Farewell of Slavianka (Russian: Proshchaniye slavyanki, Slavyanka means “Slavic woman” ) is a Russian patriotic march, written by the composer Vasily Agapkin in honour of the Slavic women accompanying their husbands in the First Balkan War. The melody gained popularity in Russia and adjoining countries during World War I, when the Russian soldiers left their homes accompanied by this music. It was commonly believed that prior to its use in the award-winning 1957 film The Cranes Are Flying, the song was banned in the Soviet Union due to lyrics about banned subjects. Due to its popularity and quality, the Communist authorities adopted the song; however, only after significant changes were made to its lyrics. The original text, which sings about Russian patriotism, religion, and culture was not acceptable under the Soviet Union regime. During World War II in German occupied Poland an adapted “underground” version of the song, Rozszumiały się wierzby płaczące (“Weeping willows began to hum”) became popular, among anti Nazi partisans, based on lyrics by Roman Ślęzak. A Hebrew version was written in 1945 by singer/songwriter Haim Hefer for the Palmach. In his version of the song, called בין גבולות (Between borders), Hefer coined the phrase אָנוּ פֹּה חוֹמַת מָגֵן (We are here a defensive wall) used by Israel Defense Forces when naming Operation Defensive Shield (literally “Operation Defensive Wall”) in 2002. “Farewell of Slavyanka” was first used in movies in The Cranes Are Flying. It has also featured in the film Charlie Wilson’s War which is set around the Soviet war in Afghanistan and in the Russian movies 72 Meters (72 метра) and Prisoner of the Mountains.
THE LAST CONCERT
Alexandrov Russian Army Ensemble of Song and Dance
Conductor: Valery Khalilov – DIED IN A PLANE CRASH.
Concert at the Bolshoi Theatre