March on the Drina
The "March on the Drina" (Serbian Cyrillic: Марш на Дрину, pronounced [mârʃ na drǐːnu]) is a Serbian patriotic song from World War I composed by Stanislav Binički, and the title of a 1964 Yugoslav film.
During the First World War, the river Drina (located on the border between Bosnia and the Kingdom of Serbia) was the site of a bloody battle between the Austro-Hungarian army and the allied forces of the Serbian army, the Battle of Cer, from 16 August to 19 August 1914. The triumph of the Serbians over their numerically superior Austro-Hungarian opponents marked the first Allied victory over the Central Powers during the First World War. To honour the bravery of the fallen, the Serbian composer Stanislav Binički composed the "March on the Drina", a song which has become a symbol of the bravery of the Serbs during the First World War. Binički dedicated the march to Colonel Milivoje Stojanović, the third commander of the 2nd Infantry Regiment of the Serbian Army, which participated in the battle. Stojanovic was killed in the fighting.
The lyrics to the song were written many decades after Binički composed it, by poet and journalist Miloje Popović, in 1964 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Cer. English lyrics were added in 1964 by American songwriter Vaughn Horton for a recording by Patti Page under the title "Drina (Little Soldier Boy)". German lyrics were added by Walter Rothenburg in 1974 and Bert Olden in 1976. Milutin Popovic Zahar added Serbian lyrics to a version entitled "Svirajte Mi Mars na Drinu" in 1989.
In the Serbian constitutional referendum of 1992, the citizens voted to make it the official anthem of the Republic of Serbia. However, the turnout on the referendum was below the 50% benchmark set by the Constitution for validity, thus the March was never officially adopted. By 2004, the National Assembly had approved the old “God of Justice” anthem from the regal period as the national anthem, which was confirmed on the 2006 Constitutional referendum.
The composition became an international hit and a staple of world music after Danish guitarist Jørgen Ingmann had a number one hit on the Danish pop singles chart in 1963 in a version arranged for solo electric guitar on the Swedish Metronome Records label. His recording was also released in West Germany, where it reached #5, in the UK, in France, and in the U.S. on ATCO Records, 6277. Patti Page, The Shadows, Chet Atkins, Frankie Yankovic, Horst Wende, and James Last also recorded the song.
Popular international versions
- Jørgen Ingmann - "Marchen Til Drina" as a Metronome 45 single, B 1575, Denmark, 1963. Charts: #1, Denmark; #5, Germany
- The Shadows - "March to Drina" on the EMI Records album Shadow Music (1966)
- Patti Page - "Drina (Little Soldier Boy)" released as a Columbia 45 A side single, 43078, US; EP in Portugal, CBS 6195, 1964. English lyrics were written by American songwriter Vaughn Horton.
- Chet Atkins - "Drina" on the RCA Victor album From Nashville With Love, 1966
- James Last - on the Polydor LP Trumpet A Go Go, Vol. 3, Germany, 1968; James Last recorded the song in 1988 with Dutch flutist Berdien Stenberg, Flute Fiesta LP, Polydor 837 116-1
- The Nashville String Band featuring Chet Atkins and Homer and Jethro - "Drina" on the eponymous RCA Victor album, 1969
- Frankie Yankovic - "Drina (Little Soldier Boy)" on the CBS LP Saturday Night Polka Party, 1967
- Radomir Mihailović Točak - "Marš..." on the EP "Marš..." / "...na Drinu" (PGP RTB 1984), Yugoslavia
- Laibach - "Mars on River Drina" on the album NATO (1994), Slovenia, released on the Mute label, based in London
- The Jokers - "Drina" as a Discostar and Brunswick 45 single, Belgium, 1963
- The Spotnicks - "Drina" as a 45 single on Swedisc and W & G, Sweden; on CNR in Holland as "Drina Mars", 1964. Rerecorded in 1977. Charts: #8, Holland.
- Leon Young String Chorale- "Drina" as a 45 single, UK, Columbia, 7236, 1964
- Will Glahé's Bohème Ballhouse Band - "Drina Marsch" on Decca LP, 1964
- Bert Landers & Konrad Grewe - "Drina Marsch" from the album Schlager-Cocktail: Die 16 Spitzenschlager
- Horst Wende und sein Orchester – "Drina Marsch", Polydor 52 172, 7" 45 single, Germany, 1963; Roberto Delgado, pseudonym of Horst Wende, released as 45 single with picture sleeve in Italy as by Roberto Delgado e la sua orchestra, "March to Drina", Polydor 52172
- Die Kirmesmusikanten - "Drina Marsch", 7" 45 single, RCA, Germany, 1975.
- Gunter Noris und die Big Band der Bundeswehr - WM-Parade, CBS 80218, Germany, 1974
- Arne Domnerus Sekstett - on the LP Ja, Vi Älskar, Zarepta ZA 36010, Norway, 1978
- South African organist Cherry Wainer - on the LP Musik Im Blut, Discoton 75289, Germany; Hammond Organ: Light and Lively, double LP album, Polydor, 583 570, UK, 1964; Rhythmus im Blut LP, Polydor, 237 359, Germany, 1967; Cherry Wainer and Her Magic Hammond Organ LP, on Polydor, 236 036, 1967; Hammond Non Stop LP, Polydor Special 2418-188, 1969
- Ljubivoje Vidosavljević, Narodni Orkestar Carevac – "Marš Na Drinu", with lyrics by Miloje Popovic, PGP RTB, EP 12298, Yugoslavia, 1966
- Kurt Henkels und sein Tanzorchester, 1973
- Bauernkapelle Mindersdorf - on the album In der Musikscheune, Tyrolis, Germany, 2008
- Countdown Studio Band in 2006 as "Drina March"
- Moravian Wind Band on the CD collection Leuchtturm, 2003
- Captain Harp - on the LP Harmonica Highlights as "Drina-Marsch" as part of "Balkan Medley" by the Picca-Trio in an arrangement for harmonica, ZYX Music, 2010
- Henry Arland and Hans Bertram - "Drina Marsch (Mars na Drini)", or "Drina (In den Bergen singt der Wind)", on the LP Clarinet Fascination, Polydor, 2371 208, 1972
- Bob Kaper's The Beale Street Jazz Band - "Drina-March" b/w "Dominique", 45 picture sleeve single, RCA 47-9509, Dutch Amsterdam pressing.
- Ansambl "Urosevic" featuring violinist Vlastimir Pavlovic Carevac, on Metronome in Sweden, on Jugoton in Yugoslavia, 1963
- Gordana Lazarevic - "Svirajte Mi Mars na Drinu" ("Play Me 'The March on the Drina'"), lyrics by Milutin Popovic Zahar, PGP RTB, 1989
- Herbert Wetzler und seine Musikanten
- Franca Siciliano as "Drina" on Silver Record, XP 616, backed with "Ma cos'hai?" in Italy in 1966
- South African version of "March on the Drina" as "Drina March" by Dan Hill and Sounds Electronic, '8' LP, 42 Great Hits Perfect For Dancing, on RPM Records, 1037 S, 1969
- Fischer Choir, Fischer-Chöre, as "Drina-Marsch" on the Polydor album Das Große Spiel, The Great Game, Polydor 2371 500, Germany, 1974. The orchestra was under the direction of Hans Bertram. This vocal version features German lyrics written by Walter Rothenburg
- Czech vocalist Karel Gott on the album Singet und freut euch des Lebens, as "Drina-Marsch" with lyrics by Bert Olden, Polydor, 2371695, 1976
- The Dutch band Boemerang recorded the song as "Drina Mars" on the various artists album 84 Heerlijke Hollandse Hittroeven released in 2001
- German trumpeter Walter Scholz on the 2012 collection Rosen nur für dich as "Drina"
- Viva Vox Choir at the United Nations in a vocalized version in 2013 introduced by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon
- Ristanović, Slobodan. "Prvenac na Drini".
- Mars na Drinu. The Complete Index to World Film since 1895.
- Stvaranje Jugoslavije 1790—1918. Prosveta. 1989.
- KUD LOLA, http://www.kudlola.org.rs/sr_ci/pages/miloje-popovic-kavaja.php?lang=EN.
- Mars na Drinu (1964) at IMDB.
- Danish Top 20 Chart.
- Billboard, February 22, 1964, page 35. The single was no. 1 for 2 weeks in Denmark.
- Second Hand Songs: Drina March.