Dievs, svētī Latviju!

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Dievs, svētī Latviju!
English: God, Bless Latvia!
Latvian Anthem Sheet Music.svg

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

Dievs, svētī Latviju! (Latvian pronunciation: [diɛu̯s svɛːtiː ˈlatviju]; "God Bless Latvia!") is the national anthem of Latvia. The words and music were written by Kārlis Baumanis (Baumaņu Kārlis, 1835–1905).

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]

During the annexation of Latvia by the Soviet Union, the singing of "Dievs, svētī Latviju!" was banned. The Soviet republic of Latvia had its own anthem. "Dievs, svētī Latviju!" was restored as the state anthem of Latvia on 15 February 1990,[4] a very short period before Latvian independence was restored.

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 IPA transcription 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![5] (repeat)

God, bless Latvia!
Our beloved fatherland
Bless Latvia
Oh bless it, yet again! (repeat)

Where Latvian daughters bloom
Where Latvian sons sing
Let us dance for joy there,
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. Archived from the original on 2007-05-12. 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. ^ Dzintra Stelpe (2009). Lielā Latvijas Enciklopēdija (in Latvian). Riga: Zvaigzne ABC. p. 263. ISBN 9789984408095. OCLC 644036298. 
  5. ^ "Par Latvijas valsts himnu" (in Latvian). Latvijas Vēstnesis. 1998-03-05. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 

External links[edit]