyu povedyom!

We grew our army in battles,
We will sweep the vile invaders out of the way!
We shall in battle decide the fate of generations,
We shall lead to glory our Motherland!

Славься, Отечество наше свободное,
Славы народов надёжный оплот!
Знамя Советское, знамя народное
Пусть от победы к победе ведёт!
Slav'sya, Otechestvo nashe svobodnoye,
Slavy narodov nadyozhny oplot!
Znamya Sovetskoye, znamya narodnoye
Pust' ot pobedy k pobede vedyot!
Be glorious, our free Motherland,
A reliable stronghold of the peoples' glory!
Banner of the Soviets, Banner of the people,
May it lead from victory to victory!
Lyrics for the 1977 version
Russian Transliteration (BGN/PCGN) Literal translation
  • Союз нерушимый республик свободных
  • Сплотила навеки Великая Русь.
  • Да здравствует созданный волей народов
  • Единый, могучий Советский Союз!
  • Soyuz nerushimy respublik svobodnykh
  • Splotila naveki velikaya Rus'.
  • Da zdravstvuyet sozdanny voley narodov
  • Yediny, moguchy Sovetsky Soyuz!
  • An unbreakable union of free republics,
  • The Great Russia has welded forever to stand.
  • Long live the creation of the will of the people,
  • The united, mighty Soviet Union!
Славься, Отечество наше свободное,
Дружбы народов надёжный оплот!
Партия Ленина - сила народная
Нас к торжеству Коммунизма ведёт!
Slav'sya, Otechestvo nashe svobodnoye,
Druzhby narodov nadyozhny oplot!
Partiya Lenina - sila narodnaya
Nas k torzhestvu Kommunizma vedyot!
Be glorious, our free Motherland,
A reliable stronghold of the peoples' friendship!
Party of Lenin, strength of the people,
Leads us to the triumph of Communism!
  • Сквозь грозы сияло нам солнце свободы,
  • И Ленин великий нам путь озарил:
  • На правое дело он поднял народы,
  • На труд и на подвиги нас вдохновил!
  • Skvoz' grozy siyalo nam solntse svobody,
  • I Lenin velikiy nam put' ozaril,
  • Na pravoye delo on podnyal narody,
  • Na trud i na podvigi nas vdokhnovil!
  • Through tempests the sun of freedom shone to us,
  • And the great Lenin illuminated our path,
  • To a just cause he raised up the people
  • To labour and heroic deeds he inspired us!
  • В победе бессмертных идей коммунизма
  • Мы видим грядущее нашей страны,
  • И Красному знамени славной Отчизны
  • Мы будем всегда беззаветно верны!
  • V pobede bessmertnykh idey kommunizma
  • My vidim gryadushcheye nashey strany,
  • I Krasnomu znameni slavnoy Otchizny
  • My budem vsegda bezzavetno verny!
  • In the victory of the immortal ideas of Communism
  • We see the future of our country,
  • And to the Red Banner of our glorious Motherland
  • We shall always be selflessly true!

Other translations

Other translations for the 1944 version
Official CPSU translation[15] Paul Robeson's translation English Translation by Olga Paul[16]
  • Unbreakable Union of freeborn Republics
  • Great Russia has welded forever to stand!
  • Created in struggle by will of the Peoples,
  • United and Mighty our Soviet Land!
  • United forever in friendship and labor,
  • Our mighty Republics will ever endure.
  • The great Soviet Union will live through the ages.
  • The dream of a people their fortress secure!
  • The Russian republics, in freedom united,
  • Have mustered their power, their glory, their pride,
  • And thus they created the great Soviet Union,
  • The will of the nations that spread far and wide!
CHORUS:
Sing to our Motherland, Free and Undying,
Bulwark of Peoples in Brotherhood Strong!
Flag of the Soviets, Flag of the people,
From Victory to Victory lead us on!
CHORUS:
Long live our Soviet motherland, built by the people's mighty hand.
Long live our people, united and free.
Strong in our friendship tried by fire. Long may our crimson flag inspire,
Shining in glory for all men to see!
Great shall your glory be,
Motherland proud and free,
Bulwark of friendship for nation and man!
Flag of the Soviet, lead us to victory,
Flag of the people since freedom began!
  • Through tempests the shadows of freedom have cheered us,
  • Along the new path where great Lenin did lead,
  • Be true to the people, thus Stalin has reared us,
  • Inspired us to labor and Valorus Deed!
  • Through days dark and stormy where great Lenin led us
  • Our eyes saw the bright Sun of freedom above
  • and Stalin our leader with faith in the people,
  • Inspired us to build up the land that we love!
  • The sunlight of freedom has shone through the tempest,
  • And Lenin has lighted our path with his flame,
  • While Stalin has shown us that faith in the people
  • Inspires us to action, to deeds and to fame.
  • Our army grew up in the heat of grim battle,
  • Barbarian invaders we'll swiftly strike down.
  • In combat the fate of the future we'll settle,
  • Our country we'll lead to eternal renown!
  • We fought for the future, destroyed the invader,
  • and brought to our homeland the laurels of fame.
  • Our glory will live in the memory of nations
  • and all generations will honor her name!
  • Our army in action has grown in its power,
  • And soon it will wipe out the enemy horde;
  • The fate of the future is sealed by our bravery,
  • And honour and glory shall be our reward!

Media

A promotional video on Soviet TV containing the Bolshoi Theatre choir recording of the anthem, c. 1984.
Playing of the State Anthem at the 67th Anniversary of the October Revolution in 1984.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Державний гімн СРСР (Ukrainian)
    Дзяржаўны гімн СССР (Belarusian)
    СССР мадҳияси (Uzbek)
    КСРО Мемлекеттік Әнұраны (Kazakh)
    СССР гимны (Bashkir)
    ССРБ дәүләт гимны (Tatar)
    ეროვნული ჰიმნი სსრკ (Georgian)
    ССРИ Дөвләт һимни (Azerbaijani)
    SSRS valstybinis himnas (Lithuanian)
    Имнул де стат ал УРСС (Moldavian)
    PSRS valsts himna (Latvian)
    СССР Мамлекеттик Гимн (Kirghiz)
    ИҶШС Суруди Милли (Tajik)
    ԽՍՀՄ պետական օրհներգը (Armenian)
    Дабаралы өвги ССРС (Turkmen)
    NSVL riigihümn (Estonian)
    SNTL:n valtiohymni (Finnish)
    UdSSR-Hymne (German)
    Hymne de l'URSS (French)
    Szovjetunió Himnusz (Hungarian)

References

  1. ^ Russian: Жить Стало Лучше, tr. Zhit' Stalo Luchshe, IPA: [ʐɨtʲ ˈstalə ˈlut͡ʂʂɨ]
  2. ^ "A. V. Aleksandrov, "Zhit' Stalo Luchshe"". www.cyberussr.com. Retrieved 2017-12-18. 
  3. ^ "Zhit' stalo luchshe, zhit' stalo veseleye - slova Stalina" Жить стало лучше, жить стало веселее - слова Сталина [Life has become better, life has become more cheerful - the words of Stalin]. bibliotekar.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2017-12-18. 
  4. ^ 1906-1975., Shostakovich, Dmitriĭ Dmitrievich, (2004). Testimony : the memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich. Volkov, Solomon. (25th anniversary ed ed.). New York: Limelight Editions. pp. 261–262. ISBN 9780879109981. OCLC 53183394. 
  5. ^ E., Fay, Laurel (2000). Shostakovich : a life. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 139. ISBN 9780195182514. OCLC 40954268. 
  6. ^ "Gimn Soyuza Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik (Stalinsky)" Гимн Союза Советских Социалистических Республик («Сталинский») [Anthem of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Stalin's)]. Museum of Russian Anthems. Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2018. 
  7. ^ Sputnik. "Russia Marks Soviet Poet Mikhalkov's 100th Anniversary". 
  8. ^ Morse, Eric (9 September 2009). "The Cold War on ice". canada.com. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. 
  9. ^ "How Roger Doucet Wrote the Soviet National Anthem". 
  10. ^ Голованова, М. П.; В. С. Шергин (2003). Государственные символы России. Москва: Росмэн-Пресс. p. 150. ISBN 5-353-01286-0. 
  11. ^ II. Связанные с гимном Глинки Archived August 1, 2012, at Archive.is
  12. ^ "За гимн СССР - 5 лет тюрьмы: декоммунизация в цифрах и фактах". 
  13. ^ Sputnik. "Latvia Bans Soviet, Nazi Symbols". en.ria.ru. 
  14. ^ "BBC NEWS - Europe - Lithuanian ban on Soviet symbols". 
  15. ^ "Lyrics: The Soviet National Anthem". www.marxists.org. Retrieved 2017-10-29. 
  16. ^ "Gimn Sovetskogo Soyuza" Гимн Советского Союза [Hymn of the Soviet Union] (PDF). Russian Anthems Museum. 2005-05-23. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-24. Retrieved 2018-01-01. 

External links

  • 20 Most popular Soviet songs
  • The author of Russian national anthem: sources of the USSR's anthem in Russian.
  • by K.Kovalev – Eng. Bortniansky's anthem "Kol slaven" - Eng.
  • Vocal performance of the National Anthem of the Soviet Union with lyrics on YouTube
  • As presented by Central Television in 1984 on YouTube
  • Collection of the USSR anthem in different languages
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