Bože pravde

"Bože pravde" (Serbian Cyrillic: Боже правде, Serbian pronunciation: [bǒʒe prâːʋde], "God of Justice")[2] is the national anthem of Serbia, as defined by the Article 7 of the Constitution of Serbia.[3] "Bože pravde" was the state anthem of the Kingdom of Serbia until 1919 when Serbia became a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. It was re-adopted as the national anthem at first by the parliamentary recommendation on the use in 2004 and then constitutionally sanctioned in 2006, after Serbia became independent again.[4]

Bože pravde
English: God of Justice
Боже правде
Bože pravde za mešoviti hor.jpg
Sheet music (for mixed choir)

National anthem of Serbia
LyricsJovan Đorđević, 1872
MusicDavorin Jenko, 1872
Adopted6 March 1882[1]
(Kingdom of Serbia)
Readopted6 November 2006
19 December 1991 (Republic of Serbian Krajina)
9 January 1992 (Republika Srpska)
Audio sample
U.S. Navy Band instrumental version (two verses)


After the assassination of Prince Mihailo, Milan Obrenović came to the throne in 1872, celebrating his coming of age. Then he ordered a play from the manager of the National Theater in Belgrade, Jovan Đorđević, who quickly wrote and presented the play Marko kazuje na kome je carstvo (Marko names the Emperor), with the aim of glorifying Serbian history and the Obrenović dynasty, and Bože pravde, composed by Davorin Jenko. Đorđević's song quickly gained more popularity among the people than the piece itself, and in 1882, on the occasion of Milan's enthronement as Serbian king, Đorđević reworked the text and so his new version became the first official anthem of Serbia.[5][6] In 1903, after the May Coup, the Obrenović dynasty died out and the Karađorđevićs came to the helm of Serbia. The new Serbian king Peter I wanted to change the state symbols, even the anthem. The Austrian composer from Vienna, August Stol, composed a song for the Serbian king. Peter did not like the composition. Various competitions in which many Serbian poets (Aleksa Šantić among others) participated were also unsuccessful. In the end, in 1909, it was decided to make the anthem Bože pravde official again, with minor changes to the text. While being the national anthem of the Kingdom of Serbia, it occasionally was referred to as the Serbian national Prayer.[7] Various rulers of Serbia changed the words of the anthem to suit them. During the rule of Prince Milan I of Serbia, the words were "God, save Prince Milan" (knez Milana Bože spasi), which changed to King Milan when Serbia became a kingdom. Later it was tailored to Peter I and Alexander I as well.[8] During the time of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (which later became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia), "Bože pravde" was part of its national anthem. On the eve of the World War II, at the great international gathering of the Music Confederation, held in Paris, this anthem was declared one of the three most beautiful in the world.[5]

"Bože pravde" anthem was officially abandoned after liberation of the country at the end of World War II in 1945, in favour of "Hey, Slavs", under its Serbo-Croatian title Hej, Sloveni, which was the national anthem of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for 47 years, from 1945 to 1992. After the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991-1992, only Serbia and Montenegro remained in the federation i.e. the newly-formed Serbia and Montenegro, but since no agreement over the anthem could be reached, "Hey, Slavs" remained the national anthem. Many Serbs disliked the song during this period and booed it whenever it was played, such as at sporting events.[9] In 1992, "Vostani Serbije" and "Marš na Drinu" were proposed as the regional anthem of Serbia along with "Bоže pravde".[10] The latter, promulgated by then-ruling Socialist Party of Serbia, even received a plurality of popular vote on referendum, but was never officially adopted.[11]

The recommendation on the use of "Bože pravde" was adopted unanimously by the Parliament of Serbia in 2004 and constitutionally sanctioned in 2006, after Serbia restored independence, while the recommended text was promulgated into the law in 2009.[2][4] It utilizes slightly modified original lyrics, asserting that Serbia is no longer a monarchy — four verses are different. In three, "Serbian king" (srpskog kralja) is changed to "Serbian lands" (srpske zemlje) and in one, "God save the Serbian king" (srpskog kralja Bože spasi, literally "The Serbian king, O God, save") is changed to "O God, save; O God, defend" (Bože spasi, Bože brani).

"Bože pravde" was also used as the regional anthem of the Republika Srpska, a constituency of Bosnia and Herzegovina until 2006, when it was ruled down by the country's constitutional court for being unconstitutional and the decision was upheld by the Constitutional Court of Republika Srpska.[12][13]


Fans singing "Bože pravde" in Belgrade Arena before the handball match Serbia vs Germany, 2012 European Men's Handball Championship (starts after the second line)

The full Serbian national anthem as officially defined consists of eight stanzas, but usually only the first two are performed on public occasions for reasons of brevity.[4] The third verse is also usually omitted in full performances.[14]

Serbian Cyrillic[4] Serbian Latin IPA transcription Poetic English translation[2][15][a]

Боже правде, ти што спасе
од пропасти досад нас,
чуј и од сад наше гласе
и од сад нам буди спас.

Моћном руком води, брани
будућности српске брод,
𝄆 Боже спаси, Боже xрани,[b]
српске земље, српски род! 𝄇[b]

Сложи српску браћу драгу
на свак дичан славан рад,
слога биће пораз врагу
а најјачи српству град.

Нек на српској блиста грани
братске слоге златан плод,
𝄆 Боже спаси, Боже xрани
српске земље, српски род! 𝄇

Нек на српско ведро чело
твог не падне гнева гром
Благослови Србу село
поље, њиву, град и дом!

Кад наступе борбе дани
к победи му води ход
𝄆 Боже спаси, Боже xрани
српске земље, српски род! 𝄇

Из мрачнога сину гроба
српске славе нови сјај
настало је ново доба
Нову срећу, Боже дај!

Отаџбину српску брани
петвековне борбе плод
𝄆 Боже спаси, Боже брани
моли ти се српски род! 𝄇[17]

Bože pravde, ti što spase
od propasti dosad nas,
čuj i odsad naše glase
i od sad nam budi spas.

Moćnom rukom vodi, brani
budućnosti srpske brod,
𝄆 Bože spasi, Bože hrani,
srpske zemlje, srpski rod! 𝄇

Složi srpsku braću dragu
na svak dičan slavan rad,
sloga biće poraz vragu
a najjači srpstvu grad.

Nek na srpskoj blista grani
bratske sloge zlatan plod,
𝄆 Bože spasi, Bože hrani
srpske zemlje, srpski rod! 𝄇

Nek na srpsko vedro čelo
tvog ne padne gneva grom
Blagoslovi Srbu selo
polje, njivu, grad i dom!

Kad nastupe borbe dani
k pobedi mu vodi hod
𝄆 Bože spasi, Bože hrani
srpske zemlje, srpski rod! 𝄇

Iz mračnoga sinu groba
srpske slave novi sjaj
nastalo je novo doba
Novu sreću, Bože daj!

Otadžbinu srpsku brani
petvekovne borbe plod
𝄆 Bože spasi, Bože brani
moli ti se srpski rod! 𝄇[18]

[bôː.ʒe prâːʋ.de tîː ʃtô spâː.se]
[ôd prǒ.pas.ti dǒ.sad nâːs]
[t͡ʃûːj i ôd sâd nâ.ʃe ɡlâː.se]
[i ôd sâd nâm bu.di spâːs]

[môt͡ɕ.nom rǔː.koːm vo.di]
[bu.dut͡ɕ.nos.ti sr̩p.ske brôːd]
𝄆 [bôː.ʒe spâː.si bôː.ʒe]
[sr̩p.ske zem.ʎe sr̂ rôːd] 𝄇

[slo.ʒi sr̩p.sku bra.t͡ɕu]
[na sʋâːk di.t͡ʃan slâː.ʋan râːd]
[slô.ɡa bǐː.t͡ɕe pô.raːz ʋraː.gu]
[a naj.ja.t͡ʃi sřp.stʋu ɡrâːd]

[nek na sr̩p.skoj blis.ta ɡraː.ni]
[brat.skeː zlǎː.tan plôːd]
𝄆 [bôː.ʒe spâː.si bôː.ʒe]
[sr̩p.ske zem.ʎe sr̂ rôːd] 𝄇

[nek na sr̩p.sko ʋed.r̩o t͡ʃě.lo]
[tʋôg ne gne.ʋa ɡrôːm]
[bla.ɡo.slo.ʋi sr̩.bu sě.lo]
[pô.ʎe ɲi.ʋu ɡrâːd i dôːm]

[kâd na.stuː.pe daː.ni]
[k‿ mu ʋo.di xôːd]
𝄆 [bôː.ʒe spâː.si bôː.ʒe]
[sr̩p.ske zem.ʎe sr̂ rôːd] 𝄇

[iz mraːt͡ʃ sîː.nu]
[sr̩p.ske sla.ʋe nô.ʋi sjâːj]
[nǎ.sta.lo je no.ʋo dôː.ba]
[no.ʋu sre.t͡ɕu bôː.ʒe daj]

[o.tad͡ʒ sr̩p.sku]
[pet.ʋe.koʋ.ne plôːd]
𝄆 [bôː.ʒe spâː.si bôː.ʒe]
[ ti se sr̂ rôːd] 𝄇

God of Justice; Thou who saved us
when in deepest bondage cast,
Hear Thy Serbian children's voices,
Be our help as in the past.

With Thy mighty hand sustain us,
Still our rugged pathway trace;
𝄆 God, our hope; protect and cherish,
Serbian lands and Serbian race! 𝄇

Bind in closest links our kindred
Teach the love that will not fail,
May the loathed fiend of discord
Never in our ranks prevail.

Let the golden fruits of union
Our young tree of freedom grace;
𝄆 God, our Master! Guide and prosper,
Serbian lands and Serbian race! 𝄇

Lord! Avert from us Thy vengeance,
Thunder of Thy dreaded ire;
Bless each Serbian town and hamlet,
Mountain, meadow, hearth and spire!

When our host goes forth to battle
Death or victory to embrace-
𝄆 God of armies! Be our leader,
Strengthen then the Serbian race! 𝄇

On our sepulcher of ages
Breaks the resurrection morn,
From the slough of direst slavery
Serbia anew is born.

Through five hundred years of durance
We have knelt before Thy face,
𝄆 All our kin, O God! Deliver,
Thus entreats the Serbian race! 𝄇

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Translated by Elizabeth Christitch, originally published in The Times. Note: this is a free, not literal, translation of the lyrics, also fitting the metre of the original.
  2. ^ a b In public performances, often sung on the repeat as Srbiju nam, Bože brani/moli ti se sаv naš rod ("Our Serbia, God defend/ Our whole race prays to you")[14][16]


  1. ^ "Pojavila se retka verzija himne "Bože pravde" koja će vas oduševiti, a evo kako je nastala" (in Serbian).
  2. ^ a b c "National symbols and anthem of the Republic of Serbia". Government of Serbia. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  3. ^ Constitution of Serbia Archived 2013-06-16 at the Wayback Machine at the site of the Government of Serbia
  4. ^ a b c d "Zakon o izgledu i upotrebi grba, zastave i himne Republike Srbije" [Law on the Appearance and Use of the Coat of arms, the Flag and the Anthem of the Republic of Serbia]. Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia – No. 36/2009 (in Serbian). Narodna skupština Republike Srbije – JP "Službeni glasnik". 2009-05-11. Archived from the original on 2009-12-19. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
  5. ^ a b Jovanović, Nenad M. (2010). Grbovi, zastave i himne u istoriji Srbije. Belgrade-Cetinje. p. 132.
  6. ^ Софија (2016-03-04). "SVE SRPSKE HIMNE: Svečene pesme koje su izraz patriotskih, nacionalnih i religijskih emocija". Retrieved 2021-03-24.
  7. ^ "Serbia - Bože pravde". Archived from the original on 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
  8. ^ LJ. M. V. - J. Ž. S. (2006-08-01). "Hej, Bože pravde!". Vecernje novosti (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 2009-01-15. Retrieved 2007-04-17.
  9. ^ "Serbia-Montenegro a World Cup team without a country". Associated Press. Associated Press. 15 June 2006. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  10. ^ Konstantin Babić (2000-11-02). "Zašto Srbija još nema himnu". Vreme. Archived from the original on 2021-01-14. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  11. ^ "Svi naši referendumi". Novi Sad: Radio-televizija Vojvodine. 2008-03-06.
  12. ^ "Press Release". Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 2007-01-27. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03.
  13. ^ "Republika Srpska court upholds complaint about anthem". RFE/RL.
  14. ^ a b "Аmbasada Republike Srbije u Velikoj Britaniji". Retrieved 2022-03-04.
  15. ^ Petrovitch, Voislav (1915). Serbia, Her People, History and Aspirations. Cosimo, Inc. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-60206-941-1. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  16. ^ "Pojavila se retka verzija himne "Bože pravde" koja će vas oduševiti, a evo kako je nastala (VIDEO)". (in Serbian). Retrieved 2022-03-04.
  17. ^ "Zakon o izgledu i upotrebi grba, zastave i himne Republike Srbije: 36/2009-3". Retrieved 2022-03-04.
  18. ^ "Zakon o izgledu i upotrebi grba, zastave i himne | RS". (in Serbian). Retrieved 2022-03-04.

External linksEdit