[Deșteaptă-te, române!]

This year Romanians celebrate the 91st anniversary of the Great Unification of December 1st, 1918, which they choose as their National Day after 1989.

I like this choir version of Romanian’s anthem and the fact that the user added a lot of great photos, in an attempt to illustrate/summarize Romania’s history.

Romanian National Anthem, for my English-speaking friends/readers:

“Wake Up, Romanian!” or
“Awaken thee, Romanian!”

Awaken thee, Romanian, shake off the deadly slumber
The scourge of inauspicious barbarian tyrannies
And now or never to a bright horizon clamber
That shall to shame put all your nocuous enemies.

It’s now or never to the world we readily proclaim
In our veins throbs and ancestry of Roman
And in our hearts for ever we glorify a name
Resounding of battle, the name of Trajan.

Do look imperial shadows, Michael, Stephen, Corvinus
At the Romanian nation, your mighty progeny
With arms like steel and hearts of fire impetuous
It’s either free or dead, that’s what they all decree.

Priests, rise the cross, this Christian army’s liberating
The word is freedom, no less sacred is the end
We’d rather die in battle, in elevated glory
Than live again enslaved on our ancestral land.

*** Romania’s national anthem has eleven verses. In vocal performances it is usual to sing verses 1 and 2, or 1, 2, and 4 (sometimes in the order 1, 4, 2 – like in this case).

The lyrics of the national anthem belong to Andrei Muresan (1816-1863), a Romanian poet, journalist, translator, a genuine tribune of the times marked by the 1848 Revolution. The music was composed by Anton Pann (1796-1854), a poet and ethnographer, a singer and author of music textbooks.

The anthem was sung for the first time on June 29th, 1848 at Ramnicu Valcea. Under the title “Desteapta-te romane” (“Awaken Thee, Romanian”), Andrei Muresan’s poem “Un rasunet” became Romania’s anthem and spontaneously earned recognition owing to its energetic and mobilizing message.

“Desteapta-te romane” has been a song dear to the Romanians, giving them courage in the crucial moments, during the Independence War (1877-1878), just as during World War I or during the crisis following August 23rd, 1944 when Romania turned against Hitler’s Germany and then participated in the war along with the Allies. At the time of the anti-Communist revolution, on December 22nd, the message of the anthem accompanied huge masses of people, uniting them in their thirst for freedom.

The message of the anthem “Desteapta-te romane” is social and national at the same time, imposing a state of permanent vigilence and claiming the awakening of historical traditions, highlighting the idea of identity. This “now or never” historically calls upon all vital energies and mobilizes to the full. It is a living proof of Romanians’ aspirations to union and harmony among themselves.


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