The Sacred War

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The Sacred War (Russian: Священная война Svyashchennaya Voyna, also known as Вставай, страна огромная! "Arise, Great (Vast) Country!") was one of the most famous Soviet songs associated with the Second World War. It was written by request of Joseph Stalin in 1941, shortly after the beginning of the German invasion of the Soviet Union[citation needed]. The music is by Aleksandr Aleksandrov, founder of the Alexandrov Ensemble and the music composer for the National Anthem of the Soviet Union. The lyrics are by Vasily Lebedev-Kumach.

The circumstances of the composition and first performance of the song were hurried; the lyrics were published on 24 June 1941, and Aleksandrov immediately wrote the music for them, writing the notes out on a blackboard for the singers to copy manually. The first performance was on 26 June at Belorussky Rail Terminal, where according to eyewitnesses it was sung five times in succession.[1]

There are a number of foreign-language adaptations of this song, among them the German version Der Heilige Krieg (written by Stephan Hermlin) and the Hungarian version Fel, küzdelemre, hõs haza.

In the 1990s, Russian media published the allegation that the lyrics had been plagiarized by Lebedev-Kumach, and that they were indeed written during the First World War by one A. A. Bode (1865–1939). These claims were taken to court, and the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta in June 2000 was forced to publish a retraction of the claim.[2] Levshaev (2000) still upheld doubts on the authorship, and on the reasonableness of the court's decision.[3]

The song has been used during the march of the color guard in Victory Day parades in both the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation, such as the 2010 Victory Day parade in Moscow on May 9, 2010.

Lyrics[edit]

Вставай, страна огромная,
Вставай на смертный бой
С фашистской силой тёмною,
С проклятою ордой.

Припев: (2x)
Пусть ярость благородная
Вскипает, как волна!
Идёт война народная,
Священная война!

Дадим отпор душителям
Всех пламенных идей,
Насильникам, грабителям,
Мучителям людей!

Припев

Не смеют крылья чёрные
Над Родиной летать,
Поля её просторные
Не смеет враг топтать!

Припев

Гнилой фашистской нечисти
Загоним пулю в лоб,
Отребью человечества
Сколотим крепкий гроб!

Припев (2x)

Vstavaj, strana ogromnaja,
Vstavaj na smertnyj boj!
S fašistskoj siloj tjomnoju,
S prokljatoju ordoj.

Pripev: (2x)
Pust’ jarost’ blagorodnaja
Vskipaet, kak volna!
Idjot vojna narodnaja,
Svjaščennaja vojna!

Dadim otpor dušiteljam
Vsech plamennych idej,
Nasil’nikam, grabiteljam,
Mučiteljam ljudej.

Pripev

Ne smejut kryl’ja čornye
Nad Rodinoj letat’,
Polja ejo prostornye
Ne smeet vrag toptat’.

Pripev

Gniloj fašistskoj nečisti
Zagonim pulju v lob,
Otreb’ju čelovečestva
Skolotim krepkij grob!

Pripev (2x)

Arise, vast country,
Arise for a fight to the death
Against the dark fascist forces,
Against the cursed hordes.

Chorus: (2x)
Let noble wrath
Boil over like a wave!
This is the peoples' war,
a sacred war!

We shall repulse the oppressors
Of all ardent ideas.
The rapists and the plunderers,
The torturers of people.

Chorus

The black wings shall not dare
Fly over the Motherland,
On her spacious fields
The enemy shall not dare tread!

Chorus

We shall drive a bullet into the forehead
Of the rotten fascist filth,
We shall build a solid coffin
For the scum of humanity!

Chorus (2x)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ В. Олару. Стихотворение в газете Независимая Молдова, 21 июня 2001 (Archived July 11, 2008 at the Wayback Machine)
  2. ^ Опровержение Независимая газета, 5 июля 2000; A. Barinov, Бард сталинской эпохи. 105 лет со дня рождения Василия Лебедева-Кумача, «АиФ Долгожитель» № 15 (27) от 8 августа 2003 г.
  3. ^ Е. М. Левашев. Судьба песни // Архив наследия — 2000 / Сост. и науч. ред. Плужников В. И.; РАН. Российский Научно-исследовательский институт культурного и природного наследия им. Д. С. Лихачёва. — М.: Институт Наследия, 2001, 305–330 (online version).

References[edit]

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