Dievs, svētī Latviju!

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Dievs, svētī Latviju!
English: God, Bless Latvia!
Flag of Latvia.svg

National anthem of  Latvia
Lyrics Kārlis Baumanis, 1873
Music Kārlis Baumanis, 1873
Adopted 1920 (restored 1990)
Music sample

Dievs, svētī Latviju! (Latvian pronunciation: [diɛvs sveːtiː ˈlatviju]; God, Bless Latvia!) is the national anthem of Latvia. The words and music were written by Kārlis Baumanis (Baumaņu Kārlis, 1834–1904).

History and composition[edit]

The music and lyrics were written in 1873 by Kārlis Baumanis, a teacher, who was part of the Young Latvian nationalist movement.[1] It has been speculated that Baumanis may have borrowed part of the lyrics from a popular song which was sung to tune of God Save the Queen, modified them and set them to music of his own. Baumanis's lyrics were different from the modern ones: he used the term "Baltics" synonymously and interchangeably with "Latvia" and "Latvians", so "Latvia" was actually mentioned only at the beginning of the first verse. Later the term "Latvia" was removed and replaced with "Baltics" to avoid a ban on the song. This has led to the misapprehension that the term "Latvia" was not part of the song until 1920, when it was chosen as national anthem and the word "Baltics" was replaced with "Latvia".[2][3]

After Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940, the singing of "Dievs, svētī Latviju!" was banned. In its place, the anthem of the Soviet republic of Latvia was used. By the time Latvia restored its independence in 1990, the anthem was once again restored as the national anthem of Latvia.

The anthem's tune was modernized with a new F major version that is used since 2014, formerly a G Major version was used on LTV's sign-on and sign-offs daily from 2011 up to 2013.

Official lyrics[4] English translation
Dievs, svētī Latviju!
Mūs' dārgo tēviju
Svētī jel Latviju
Ak, svētī jel to! (repeat)

Kur latvju meitas zied
Kur latvju dēli dzied
Laid mums tur laimē diet
Mūs' Latvijā! (repeat)
God, bless Latvia!
Our beloved fatherland
Bless Latvia
Oh bless it, we beseech thee! (repeat)

Where Latvian daughters bloom
Where Latvian sons sing
Let us dance happily there
In our Latvia! (repeat)


Other uses[edit]

Latvian 2 euro coins bear the inscription DIEVS SVĒTĪ LATVIJU around the edge.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Darba apraksts". LIIS mūzikas lapas (in Latvian). Latvijas Izglītības informatizācijas sistēma. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
  2. ^ Dr. art. Arnolds Klotiņš (1998-11-13). "Latvijas svētās skaņas (Part I)" (in Latvian). Latvijas Vēstnesis. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  3. ^ Dr. art. Arnolds Klotiņš (1998-11-17). "Latvijas svētās skaņas (Part II)" (in Latvian). Latvijas Vēstnesis. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  4. ^ "Par Latvijas valsts himnu" (in Latvian). Latvijas Vēstnesis. 1998-03-05. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 

External links[edit]