Широка страна моя родная

Русский > Контекст > Пропаганда > Широка страна моя родная

The song Широка страна моя родная (Shiroka strana moya rodnaya) or Vast Is My Motherland is a typical, and perhaps the most famous example of how all forms of art and entertainment were used for propaganda purposes in the Soviet Union.

The song was composed by Basil Lebedev-Kumach (1898-1949) and Isaac Dunajekvsky (1900-1955) for the film Цирк (Tsirk) or The Circus, made by director Grigory Aleksandrov (1903-1983), and became extremely popular. In 1939 the first chords of the chorus were used as the opening tune for Radio 1.

Just after the outbreak of World War II the British BBC television brought the song in the news. When the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill wanted to give a speech to show his support for the Soviet Union in the fight against Nazi Germany, the station refused to broadcast the Soviet anthem. At that time it was The Internationale, the world famous anthem of the communists. Instead, the BBC used the song Vast Is My Motherland.

Incidentally, in 1991, Vast Is My Motherland has actually been suggested as a possible anthem for the new Russian Federation. However, Boris Yeltsin preferred The Patriot Song from 1837 by composer Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857) which, in the year 2000, was in turn replaced by Vladimir Putin by the old Hymn of the Soviet Union, with a new text though, and renamed as Hymn of the Russian Federation.

The chorus

Oh my spacious and beautiful Motherland!
Full of rivers, forests and vast fields
There"s no other country that I know of
In which mankind breathes so free!
There"s no other country that I know of
In which mankind breathes so free!


    Широка страна моя родная- Иван Петров
                                With the Ensemble for Music and Dance of the USSR

    Гимн Российской Федерации - Феликс Коробов
                                With the Choir of the Bolshoi Theatre

    Патриотическая Песня - Михаил Глинка
                                With the State Symfonic Orchestra

    Интернационал - Г. Рождественский
                                With the Choir and Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre


Watch the song in the film

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