Deșteaptă-te, române!

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Deșteaptă-te, române!
English: Awaken thee, Romanian!
National Anthem of Romania (page 3).png
Lyrics and music sheet

National anthem of  Romania
Moldavian D. R.

Also known as Un răsunet
English: An echo
Lyrics Andrei Mureșanu, 1848
Music ro (Gheorghe Ucenescu), 1848
Adopted 1917 - Moldavian D. R.[citation needed]
1990 -  Romania
1991 -  Moldova
Relinquished 1918 - Moldavian D. R.
1994 -  Moldova
Music sample

"Deșteaptă-te, române!" Romanian pronunciation: [deʃˈte̯aptəte roˈmɨne] (variously translated as "Awaken thee, Romanian!", "Awaken, Romanian!", or "Wake up, Romanian!") is the national anthem of Romania.

The lyrics were composed by Andrei Mureșanu (1816–1863) and the music was popular (it was chosen for the poem by ro (Gheorghe Ucenescu), as most sources say).[1] It was written and published during the 1848 revolution, initially with the name "Un răsunet" ("An echo"). It was first sung in late June in the same year in the city of Brașov, on the streets of Șchei quarter.[2] It was immediately accepted as the revolutionary anthem and renamed "Deșteaptă-te, române".

Since then, this song, which contains a message of liberty and patriotism, has been sung during all major Romanian conflicts, including during the 1989 anti-Ceaușist revolution. After that revolution, it became the national anthem, replacing the communist-era national anthem "Trei culori" ("Three colors").

July 29 is now "National Anthem Day" (Ziua Imnului național), an annual observance in Romania.[3]

The song was also used on various solemn occasions in the Moldavian Democratic Republic, during its brief existence, between 1917 and 1918.[4] Between 1991 and 1994 it was the national anthem of Moldova as well, but was subsequently replaced by the current Moldovan anthem, "Limba noastră" ("Our language").

History of the anthem

The melody was originally a sentimental song called "Din sânul maicii mele" composed by Anton Pann after hearing the poem "Adio. La Târgoviște" by Grigore Alexandrescu.[5] In 1848, Andrei Mureșanu wrote the poem „Un răsunet", and asked Gheorghe Ucenescu, a Scheii Brașovului Church singer, to find him a suitable melody.[5] After Ucenescu sang him several lay melodies, Mureșanu chose Anton Pann's song.[5] Pann's song was published in a booklet called "Spitalul amorului sau cântătorul dorului" in 1852.[5]

Since the uprisings of 1848, "Deșteaptă-te române" has been the most enduring national anthem of Romania. In the days following the state coup of August 23, 1944, when Romania turned against Nazi Germany and participated in the war along with the Allies, the song received heavy radio broadcast.

After the seizure of power by the communists on December 30, 1947, "Deșteaptă-te române" and other patriotic songs closely associated with the previous regime were outlawed. Ceaușescu's government permitted the song to be played and sung in public, but it was not given state recognition as the national anthem.

The overall message of the anthem is a "call to action"; it proposes a "now or never" urge for change present in many national anthems like the French revolutionary Marseillaise. This is the reason why Nicolae Bălcescu called it the "Romanian Marseillaise".

Another anthem

Besides this anthem, the Romanians also have "Hora Unirii" ("The Unity Hora (dance)"), written in 1855 by the poet Vasile Alecsandri (1821–1890), which was sung a great deal on the occasion of the Union of the Principalities (1859) and on all occasions when the Romanians aspired to union and harmony among themselves. "Hora Unirii" is sung on the Romanian folk tune of a slow but energetic round dance joined by the whole attendance. The round dance (hora) is itself an ancient ritual, symbolizing spiritual communion, equality and the Romanians' wish for a common life.

Original verses in Romanian

Romania's national anthem has eleven stanzas, although only the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 11th are sung on official occasions, as established by Romanian law.[citation needed] At major events, such as the National Holiday, the full version is sung, accompanied by 21 gun salute[citation needed] when the President is present at the event.

Original Romanian

Literal Translation

Deșteaptă-te, române, din somnul cel de moarte, Wake up, Romanian, from the sleep of death
În care te-adânciră barbarii de tirani Into which you have been sunk by the barbaric tyrants
Acum ori niciodată croiește-ți altă soarte, Now, or never, make a new fate for yourself,
La care să se-nchine și cruzii tăi dușmani. To which even your cruel enemies will bow.
Acum ori niciodată să dăm dovezi la lume Now or never let us give proof to the world
Că-n aste mâni mai curge un sânge de roman, That in these veins a Roman blood still flows,
Și că-n a noastre piepturi păstrăm cu fală-un nume That in our chests we hold a name with pride,
Triumfător în lupte, un nume de Traian. Victorious in battle, the name of Trajan![note 1]
Înalță-ți lata frunte și caută-n giur de tine, Raise your broad forehead and see around you
Cum stau ca brazi în munte voinici sute de mii; How, like fir trees on a mountain, hundreds of thousands of strong men stand;
Un glas ei mai așteaptă și sar ca lupi în stâne, Just waiting for a voice to pounce like wolves on sheep,
Bătrâni, bărbați, juni, tineri, din munți și din câmpii. Elders, men, youths, boys, from the mountains and from the plains.
Priviți, mărețe umbre, Mihai, Ștefan, Corvine, Behold, great shadows, Mihai, Ștefan, Corvinus,
Româna națiune, ai voștri strănepoți, The Romanian Nation, your great-grandchildren,
Cu brațele armate, cu focul vostru-n vine, With weapons in their arms, with your fire in their veins,
"Viața-n libertate ori moarte" strigă toți. "Life in freedom or death!" shout all.
Pre voi vă nimiciră a pizmei răutate You were vanquished by the evils of your envy
Și oarba neunire la Milcov și Carpați And by your blind disunity, at Milcov and the Carpathians
Dar noi, pătrunși la suflet de sfânta libertate, But we, whose souls were pierced by holy liberty,
Jurăm că vom da mâna, să fim pururea frați. Swear that for ever in brotherhood will join.
O mamă văduvită de la Mihai cel Mare A widowed mother from the time of Michael the Great[note 2]
Pretinde de la fiii-și azi mână d-ajutori, Claims from her sons today a helping hand,
Și blastămă cu lacrămi în ochi pe orișicare, And with tears in her eyes curses whomsoever,
În astfel de pericul s-ar face vânzători. In such great peril, a traitor would become.
De fulgere să piară, de trăsnet și pucioasă, Of thunder and of brimstone should they perish
Oricare s-ar retrage din gloriosul loc, Anyone who would flee the glorious place
Când patria sau mama, cu inima duioasă, When our land or our mother, with a sorrowful heart,
Va cere ca să trecem prin sabie și foc. Will ask us to cross through swords and blazing fire.
N-ajunge iataganul barbarei semilune, Didn't we have enough of the yatagan of the barbaric crescent
A cărui plăgi fatale și azi le mai simțim; Whose fatal wounds we still feel today;
Acum se vâră cnuta în vetrele străbune, Now the knout[note 3] is intruding in our ancestral homes,
Dar martor ne e Domnul că vii nu o primim. But the Lord is our witness that we shall not accept it alive.
N-ajunge despotismul cu-ntreaga lui orbie, Didn't we have enough of the blinded despotism,
Al cărui jug de seculi ca vitele-l purtăm; Whose yoke, like cattle, for centuries we have carried?
Acum se-ncearcă cruzii, cu oarba lor trufie, Now the cruel ones are trying, in their blind arrogance,
Să ne răpească limba, dar morți numai o dăm. To take away our language, but only dead will we surrender it.
Români din patru unghiuri, acum ori niciodată Romanians from the four corners, now or never
Uniți-vă în cuget, uniți-vă-n simțiri. Unite in thought, unite in feeling
Strigați în lumea largă că Dunărea-i furată Proclaim to the wide world that the Danube is stolen
Prin intrigă și silă, viclene uneltiri. Through intrigue and coercion, sly machinations.
Preoți, cu crucea-n frunte căci oastea e creștină, Priests, lead with your crucifixes, for our army is Christian,
Deviza-i libertate și scopul ei preasfânt. The motto is Liberty and its goal is holy,
Murim mai bine-n luptă, cu glorie deplină, Better to die in battle, in full glory,
Decât să fim sclavi iarăși în vechiul nost' pământ. Than to once again be slaves upon our ancient ground!
  1. The emperor Trajan conquered Dacia, more or less the same territory as modern Romania, for the Roman Empire.
  2. That is, Romania itself, briefly united as a domain by Michael.
  3. A whip usually associated with Russia, as the yatagan was with the Ottomans.

Other translations

Note that, in accordance with Romanian law, there are no official translations of the anthem.

A more poetic translation

Awaken thee, Romanian, wake up from deadly slumber
The scourge of inauspicious barbarian tyrannies
And now or never to a bright horizon clamber
That shall to shame put all your enemies.
It's now or never that we prove to the world
That in these veins still flows Roman blood
And in our hearts for ever we glorify a name
Triumphant in battles, the name of Trajan.
Behold, imperial shadows, Michael, Stephen, Corvinus
At the Romanian nation, your mighty progeny
With arms like steel and hearts of fire impetuous
"Live in liberty, or die" that's what they all decree.
Priests, raise the cross, as this army is Christian
Give it liberty and it's sanctified scope
We'd rather die in battle, with honorary glory
Than live again enslaved on our ancestral land.

Alternative translation

The anthem on a synthesizer
Romanian, awaken your Spirit from the sleep of Death
Impressed upon you by Tyrannies of barbarians;
Now or never, fashion a new destiny,
Stronger than your foes', a fate for them to bow to.
Now or never, our legacy prove to all,
That through our veins still flows the Blood of Ancient Rome
That in our chests we proudly hail a Name,
Triumphant in battle, the Name of Trajan.
Raise your strong brow and gaze around you
As trees stand in a forest, brave youths, a hundred thousand
An order they await, ready to pounce, as wolves among the sheep
Old men, and young, from mountains high and open plains.
Gaze mightily, glorious shadows, Michael, Stephen, Corvine
The Romanian nation, your descendants,
With weapons in their hands, with your Fire burning
"Life in Liberty or Death", all shout together.
You were vanquished by the evils of envy
By the blind disunity at the Milcov and Carpathians
But we, our Spirit touched by saintly Liberty,
Swear allegiance, to be forever Brothers.
A widowed mother from the time of Michael the Great
Asks of her sons a helping hand today
And curses, with tears in her eyes, whosoever
In times of such great danger, proves to be a traitor.
May lightning bolts, thunder and brimstone kill
Whoever retreats from the glorious battle
When motherland or mother, with a tender heart,
Will ask us to pass through sword and flame.
Is not enough the yatagan of the barbaric crescent
Whose fatal wounds we feel burning today;
Now, the knout intrudes on our ancestral lands,
But with God as witness, we will fight it to the Death
Is not enough the despotism and its unseeing eye
Which for centuries enslaved us, as cattle?
Now, attempt the cruel, in their blind haughtiness,
To steal our Language, but we will fight them to the Death
Romanians of the four corners, now or never,
Be United in your Thoughts, United in your Feelings
Shout out to the world that the Danube is stolen
Through intrigue and coercion, malicious plots.
Priests, with the Cross before you, as the army is Christian,
The motto is Liberty and its goal eternal
Better dead in battle, in full glory
Than be enslaved again in our ancestral homeland.


  1. The anthem's history Archived July 22, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Vasile Oltean - Imnul Național Deșteaptă-te, române!, Ed. Salco, Brașov, 2005, ISBN 973-87502-1-0
  3. "Romania - Deșteaptă-te, române!". Retrieved 2011-11-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Silviu Andrieș-Tabac, Simbolurile Republicii Democratice Moldovenești (1917-1918). Interpretări semantice, 2008. Archived April 1, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Cazimir: "Mie îmi place "Trăiască Patria!""" (in Romanian). Adevarul. October 4, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2014. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links