Croatia’s National Anthem (Lijepa naša domovino)

Josip Runjanin source

“Lijepa naša domovino” (Our Beautiful Homeland) is the national anthem of Croatia. It is often referred to as “Lijepa naša” for short.

History of the national anthem

  • 1835: Antun Mihanović, a notable Croatian poet and lyricist wrote the original lyrics published under the title Horvatska domovina (Croatian homeland).
  • 1846: Josip Runjanin, Croatian composer, composed the music for Horvatska domovina and adapted the music for a military orchestra.
  • 1861: Vatroslav Lichtenegger, a singing teacher and organist of the Zagreb Cathedral, recorded and harmonized the song for a male choir. The song has since been played as the Croatian anthem.

Despite the fact that the song was unofficially used at ceremonies, it was not immediately adopted by the Croatian Parliament as the national anthem. Between 1918 and 1941, segments of the Croatian national anthem were part of the national anthem of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. It was an unofficial hymn for Croats.

The official anthem

The official anthem of Croatia was adopted by parliament on February 29, 1972. The anthem was confirmed by the constitutions of 1974 and 1990 and by the Coat of Arms, the Flag and the National Anthem of the Republic of Croatia Act.

The original song included 14 verses, but now only verses 1, 2, 13 and 14 are used.

The most viewed performance is by Mia Negovetić (winner of Zvjezdice (Little stars) Croatian music talent show for children) and ‘klapa Sv. Juraj’ (Dalmatian traditional choir), which you may view below. The official national anthem is usually performed by a male choir, which you can listen to here.

Without further ado, the Croatian National Anthem.

 

Lijepa naša domovino

Our Beautiful Croatia

Lijepa naša domovino,
Oj junačka zemljo mila,
Stare slave djedovino,
Da bi vazda sretna bila!
Mila, kano si nam slavna,
Mila si nam ti jedina.
Mila, kuda si nam ravna,
Mila, kuda si planina!
Teci Savo, Dravo teci,
Nit’ ti Dunav silu gubi,
Sinje more svijetu reci,
Da svoj narod Hrvat ljubi.
Dok mu njive sunce grije,
Dok mu hrašće bura vije,
Dok mu mrtve grobak krije,
Dok mu živo srce bije!
Our beautiful homeland,
O so fearless and gracious.
Our fathers’ ancient glory,
May you be blessed forever.
Dear, you are our only glory,
Dear, you are our only one,
Dear, we love your plains,
Dear, we love your mountains.
Sava, Drava, keep on flowing,
Danube, do not lose your vigour,
Deep blue sea, tell the world,
That a Croat loves his homeland.
Whilst his fields are kissed by sunshine,
Whilst his oaks are whipped by wild winds,
Whilst his dear ones go to heaven,
Whilst his live heart beats.

 

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Andrea Gladoic

Professor and content writer living in Croatia.

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