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    [size=12pt]Nad Tatrou sa blýska[/size]


    Lightning Over the Tatras is the national anthem of Slovakia. The origins of the anthem are in the Central European activism of the 19th century. Its main themes are a storm over the Tatra mountains that symbolized danger to the Slovaks, and a desire for a resolution of the threat. It used to be particularly popular during the 1848-1849 insurgencies.



    23-year-old Janko Matúška wrote the lyrics of this anthem in January-February 1844. The tune came from the Slovak folk song Kopala studienku ("She Dug a Well") suggested to him by his fellow student Jozef Podhradský (1823–1915), a future religious and Pan-Slavic activist, and gymnasial teacher. Shortly afterwards, Matúška and about two dozen other students left their prestigious Bratislava Lutheran lyceum (preparatory high school and college) in protest over the removal of Ľudovít Štúr from his teaching position by the Lutheran Church under pressure from the authorities. Slovakia was part of the Kingdom of Hungary within the Austrian Empire then, and the officials objected to his Slovak nationalism.


    Kopala studienku (Slovak folk song – basic of Slovak anthem)
    Lightning Over the Tatras was written during the weeks when the students were agitated about the repeated denials of their and others' appeals to the school board to reverse Štúr's dismissal. About a dozen of the defecting students transferred to the Levoča Lutheran gymnasium. When one of the students, the 18-year old budding journalist and writer Viliam Pauliny-Tóth (1826–1877), wrote down the oldest known record of the poem in his school notebook in 1844, he gave it the title of Prešporský Slováci, budaucj Lewočané ("Bratislava Slovaks, Future Levočians"), which reflected the motivation of its origin.

    [img width=700 height=578]http://osobnosti-slovenska.webgarden.cz/image/618026″/>

    The journey from Bratislava to Levoča took the students past the High Tatras, Slovakia's highest, imposing, and symbolic mountain range. A storm above the mountains is a key theme in the poem.

    [img width=700 height=411]http://hiking.sk/dev/gallery/photos/12f12d7cba45d9cffaa1c6ae4f444b49.jpg”/>


    No authorized version of Matúška's lyrics has been preserved and its early records remained without attribution. He stopped publishing after 1849 and later became clerk of the district court. The song became popular during the Slovak Volunteer campaigns of 1848-1849. Its text was copied and recopied in hand before it appeared in print in 1851 (unattributed, as Dobrovolňícka – "Volunteer Song"), which gave rise to some variation, namely concerning the phrase zastavme ich ("let's stop them") or zastavme sa ("let's pause"). A review of the extant copies and related literature inferred that Matúška's original was most likely to have contained "let's stop them." Among other documents, it occurred both in its oldest preserved handwritten record from 1844 and in its first printed version from 1851. The legislated Slovak national anthem uses this version, the other phrase was used before 1993.


    National anthem

    On 13 Dec. 1918, only the first stanza of Janko Matúška's lyrics became one half of the two-part bilingual Czechoslovak anthem composed of the first stanza from a Czech operetta tune, Kde domov můj ("Where Is My Home?"), and the first stanza of Matúška's song, each sung in its respective language and both played in that sequence with their respective tunes. The songs reflected the two nations' concerns in the 19th century when they were confronted with the already fervent national-ethnic activism of the Hungarians and the Germans, their fellow ethnic groups in the Habsburg Monarchy.

    When Czechoslovakia fell apart into the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic in 1993, the second stanza was added to the first and the result legislated as Slovakia's national anthem. The competing national song Hej, Slováci ("Hey, Slovaks") was an anthem of the 1. Slovak republic (1939-45), written by a Slovak romantic poet Samuel Tomášik in 1834, based on a melody of the Polish anthem Mazurek Dąbrowskiego. Later version Hey, Slavs has served as the anthem of the Pan-Slavic movement.

    [img width=499 height=700]http://www.antikkam.sk/scan27/scan0375.gif”/>
    Hej Slovaci
    The reference in Nad Tatrou sa blýska to the Tatras has a parallel in the interpretations of Slovakia's coat of arms that was defined during the period when Matúška wrote the lyrics. The Slovak coat of arms is a slight variant of a prominent part of the Coat of arms of Hungary, where it is considered to symbolize the three principal mountain ranges of the pre-1918 Kingdom of Hungary: Matra, Fatra, and the Tatras (Slovakia was part of the Kingdom of Hungary until 1918). The double-cross in the coat of arms represented these lands from early 9th century, when Cyril and Methodius came to Great Moravia. They brought this symbol with them from Byzantine Empire. Later Hungarian king Béla IV. has taken the sign and put it into official coat of arms of Hungarian kingdom as a sign of "Northern Hungary", today Slovakia, in the kingdom well-known as Duchy of Nitra, Windisch land or Slovak counties. Although today only the Tatras and Fatra belong to the Republic, and the other one is in Hungary.



    A close reading and notes

    Nad Tatrou[size=5pt]*1[/size] sa blýska,     There's lightning over the Tatras,[size=5pt]*1[/size]
    hromy divo bijú.                 thunderclaps wildly beat.
    Zastavme ich, bratia,            Let us stop them, brothers,
    veď sa ony stratia,            They'll just disappear,
    Slováci ožijú.                        the Slovaks will revive.

    To Slovensko naše              That Slovakia of ours
    posiaľ tvrdo spalo.                has been fast asleep so far.
    Ale blesky hromu                But the thunder's lightning
    vzbudzujú ho k tomu,          is rousing it
    aby sa prebralo.[size=5pt]*2[/size]                to come awake.[size=5pt]*2[/size]

    [size=8pt]Only the above stanzas have been legislated as the anthem.
    Ešte jedle[size=5pt]*4[/size] rastú                Firs[size=5pt]*4[/size] are still growing
    na krivánskej[size=5pt]*6[/size] strane.[size=5pt]*5[/size]      in the direction of[size=5pt]*5[/size] Kriváň.[size=5pt]*6[/size]
    Kto jak Slovák cíti,                Who feels like a Slovak,
    nech sa šable chytí              let him hold a sabre
    a medzi nás stane.              and stand among us.

    Už Slovensko vstáva              Slovakia is rising,
    putá si strháva.                    tears off its shackles.
    Hej, rodina milá,                    Hey/yes, dear family,
    hodina odbila,                        the hour has struck,
    žije matka Sláva.[size=5pt]*3[/size]                Mother Sláva/Glory[size=5pt]*3[/size] is alive.

    [size=8pt]1. Romantic poets used the Tatras as a symbol of the Slovaks' homeland.
    2. That is, to join the national-ethnic activism already underway among other peoples of Central Europe in the 19th century.
    3. The standard meaning of sláva is "glory," or "fame". The figurative meaning, first used by Ján Kollár in the monumental poem The Daughter of Sláva in 1824, is "Goddess/Mother of the Slavs."
    4. The idiomatic simile "like a fir" (ako jedľa) was applied to men in a variety of positive meanings: "stand tall," "have a handsome figure," "be tall and brawny," etc.
    5. A less rigorous reading could give "on the slope(s) of Kriváň."
    6. Kriváň, a symbol of impregnability, is a mountain in the High Tatras, that dominates the upper part of the Liptov region.[/size]



    One of the trends shared by many Slovak Romantic poets was frequent versification that imitated the patterns of the local folk songs. The additional impetus for Janko Matúška to embrace the trend in "Lightning Over the Tatras" was that he actually designed it to replace the lyrics of an existing folk song. Among the Romantic-folkloric features in the structure of "Lightning Over the Tatras" are the equal number of syllables per verse, and the consistent a−b−b−a disyllabic rhyming of verses 2-5 in each stanza. Leaving the first verses unrhymed was Matúška's license (a single matching sound, blýska—bratia, did not qualify as a rhyme):

    — Nad Tatrou sa blýska,
    a – hromy divo bijú.
    b – Zastavme ich bratia,
    b – veď sa ony stratia,
    a – Slováci ožijú.

    Another traditional arrangement of Matúška's lines gives 4-verse stanzas rhymed a−b−b−a with the first verse made up of 12 syllables split by a mid-pause, and each of the remaining 3 verses made up of 6 syllables:

    a – Nad Tatrou sa blýska, hromy divo bijú.
    b – Zastavme ich bratia,
    b – veď sa ony stratia,
    a – Slováci ožijú.


    Source: wiki


    A bit different music… :)

    Territory – Nad Tatrou sa blýska (Bonus track)



    The slovak national anthem is one of my favorite anthems. Same as the romanian anthem it has a fighting spirit in it's melody. Maybe that's the carpatian heir. The valachians which spread even up to Moravia.. the valaška axe is an indication.


    The slovak national anthem is one of my favorite anthems. Same as the romanian anthem it has a fighting spirit in it's melody. Maybe that's the carpatian heir. The valachians which spread even up to Moravia.. the valaška axe is an indication.

    It has a fighting spirit due to the situation in which it was created. Revolt against the system and Magyarization. As we know Romanians had to face the same. Nothing really to do with Vallachian heritage in this case.



    Maybe you heard that Hungarians said that melody of our anthem actually comes from Hungarian folk song Azt mondják, nem adnak engem galambomnak… well this folk song first appeared in 1908, while Kopala studienku was mentioned in 1848, and not for a first time.

    I actually know five different versions of melody and five different lyrics, plus two versions of anthem lyrics…

    Wanna check some?

    Kopala studienku (version from Turiec)

    Počkaj ma šuhajko na telgártskom moste

    Ponad Tatru blýska

    A keď vyjde slnko

    About folk song lyrics, there is also Počkaj ma šuhajko na Telgártskom moste, Parobci, parobci, nebice še teľo, Poniže Raslavic napros domu jarky, and A keď vyjde slnko v našom svätoháji (though this isn't traditional one). I also know that Gorals have some version, and there is also that mentioned Hungarian version.

    Well this song seems to be pretty popular ;D

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