The Internationale (1871)
Red Army Chorus, conducted by A. V. Aleksandrov. Music: Pierre Degeyter. Lyrics: Eugene Pottier
Description: Although the leading anthem of the revolution, the internationalism of this old standard seemed increasingly dated in the 1930s. It was displaced by the popular ‘Song of the Motherland’, and replaced entirely by the new national anthem of 1943.
Song of the Motherland (1935)
Music: Isaak Dunaevskii. Lyrics: Vasilii Lebedev-Kumach
Description: Written for the movie ‘Circus’, its popularity was so immense that the melody became the broadcast signal for Radio Moscow in the 1930s, and served as unofficial national anthem until 1943. Its optimistic and patriotic words were even cited by one of Stalin s purge victims at his trial the day before he was executed.
Soviet Anthem (in English) (1944)
Paul Robeson. Music: A. V. Aleksandrov. Lyrics: Sergei Mikhalkov
Description: Paul Robeson, the internationally renowned bass-baritone, actor, lawyer, athlete, writer and activist performed this wartime recording of the new Soviet anthem. Barred from benefiting his homeland with his skills because of his forthright criticism of Jim Crow laws, and his praise for Soviet multi-nationalism, Robeson was a frequent and welcome guest in the Soviet Union.
Anthem of the USSR (1977)
Red Army Chorus
Description: This version of the anthem came out in 1977, timed to the promulgation of the new Constitution. Stalin’s name, mentioned in the original, had made it impossible to perform the lyrics of the anthem in public for many years. It was expunged from this new version.
Patriotic Song. Russian National Anthem (1993)
Music: Mikhail Glinka
Description: This patriotic hymn, originally composed to praise the rule of Nicholas II, served the post-Soviet Russian Federation until a new anthem could be composed.
New Russian National Anthem (2000)
Description: This anthem, proposed and passed under the guidance of new president Vladimir Putin, represented the mysterious ties of old and new in the new Russia. It used the old music of the Soviet anthem by Red Army Chorus director Aleksandrov, and solicited new lyrics from author of the original Soviet anthem, Sergei Mikhalkov.