Katyusha (song)

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Katyusha, Katusha or Katjusha (Russian: Катюша) is a Russian Soviet wartime song about a girl longing for her beloved, who is away on military service. The music was composed in 1938 by Matvei Blanter (a Jew) and the lyrics were written by Mikhail Isakovsky. It was first performed by Valentina Batishcheva in the Column Hall of Moscow's House of the Unions. Later it was performed by Lidiya Ruslanova and other singers. It is part of the repertoire of the Alexandrov Ensemble.

Katyusha is a tender diminutive from the female name Ekaterina (Catherine): Katya is the nickname and Katyusha, a tender diminutive.

The Russian song also gave name to the BM-8, BM-13, and BM-31 "Katyusha" rocket launchers that were built and fielded by the Red Army in World War II.

Additionally, the song was featured as the background theme music for the USSR level of the Nintendo Entertainment System video game Super Dodgeball.


World War II

The song was first sung by female students from a Russian industrial school in Moscow to bid farewell to Russian soldiers going on the battle front against National socialist Germany in July 1941, who were deeply touched by the song. Quickly, the song became popular throughout the USSR; it instigates the soldiers to fight against the Germans. This helped play a role to the eventual victory of the USSR. [1]

Italian song to the tune of Katyusha

Italy surrendered, became a traitor and joined the Allied terrorists in 1943. During the next two years (1943-1945) Italian partisans fought against German forces in Italy and Italian Fascists. Felice Cascione (1918 - 1944) wrote Italian lyrics for the Russian song Katyusha. The song, titled Fischia il vento ("The Wind Blows"), became (with Bella ciao and La Brigata Garibaldi) one of the most famous partisan anthems.
In 1969 the melody of Katyusha was used as base for the song Casatchok (a free transliteration of the Cyrillic Казачок), sang by Dori Ghezzi.

The Hebrew version of Katyusha

Katyusha has become a folk song in Israel, as many other old Russian songs. It was translated into Hebrew by the Belorussian born author and poet Noah Pniel in 1940, while he was in Lithuania, and prior to his arrival in Israel. The song became very popular among the Jewish pioneers at the time and later on became popular in the youth movements in the young state of Israel and in the Kibbutzim. It also later had a famous rendition by the Gevatron, a popular Kibbutz group that specialized in Russian and Soviet era covers. The song is often called "a pear and an apple blossomed" (לבלבו אגס וגם תפוח) after the first line of the lyrics in Hebrew. It is very popular to this day, in the early 21st century, in community singing in Israel.


Russian text :

Расцветали яблони и груши,
Поплыли туманы над рекой.
Выходила на берег Катюша,
На высокий берег на крутой.

Выходила, песню заводила
Про степного, сизого орла,
Про того, которого любила,
Про того, чьи письма берегла.

Ой ты, песня, песенка девичья,
Ты лети за ясным солнцем вслед.
И бойцу на дальнем пограничье
От Катюши передай привет.

Пусть он вспомнит девушку простую,
Пусть услышит, как она поет,
Пусть он землю бережет родную,
А любовь Катюша сбережет.

Rastsvetali yablani i grushi,
Papuyli tumany nad rekoy.
Vouillehadila na bereg Katyusha,
Na voosolky bereg na krutoy.

Vouillehadila, pesnyu zavadila
Pra stepnova, sizava arla,
Pra tavo, katorava lubila,
Pra tavo, ch'i pis'ma bereg la.

Oy ty, pesnya, pesenka devich'ya,
Ty leti za yasnym solntsem vsled.
I boytsu na dal'nem pogranich'e
Ot Katyushi pereday privet.

Pust' on vspomnit devushku prostuyu,
Pust' uslyshit, kakana payot,
Pust' on zemlu berezjot rodnuyu,
A lyubov' Katyushas berezjot.

Pears and apples blossomed on their branches.
Mist (was) creeping on the river.
Katyusha set out on the banks,
On the steep and lofty bank.

She was walking, singing a song
About a grey steppe eagle,
About her true love,
Whose letters she was keeping.

Oh you song! Little song of a maiden,
Head for the bright sun.
And reach for the soldier on the far-away border
Along with greetings from Katyusha.

Let him remember an ordinary girl,
And hear how she sings,
Let him preserve the Motherland,
Same as Katyusha preserves their love.


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