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"Deșteaptă-te, române!"[a] Romanian pronunciation: [deʃˈte̯aptəte roˈmɨne] (About this soundlisten) (variously translated as “Awaken thee, Romanian!”, “Awaken, Romanian!”, or “Wake up, Romanian!”) is the national anthem of Romania.

Deșteaptă-te, române!
English: Awaken thee, Romanian!
National Anthem of Romania (page 3).png
Lyrics and music sheet

National anthem of  Romania
Former national anthem of  Moldova
Also known asUn răsunet (English: An echo)
LyricsAndrei Mureșanu, 1848
MusicAnton Pann, 1848
Adopted1917 (Moldavian D.R.)[citation needed]
1990 (Romania)
1991 (Moldova)
Relinquished1918 (Moldavian D.R.)
1994 (Moldova)
Preceded by"Trei culori"
Audio sample
"Deșteaptă-te, române!" (instrumental)

The lyrics were composed by Andrei Mureșanu (1816–1863) and the music was popular (it was chosen for the poem by Gheorghe Ucenescu, as most sources say).[1] It was written and published during the 1848 revolution, initially with the name “Un răsunet” (English: "An echo"). It was first sung in late June in the same year in the city of Brașov, on the streets of Șchei quarter.[2] It was immediately accepted as the revolutionary anthem and renamed “Deșteaptă-te, române”.

Since then, this song, which contains a message of liberty and patriotism, has been sung during all major Romanian conflicts, including during the 1989 anti-communist revolution. After that revolution, it became the national anthem, replacing the communist-era national anthem "Trei culori" (English: "Three colors").

July 29 is now “National Anthem Day” (Ziua Imnului național), an annual observance in Romania.[3]

The song was also used on various solemn occasions in the Moldavian Democratic Republic, during its brief existence, between 1917 and 1918.[4] Between 1991 and 1994 it was the national anthem of Moldova as well, but was subsequently replaced by the current Moldovan anthem, “Limba noastră” (English: "Our language").[clarification needed]

History of the anthemEdit

The melody was originally a sentimental song called “Din sânul maicii mele” composed by Anton Pann after hearing the poem [5] In 1848, Andrei Mureșanu wrote the poem “Un răsunet”, and asked Gheorghe Ucenescu, a Scheii Brașovului Church singer, to find him a suitable melody.[5] After Ucenescu sang him several lay melodies, Mureșanu chose Anton Pann’s song.

First sung during the uprisings of 1848, “Deșteaptă-te române” has endured as a favorite song and seen play during various historical events, including as part of Romania’s declaration of independence from the Ottoman Empire during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-78), and during the first world war. The song received particularly heavy radio broadcast in the days following the state coup of August 23, 1944, when Romania switched sides, turning against Nazi Germany and joining the Allies side in the war.

After the seizure of power by the communists on December 30, 1947, “Deșteaptă-te române” and other patriotic songs closely associated with the previous regime were outlawed. Ceaușescu’s government permitted the song to be played and sung in public, but it was not given state recognition as the national anthem.

The overall message of the anthem is a “call to action”; it proposes a “now or never” urge for change present in many national anthems like the French revolutionary song "La Marseillaise". This is the reason why Nicolae Bălcescu called it the “Romanian Marseillaise”.

Another anthemEdit

Besides this anthem, the Romanians also have “Hora Unirii” (“The Unity Hora (dance)”), written in 1855 by the poet Vasile Alecsandri (1821–1890), which was sung a great deal on the occasion of the Union of the Principalities (1859) and on all occasions when the Romanians aspired to union and harmony among themselves. “Hora Unirii” is sung on the Romanian folk tune of a slow but energetic round dance joined by the whole attendance. The round dance (hora) is itself an ancient ritual, symbolizing spiritual communion, equality and the Romanians’ wish for a common life.

Original verses in RomanianEdit

Romania’s national anthem has eleven stanzas. Today, only the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 11th are sung on official occasions, as established by Romanian law.[citation needed] At major events, such as the National Holiday, the full version is sung, accompanied by 21-gun salute[citation needed] when the President is present at the event.

Original Romanian Phonetic transcription (IPA) Literal Translation
Deșteaptă-te, române, din somnul cel de moarte, [deʃˈte̯aptəte roˈmɨne din ˈsomnul t͡ʃel de ˈmo̯arte] Wake up, Romanian, from the sleep of death
În care te-adânciră barbarii de tirani [ɨŋ ˈkare te̯adɨnˈt͡ʃirə barˈbarij de tiˈranʲ] Into which you have been sunk by the barbaric tyrants
Acum ori niciodată croiește-ți altă soarte, [aˈkum orʲ nit͡ʃoˈdatə kroˈjeʃtet͡sʲ ˈaltə ˈso̯arte] Now, or never, make a new fate for yourself,
La care să se-nchine și cruzii tăi dușmani. [la ˈkare sə seŋˈkine ʃi ˈkruzij təj duʃˈmanʲ] To which even your cruel enemies will bow.
Acum ori niciodată să dăm dovezi la lume [aˈkum orʲ nit͡ʃoˈdatə sə dəm doˈvezʲ la ˈlume] Now or never let us give proof to the world
Că-n aste mâni mai curge un sânge de roman, [kən ˈaste mɨnʲ maj ˈkurd͡ʒe un ˈsɨnd͡ʒe de roˈman] That in these veins a Roman blood still flows,
Și că-n a noastre piepturi păstrăm cu fală-un nume [ʃi kən a ˈno̯astre ˈpjepturʲ pəsˈtrəm ku ˈfaləwn ˈnume] That in our chests we hold a name with pride,
Triumfător în lupte, un nume de Traian. [tri.umfəˈtor ɨn ˈlupte un ˈnume de traˈjan] Victorious in battle, the name of Trajan![note 1]
Înalță-ți lata frunte și caută-n giur de tine, [ɨˈnalt͡sət͡sʲ ˈlata ˈfrunte ʃi ˈkawtən d͡ʒur de ˈtine] Raise your broad forehead and see around you
Cum stau ca brazi în munte voinici sute de mii; [kum staw ka brazʲ ɨn ˈmunte vojˈnit͡ʃʲ ˈsute de mij] How, like fir trees on a mountain, hundreds of thousands of strong men stand;
Un glas ei mai așteaptă și sar ca lupi în stâne, [uŋ ɡlas jej maj aʃˈte̯aptə ʃi sar ka lupʲ ɨn ˈstɨne] Just waiting for a voice to pounce like wolves on sheep,
Bătrâni, bărbați, juni, tineri, din munți și din câmpii. [bəˈtrɨnʲ bərˈbat͡sʲ ʒunʲ ˈtinerʲ din munt͡sʲ ʃi diŋ kɨmˈpij] Elders, men, youths, boys, from the mountains and from the plains.
Priviți, mărețe umbre, Mihai, Ștefan, Corvine, [priˈvit͡sʲ məˈret͡se ˈumbre miˈhaj ʃteˈfan korˈvine] Behold, great shadows, Michael, Stephen, Corvinus[b],
Româna națiune, ai voștri strănepoți, [roˈmɨna nat͡siˈune aj ˈvoʃtri strəneˈpot͡sʲ] The Romanian Nation, your great-grandchildren,
Cu brațele armate, cu focul vostru-n vine, [ku ˈbrat͡sele arˈmate ku ˈfokul ˈvostrun ˈvine] With weapons in their arms, with your fire in their veins,
"Viața-n libertate ori moarte" strigă toți. [viˈat͡san liberˈtate orʲ ˈmo̯arte ˈstriɡə tot͡sʲ] "Life in freedom or death!" shout all.
Pre voi vă nimiciră a pizmei răutate [pre voj və nimiˈt͡ʃirə a ˈpizmej rə.uˈtate] You were vanquished by the evils of your envy
Și oarba neunire la Milcov și Carpați [ʃi ˈo̯arba ne.uˈnire la ˈmilkov ʃi karˈpat͡sʲ] And by your blind disunity, at Milcov and the Carpathians
Dar noi, pătrunși la suflet de sfânta libertate, [dar noj pəˈtrunʃʲ la ˈsuflet de ˈsfɨnta liberˈtate] But we, whose souls were pierced by holy liberty,
Jurăm că vom da mâna, să fim pururea frați. [ʒuˈrəm kə vom da ˈmɨna sə fim ˈpurure̯a frat͡sʲ] Swear that for ever in brotherhood will join.
O mamă văduvită de la Mihai cel Mare [o ˈmamə vəduˈvitə de la miˈhaj t͡ʃel ˈmare] A widowed mother from the time of Michael the Great[note 2]
Pretinde de la fiii-și azi mână d-ajutori, [preˈtinde de la ˈfiijʃʲ azʲ ˈmɨnə daʒuˈtorʲ] Claims from her sons today a helping hand,
Și blastămă cu lacrămi în ochi pe orișicare, [ʃi ˈblastəmə ku ˈlakrəmʲ ɨn okʲ pe oriʃiˈkare] And with tears in her eyes curses whomsoever,
În astfel de pericul s-ar face vânzători. [ɨn ˈastfel de peˈrikul sar ˈfat͡ʃe vɨnzəˈtorʲ] In such great peril, a traitor would become.
De fulgere să piară, de trăsnet și pucioasă, [de ˈfuld͡ʒere sə ˈpjarə de ˈtrəsnet ʃi puˈt͡ʃo̯asə] Of thunder and of brimstone should they perish
Oricare s-ar retrage din gloriosul loc, [orʲˈkare sar reˈtrad͡ʒe diŋ ɡloriˈosul lok] Anyone who would flee the glorious place
Când patria sau mama, cu inima duioasă, [kɨnd ˈpatri.a saw ˈmama ku ˈinima duˈjo̯asə] When our land or our mother, with a sorrowful heart,
Va cere ca să trecem prin sabie și foc. [va ˈt͡ʃere ka sə ˈtret͡ʃem prin ˈsabi.e ʃi fok] Will ask us to cross through swords and blazing fire.
N-ajunge iataganul barbarei semilune, [ˈnaʒund͡ʒe jataˈɡanul barˈbarej semiˈlune] Didn't we have enough of the yatagan of the barbaric crescent
A cărui plăgi fatale și azi le mai simțim; [a ˈkəruj pləd͡ʒʲ faˈtale ʃi azʲ le maj simˈt͡sim] Whose fatal wounds we still feel today;
Acum se vâră cnuta în vetrele străbune, [aˈkum se ˈvɨrə ˈknuta ɨn ˈvetrele strəˈbune] Now the knout[note 3] is intruding in our ancestral homes,
Dar martor ne e Domnul că vii nu o primim. [dar ˈmartor ne je ˈdomnul kə vij nu o priˈmim] But the Lord is our witness that we shall not accept it alive.
N-ajunge despotismul cu-ntreaga lui orbie, [ˈnaʒund͡ʒe despoˈtismul kunˈtre̯aɡa luj orˈbi.e] Didn't we have enough of the blinded despotism,
Al cărui jug de seculi ca vitele-l purtăm; [al ˈkəruj ʒuɡ de ˈsekulʲ ka ˈvitelel purˈtəm] Whose yoke, like cattle, for centuries we have carried?
Acum se-ncearcă cruzii, cu oarba lor trufie, [aˈkum senˈt͡ʃe̯arkə ˈkruzij ku ˈo̯arba lor truˈfi.e] Now the cruel ones are trying, in their blind arrogance,
Să ne răpească limba, dar morți numai o dăm. [sə ne rəˈpe̯askə ˈlimba dar mort͡sʲ ˈnumaj o dəm] To take away our language, but only dead will we surrender it.
Români din patru unghiuri, acum ori niciodată [roˈmɨnʲ din ˈpatru ˈuŋɡjurʲ aˈkum orʲ nit͡ʃoˈdatə] Romanians from the four corners, now or never
Uniți-vă în cuget, uniți-vă-n simțiri. [uˈnit͡sivə ɨŋ ˈkud͡ʒet uˈnit͡sivən simˈt͡sirʲ] Unite in thought, unite in feeling
Strigați în lumea largă că Dunărea-i furată [striˈɡat͡sʲ ɨn ˈlume̯a ˈlarɡə kə ˈdunəre̯aj fuˈratə] Proclaim to the wide world that the Danube is stolen
Prin intrigă și silă, viclene uneltiri. [prin ˈintriɡə ʃi ˈsilə viˈklene unelˈtirʲ] Through intrigue and coercion, sly machinations.
Preoți, cu crucea-n frunte căci oastea e creștină, [ˈpre.ot͡sʲ ku ˈkrut͡ʃe̯an ˈfrunte kət͡ʃʲ ˈo̯aste̯a e kreʃˈtinə] Priests, lead with your crucifixes, for our army is Christian,
Deviza-i libertate și scopul ei preasfânt. [deˈvizaj liberˈtate ʃi ˈskopul ej pre̯aˈsfɨnt] The motto is Liberty and its goal is holy,
Murim mai bine-n luptă, cu glorie deplină, [muˈrim maj ˈbinen ˈluptə ku ˈɡlori.e deˈplinə] Better to die in battle, in full glory,
Decât să fim sclavi iarăși în vechiul nost' pământ. [deˈkɨt sə fim sklavʲ ˈjaraʃʲ ɨn ˈvekjul nost pəˈmɨnt] Than to once again be slaves upon our ancient ground!
  1. ^ The Roman emperor Trajan conquered Dacia, covering roughly the same territory as modern Romania, for the Roman Empire.
  2. ^ Michael briefly ruled the principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania, covering roughly the same territory as modern Romania.
  3. ^ A whip usually associated with Russia, as the yatagan was with the Ottomans.

Other translationsEdit

Note that, in accordance with Romanian law, there are no official translations of the anthem.

A more poetic translationEdit

Awaken thee, Romanian, wake up from deadly slumber
The scourge of inauspicious barbarian tyrannies
And now or never to a bright horizon clamber
That shall to shame put all your enemies.
It’s now or never that we prove to the world
That in these veins still flows Roman blood
And in our hearts for ever we glorify a name
Triumphant in battles, the name of Trajan.
Behold, imperial shadows, Michael, Stephen, Corvinus
At the Romanian nation, your mighty progeny
With arms like steel and hearts of fire impetuous
“Live in liberty, or die” that's what they all decree.
Priests, raise the cross, as this army is Christian
Give it liberty and it's sanctified scope
We’d rather die in battle, with honorary glory
Than live again enslaved on our ancestral land.

Alternative translationEdit

Performed on a synthesizer
Romanian, awaken your Spirit from the sleep of Death
Impressed upon you by Tyrannies of barbarians;
Now or never, fashion a new destiny,
Stronger than your foes’, a fate for them to bow to.
Now or never, our legacy prove to all,
That through our veins still flows the Blood of Ancient Rome
That in our chests we proudly hail a Name,
Triumphant in battle, the Name of Trajan.
Raise your strong brow and gaze around you
As trees stand in a forest, brave youths, a hundred thousand
An order they await, ready to pounce, as wolves among the sheep
Old men, and young, from mountains high and open plains.
Gaze mightily, glorious shadows, Michael, Stephen, Corvine
The Romanian nation, your descendants,
With weapons in their hands, with your Fire burning
“Life in Liberty or Death”, all shout together.
You were vanquished by the evils of envy
By the blind disunity at the Milcov and Carpathians
But we, our Spirit touched by saintly Liberty,
Swear allegiance, to be forever Brothers.
A widowed mother from the time of Michael the Great
Asks of her sons a helping hand today
And curses, with tears in her eyes, whosoever
In times of such great danger, proves to be a traitor.
May lightning bolts, thunder and brimstone kill
Whoever retreats from the glorious battle
When motherland or mother, with a tender heart,
Will ask us to pass through sword and flame.
Is not enough the yatagan of the barbaric crescent
Whose fatal wounds we feel burning today;
Now, the knout intrudes on our ancestral lands,
But with God as witness, we will fight it to the Death
Is not enough the despotism and its unseeing eye
Which for centuries enslaved us, as cattle?
Now, attempt the cruel, in their blind haughtiness,
To steal our Language, but we will fight them to the Death
Romanians of the four corners, now or never,
Be United in your Thoughts, United in your Feelings
Shout out to the world that the Danube is stolen
Through intrigue and coercion, malicious plots.
Priests, with the Cross before you, as the army is Christian,
The motto is Liberty and its goal eternal
Better dead in battle, in full glory
Than be enslaved again in our ancestral homeland.


  1. ^ The Moldovan Cyrillic transliteration is Дештяптэ-те, ромыне!
  2. ^ The text refers to a member of the Romanian-origin Corvin family (either John or Matthias)


  1. ^ The anthem's history Archived July 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Vasile Oltean - Imnul Național Deșteaptă-te, române!, Ed. Salco, Brașov, 2005, ISBN 973-87502-1-0
  3. ^ "Romania - Deșteaptă-te, române!". Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  4. ^ Silviu Andrieș-Tabac, Simbolurile Republicii Democratice Moldovenești (1917-1918). Interpretări semantice, 2008.[dead link]
  5. ^ a b "Cazimir: "Mie îmi place Trăiască Patria!"" (in Romanian). Adevarul. October 4, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2014.

External linksEdit