Friday, October 23, 2009


(based on the national anthem of the People's Republic of China)

Arise! You who refuse to be enslaved!
Let's stand up and bond like walls out of our great flesh and blood
Facing with a world now in a greatest peril
United with a struggle and a common cry:
Arise! Arise! Arise!
All of us with one heart
Braving the enemy's fire, March on!
Braving the enemy's fire, March on!
March on! March on! On!

March on! People of different nations!
With our struggle as guide, vanguard leading in a long march,
Millions now one, united with one goal
Creating, building, protecting with our struggle:
March on! March on! March on!
We will for generations
Rise high the great red banner*, march on!
Rise high the great red banner, march on!
March on! March on! On!

*or "Rise high Mao Zedong's Banner"

This English version being made was an indirect translation of the Chinese national anthem made by Tien Han and Nie Er during the Sino-Japanese war. However, it was became famous at first for being a song in a film made since 1935, wherein people sung it while marching and carrying guns.

But during the foundation of the Chinese People's Republic, people unanimously accepted the hymn as its provisional national anthem. According to Chou Enlai, especially in the third part:
"We still have imperialist enemies in front of us. The more we progress in development, the more the imperialists will hate us, seek to undermine us, attack us. Can you say that we won't be in peril?"
In these words, Mao Zedong agreed upon to what Chou said, since some writers found contradicting regarding the third part of the song.

After the cultural revolution (wherein the hymn was banned and instead "Dong Fang Hong" was being played as a semi-national anthem status), the March of the Volunteers was restored by the National People's Congress in 1978 (the era of Hua Guofeng), but with different lyrics; however, these new lyrics were never very popular and caused a great deal of confusion. For example, the last sentence of the lyrics read "inherit the thinking of Chairman Mao".

And due to the confusion regarding the lyrics, the original version was restored in 1982, followed by declaring it as the official national anthem last 2004.

In fact,
I consider that hymn a "Chinese Marseillaise", and I even think that the 1978 version would be re-adapted as the second stanza of the hymn, not because it shows how the party continues to lead the Chinese people in its long march to victory, but of continuing Mao's legacy through his thought and even contribution in Chinese history. Just like the first part wherein it shows how the Chinese stood to fight, the second shows how the Chinese continue its struggle.