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 - Little Catherine) 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, Georgi Vinogradov, Eduard Khil, Anna German, Ivan Rebroff, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Iosif Kobzon, countertenor Vitas, and other singers. "Katyusha" is part of the repertoire of the Alexandrov Ensemble.[citation needed]

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.

In other languages[edit]

Katyusha sang for Maslenitsa celebration, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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]

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]

In popular culture[edit]

External links[edit]

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