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21/4/2014 11:19
RIA Novosti

Russia's State Symbols

National Anthem

Topic: June 12 – the Day of Russia

09:54 07/06/2007

For a long time Russia had no anthem. Up to the 17th century, Orthodox religious chants were performed during state ceremonies and events of national significance. In Peter the Great's era, "vivat chants" began to be performed on solemn occasions - patriotic songs alternating with wishes of long years of life. This was practised until the 1780s.


In the 18th century the "Te Deum" medieval European hymn acted as the anthem. It was played after victories scored by Russian troops, at the end of church services, and on the saint days of members of the imperial family. One of the laudatory chants and oratorios was the oldest "Preobrazhensky March of Peter the Great" composed near the end of Peter's reign.

By the end of the 19th century the Preobrazhensky March became the principal piece of music in Russia. Starting in 1917, this march for a time doubled as a national anthem.

The first official national anthem of Russia was the "Prayer of the Russians" set to the lyrics of Vasily Zhukovsky: God Save the Tsar. On September 19, 1816 the "Prayer" was sung when celebrating the anniversary of the Tsarskoye Selo lyceum with two additional couplets written by Alexander Pushkin. Alexander I then decreed that regimental orchestras always play the " Prayer" when greeting the emperor.

The birthday of Russia's second official anthem - "God Save the Tsar" - to the music of Alexei Lvov was December 25, 1833, the day the nation celebrated the expulsion of the French from Russia. That anthem survived until March 2, 1917, the day Emperor Nicholas II abdicated.

Following the February 1917 revolution the "Russian Marseillaise" acted as a hymn for a short time. On Lenin's proposal, the "Internationale" replaced the "bourgeois Marseillaise" "in the new conditions of an irreconcilable class struggle." On January 10, 1918 the "Internationale" was performed at the 3rd Congress of Soviets as the anthem of the victorious proletarian revolution.

On January 1, 1944 the country heard for the first time on the radio a new Soviet anthem, "The Unbreakable Union of Freeborn Republics." The music was composed by Alexander Alexandrov and lyrics written by Sergei Mikhalkov and Garold El-Registan.

In 1990, by decision of the RSFSR Council of Ministers, a government commission was set up to write a new national. For its music the authorities endorsed Mikhail Glinka's "Patriotic Song." A contest for lyrics was announced. Under its terms any citizen of Russia could contribute the text.

The commission received over 6,000 entries. A long and careful selection shortlisted twenty, which were performed by a choir and recorded. After listening to the recordings, members of the commission came to the conclusion that none of the versions were fit to be Russia's national anthem. The commission wound up its work in 1996.

On December 4, 2000 among federal laws on the state symbols, President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma a draft federal constitutional law "On the National Anthem of the Russian Federation." The music  by Alexander Alexandrov was proposed as the anthem. The law was approved by the State Duma and signed by President Putin on December 25, 2000.

In December 2000, a working group was again set up to examine proposals on the lyrics for the national anthem. The result was that on December 30, 2000 President Putin signed a decree on the lyrics for the anthem of the Russian Federation. By his decree he approved the lyrics written by Sergei Mikhalkov.

National Anthem

(lyrics  by Sergei Mikhalkov)

Russia, our holy nation!

Russia, our beloved country!

A mighty will, great glory -

These are yours for all time!

 

Be glorious, our free Fatherland!

Age-old union of fraternal peoples,

Popular wisdom given by our forebears,

Be glorious, our country! We are proud of you!

 

From the southern seas to the polar lands

Spread our forests and fields.

You are unique in the world, one of a kind,

Native land protected by God!

 

Be glorious, our free Fatherland!

Age-old union of fraternal peoples,

Popular wisdom given by our forebears,

Be glorious, our country! We are proud of you!

 

Wide spaces for dreams and for living

Are opened for us by the coming years

Our loyalty to our Fatherland gives us strength.

Thus it was, thus it is and always will be.

 

Be glorious, our free Fatherland!

Age-old union of fraternal peoples,

Popular wisdom given by our forebears,

Be glorious, our country! We are proud of you!

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