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Slovak national anthem


The national anthem of the Slovak Republic is based on a folk song adapted to patriotic feelings in the revolutionary 1840s. It speaks poetically of lightning strikes over the Tatra mountains and urges the Slovak nation to wake up.

In March 1844, when the linguist and codifier of the literary Slovak language Ludovit Stur was sacked from his post of deputy professor at the Evangelical Lyceum in Bratislava, several of his students left the lyceum in sympathy, Janko Matuska among them. He wrote new lyrics to the melody of a traditional folk song "Kopala studienku" (transl. "She was digging a well..."). His work later became the Slovak national anthem.

During the existence of the common Czechoslovak (later Czecho-Slovak) state (1918-1939 and 1945-1992), the first verse was used as the second (Slovak) part of the Czechoslovak anthem, the first part being the first stanza of the Czech patriotic song "Kde domov muj..." (transl. "Where is my home..."). This produced a rather inconsistent piece of melody, because the Czech part was relatively majestic and peaceful, describing the beauty of the Czech land, while the Slovak part was rather vital and militant, rousing people to a fight for freedom.

In 1993, when Czecho-Slovakia split into two countries, the Czech Republic kept its part of the old anthem unchanged, while Slovakia added the second stanza of the original song by Janko Matuska to its half.

The melody of the Slovak national anthem can he heard as a MIDI file (very fast download). The orchestral version with voices is downloadable from eunet.sk as a WAV file (about 700 kB, it may take several minutes to download, depending on your connection).

Nad Tatrou sa blýska, hromy divo bijú,
nad Tatrou sa blýska, hromy divo bijú.
Above Tatra bolts of lightning, thunderstorm pounds wildly.
Above Tatra bolts of lightning, thunderstorm pounds wildly.
Zastavme ich bratia, veď sa ony stratia, Slováci ožijú,
zastavme ich bratia, veď sa ony stratia, Slováci ožijú.
Let's stop them brothers, they will be lost, Slovaks will rise alive.
Let's stop them brothers, they will be lost, Slovaks will rise alive.
To Slovensko naše dosiaľ tvrdo spalo,
to Slovensko naše dosiaľ tvrdo spalo.
Our Slovakia was in deep sleep until now.
Our Slovakia was in deep sleep until now.
Ale blesky hromu vzbudzujú ho k tomu, aby sa prebralo,
ale blesky hromu vzbudzujú ho k tomu, aby sa prebralo.
But thunder's lightning is shaking it to it's revival.
But thunder's lightning is shaking it to it's revival.

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