Katyusha (song)

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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.

Ivan Rebroff recorded his own version in 1968 in Russian language. Rika Zarai sang a French adaptation of "Katyusha," under the name Casatschok. Nat King Cole recorded a song with the same melody called "Katusha." Karel Gott recorded a German version titled "Katjuscha." 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.

A more recent remake, by Los Angeles pop artist Vera Clay, was performed in a eurodance style. "Katyusha" is part of the repertoire of the Alexandrov Ensemble. In 2010, Russian countertenor Vitas covered a version of this song.

Another recent remake by the Steampunk band Abney Park is on the 2013 album Circus at the End of the World.[citation needed]


Original Transcription translation

Расцветали яблони и груши,
Поплыли туманы над рекой.
Выходила на берег Катюша,
На высокий берег на крутой.

Выходила, песню заводила
Про степного, сизого орла,
Про того, которого любила,
Про того, чьи письма берегла.

Ой ты, песня, песенка девичья,
Ты лети за ясным солнцем вслед.
И бойцу на дальнем пограничье
От Катюши передай привет.

Пусть он вспомнит девушку простую
И услышит, как она поёт,
Пусть он землю бережёт родную,
А любовь Катюша сбережёт.

Raszvetali jabloni i gruschi,
Poplyli tumany nad rekoj.
Vychodila na bereg Katjuscha,
Na Vyssoki bereg na krutoj.

Vychodila, pesnju savodila
Pro stepnovo, sisovo orla,
Pro tovo, kotorovo ljubila,
Pro tovo, tschji pisma beregla.

Oi ty, pesnja, pessenka devitschja,
Ty leti sa jasnym solnzem vsled.
I boizu na dalnem pogranitschje
Ot Katjuschi peredai privet.

Pust on vspomnit devuschku prostuju
I uslyschit, kak ona pojot,
Pust on semlju bereschjot rodnuju,
A ljubov Katjushha sbereschjot.

The apple- and the pear-tree bloom,
fog lay above the river,
there went Katjuscha out onto the shore,
onto the tall, steep shore.

she went out and sang a song
about a grey steppe eagle,
about whom, whom she loved,
about whom, whose letters she kept.

oh, you song, you little song of a girl,
fly after the bright sun
and bring the warrior in far foreign land
a greeting from Katjuscha.

he shall think of his simple girl
and hear, how she sings,
he shall protect the homely earth
and Katjuscha will save her love.

In popular culture[edit]

External links[edit]