Katyusha (song)

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"Katyusha"
War song
Published 1938
Genre Folk
Language Russian
Writer Mikhail Isakovsky
Composer Matvei Blanter

"Katyusha," also transliterated "Katusha" or "Katjusha," (Russian: Катю́ша) is a Russian wartime song composed in 1938 by Matvei Blanter with lyrics from Mikhail Isakovsky. Written a bit before World War II, the song depicts a girl longing for her beau, who is a soldier serving on the border far away. It was first sung by female students from a Russian industrial school in Moscow to bid farewell to Russian soldiers going on the battle front against Nazi Germany in July 1941. The song quickly became popular throughout the USSR. Its first official performance was by Valentina Batishcheva in the Column Hall of Moscow's House of the Unions. Later it was performed by Lidiya Ruslanova and other singers.

Katyusha is a diminutive form of the female name Ekaterina (Katherine). The song is the source of the nickname of the BM-8, BM-13, and BM-31 "Katyusha" rocket launchers that were used by the Red Army in World War II.

Other versions[edit]

In 1943, Italy, until then a member of the Axis, joined the Allies. During the next two years, Italian partisans fought against German forces in Italy and Italian Fascists. Felice Cascione wrote Italian lyrics for "Katyusha." His adaptation, "Fischia il vento" ("The wind blows"), became one of the most famous partisan anthems, along with "Bella ciao" and "La Brigata Garibaldi".

During the Greek Civil War (1946–1949), Greek partisans who had also fought against the German invasion in 1941, wrote their version of "Katyusha" named "The hymn of EAM" ("Ο ύμνος του ΕΑΜ"). This adaptation was recorded much later by Thanos Mikroutsikos and sung by Maria Dimitriadi.[citation needed]

Ivan Rebroff recorded his own version in 1968 in Russian language.[citation needed] Rika Zarai sang a French adaptation of "Katyusha," under the name Casatschok.[citation needed] Nat King Cole recorded a song with the same melody called "Katusha."[citation needed] Karel Gott recorded a German version titled "Katjuscha."[citation needed] In 1969 the melody of Katyusha was used as base for the song Casatchok (a free transliteration of the Cyrillic Казачок), sung by Dori Ghezzi.[citation needed]

"Katyusha" is part of the repertoire of the Alexandrov Ensemble.[citation needed] In 2010, Russian countertenor Vitas covered a version of this song.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]