The 12 most popular Soviet songs about the Motherland & communism (VIDEO)

Kira Lisitskaya (Photo: ZUMA Press, Alexey Sukhorukov, dpa, Anvar Galeev/Global Look Press)
These songs were written by talented poets and composers and came to be genuinely loved by the public. Many of them are still popular today.

Soviet patriotic songs extolled the best-performing workers, young enthusiasts, the beauty of the Russian landscape, and, of course, loyalty to the Communist Party and to Lenin. 

1. Anthem of the Young Pioneers (1922)

One of the first Soviet songs to gain popular recognition was, oddly enough, the anthem of the Young Pioneers. It was written by poet Aleksandr Zharov and pianist Sergey Kaidan-Deshkin, at the suggestion of Nadezhda Krupskaya, Vladimir Lenin’s spouse. The anthem is easily adapted for the Young Pioneer bugle.

The following lines are familiar to everyone born in Soviet times!

Let’s raise high our campfires into the dark blue night!

We are Young Pioneers, the children of the workers!

Near is the time of our best years

And the Pioneers’ motto is “Always be ready!”

2. Wide is My Motherland (1936)

The song was originally written for the famous film ‘Circus’ released that year starring Lyubov Orlova, but later gained popularity in its own right.

Its opening notes became the call sign of All-Union Radio. Also, children all over the country learned the song in their school music lessons. After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, it was even proposed to make it the national anthem of Russia.

Wide is my Motherland,

With her many forests, fields and rivers!

I know of no other such country

Where people can breathe so freely.

3. Moscow in May (1937)

In 1937, the country was celebrating its 20th anniversary and the song was written for the documentary film ‘The Twentieth May’. The original version had lines mentioning Stalin, but, after 1959, the references were removed. ‘Moscow in May’ can often be heard performed by choirs, both children’s and adults’. It begins like this:

Morning paints with gentle light the walls of the ancient Kremlin,

The whole of the Soviet land is waking with the dawn.

4. March of the Enthusiasts (1940)

This is another song performed by Lyubov Orlova that was hugely popular with the public. In 1940, it featured in the movie ‘The Bright Way’ about an illiterate village girl who becomes a leading worker at a weaving factory and is awarded a state prize. A dream come true!

In the daily work of great construction sites, amid the cheerful din, the fires and clamor

Hail to the land of heroes, land of dreamers, land of scientists!

5. March of the Communist Brigades (1958)

The 1950s in the Soviet Union were the years of reclaiming the virgin lands and restoring the country’s economy after the Great Patriotic War. The main enthusiasts were young members of the Komsomol, who were ready to be dispatched to the most faraway places. And they had a multitude of songs. One of the first was called ‘March of the Communist Brigades’.

Today we are not on parade, we are on our way to communism!

In the communist brigade, Lenin is with us, leading from the front!

6. Song of a turbulently spent youth (1958)

This song is dedicated to the difficult years of young members of the Komsomol who were only setting out on the road to a radiant future in the 1920s. It was written for the movie ‘Po tu storonu’ (To the Other Side), but, like many other songs from the movies, it has become popular in its own right.

What we care about is simple, what we care about is this:

That our homeland should get on with its life and that’s all we care about!

7. So what can I tell you about Sakhalin? (1965)

The poet Mikhail Tanich and composer Yan Frenkel visited Sakhalin in the year of the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Komsomol organization on the distant Far East island and they wrote this song about their visit. It was first performed by the singer Nina Dorda, but, subsequently, there were also versions by musicians Mark Bernes, Yuri Vizbor and Iosif Kobzon. And there is even a rendering by contemporary singer Igor Nikolayev, for whom Sakhalin really is home.

And the mail flies from the mainland with stopovers

To the Soviet Union’s farthest haven,

Where I am throwing pebbles from the steep dear shore

Of distant La Pérouse Strait.

8. Farewell to Bratsk (1968)

The Siberian city of Bratsk is well known as the location of a national building project. Teams of workers came from all parts of the country to build a major hydroelectric power station in this small town in the taiga  - even today, it is Russia’s third biggest in terms of operating capacity. A multitude of songs were written about national construction projects and this is one of the best known.

In the resin-scented land of the taiga I encountered my best song.

I love you still, my tented Bratsk, like my first true love.

9. I won’t part company with the Komsomol (1970)

The Communist Party youth organization, the Komsomol, dealt with issues relating to young people - from campaigns against illiteracy to trips to national construction projects. The most engaged young people - regarded as the reserve of the Communist Party - would be admitted to the ranks of the Komsomol. Songs devoted to the Komsomol are about nostalgia for the days of one’s youth. The most famous version of this song was performed by Iosif Kobzon.

We shall get through the tempest and smoke and the sky will be blue.

I won’t part company with the Komsomol, I shall be forever young!

10. My address is the Soviet Union (1972)

This is perhaps the most famous song of all about the Soviet Union! It was performed by the vocal and instrumental ensemble ‘Samotsvety’ and it remained in their repertoire even after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

My address is not a house or a street,

My address is the Soviet Union.

11. And the battle continues anew (1974)

This is a song about the 1917 October Revolution and loyalty to the behest of Vladimir Lenin. The most well-known version was performed by extremely popular Soviet singer Lev Leshchenko. In fact, it’s still in his repertoire today.

And the battle continues anew and an anxious heart beats in our breast.

And Lenin is young again and youthful October is still to come!

12. Love, Komsomol and Spring (1978)

Finally, here is another fine “Komsomol” song performed by Lev Leshchenko. It’s about the days of our youth, a time when spring is always in our hearts (along with the Komsomol, of course).

And the song teaches courage and we shall for all time have with us

Love, the Komsomol and Spring.

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