Sunday, January 4, 2015

Canadian Writes English Lyrics to Russian National Anthem

UPDATE:  January 6, 2015 Canada won the World Junior Hockey Championship by 5-4 over the Russians, who won the Silver Medel.  Slovakia won the Bronze.  Commentators said it was the "Best championship game ever".  Russia came back from 3 - 1 to almost tie the game.  The only down side to the evening was seeing a certain clown in the stands.
Russia and Canada will be facing each other off for the gold in the World Junior Hockey Championship in Toronto on Monday, January 5, 2015.  Historic battles on the hockey rink over the past four or five decades have given our nations a healthy respect for one another's prowess in Canada's official sport.

Canadians have learned to love the Russian National Anthem, having heard it so many times at Hockey games.  I listened to it again today when the Russian team beat the Swedes--to advance to the final round.  You can hear it again here at the 5 minute mark of Putin's New Year's Eve address:

Doing a little google to find our more about the Russian anthem, I learned something quite surprising.  In 2005, a Canadian, Patrick McDougall, composed English lyrics to the Russian National Anthem.  Here they are and I think they're quite good.

Attempts at singable lyrics

(anyone dares to sing an English translation professionally and send me a recording?)
Version by Patrick McDougall (, Canada, March 2005:
There wells from within us an anthem of praise
For the annals of courage our his’try displays.
We vanquished invaders and found, in their wake,
A renewal of faith in the path we must take.
Come, share a common destiny!
Take strength from our diversity
Forging a future for those yet to be.
Come, share a common destiny!
Take strength from our diversity
Forging a future for those yet to be.
This nation we cherish took root, we are told,
In the victories won by the brave and the bold.
Now, yearning for peace and a place in the sun,
Let us turn with a will to what’s still to be done.

  • Sheet music with Patrick McDougall’s words
  • Amateur recording: MP3 (1.6MB, 1:44, 128kbps) by Patrick McDougall (2005) 
  • Reading the English translation of the Russian lyrics...

    As the Russian lyrics are impossible to sing in English.  I was wondering whether the Russians might ever consider adopting an English version for English speaking admirers of Russia to sing along.  While the Canadian version above is a good start, I do have one complaint about it.  It does not mention the word "Russia" at all.  I believe a good National Anthem should have the name of the country in it.  But if Russia did adopt an English version based on the Canadian one, think of what it would do to the Bonhomie between the countries.  It might even make up for that stinkeroo that Harper pulled on Putin at the last G20 meeting.

    Go Canada! and Go Russia!

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