Dievs, svētī Latviju!

Dievs, svētī Latviju! (Latvian pronunciation: [diɛu̯s svɛːtiː ˈlatviju]; God Bless Latvia!) is the national anthem of Latvia. Created in 1873 as a patriotic song, it did not gain official status until 1920.

Dievs, svētī Latviju!
English: God Bless Latvia!
Latvian Anthem Sheet Music.svg

National anthem of Latvia
LyricsKārlis Baumanis, 1873
MusicKārlis Baumanis, 1873
Preceded byAnthem of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic
Audio sample

History and compositionEdit

The music and lyrics were written in 1873 by Kārlis Baumanis, a teacher who was part of the Young Latvian nationalist movement.[1] It has been speculated that Baumanis may have borrowed part of the lyrics from a popular song which was sung to tune of God Save the Queen, modified them and set them to music of his own. Baumanis's lyrics were different from the modern ones: he used the term "Baltics" synonymously and interchangeably with "Latvia" and "Latvians", so "Latvia" was actually mentioned only at the beginning of the first verse. Later the term "Latvia" was removed and replaced with "Baltics" to avoid a ban on the song. This has led to the misapprehension that the term "Latvia" was not part of the song until 1920, when it was chosen as national anthem and the word "Baltics" was replaced with "Latvia".[2][3]

During the annexation of Latvia by the Soviet Union, the singing of "Dievs, svētī Latviju!" was banned. The Soviet republic of Latvia had its own anthem. "Dievs, svētī Latviju!" was restored as the state anthem of Latvia on 15 February 1990,[4] a very short period before Latvian independence was restored.

The anthem's tune was modernized with a new F major version that is used since 2014, formerly a G major version was used on LTV's sign-on and sign-offs daily from 2011 up to 2013. Although, the G major version was still played at any occasion. The current version played on LTV for their sign-on and sign-offs daily is in the key of B-flat major.


Latvian original[5] IPA transcription English translation

𝄆 Dievs, svētī Latviju!
Mūs' dārgo tēviju
Svētī jel Latviju
Ak, svētī jel to! 𝄇

𝄆 Kur latvju meitas zied
Kur latvju dēli dzied
Laid mums tur laimē diet
Mūs' Latvijā! 𝄇

𝄆 [diævs | svɛː.tiː ɫɑt.vi.ju ‖]
[muːz dɑːr.guɔ̯̯ tɛː.vi.ju]
[svɛː.tiː jɛɫ ɫɑt.vi.ju]
[ɑk | svɛː.tiː jɛɫ tuɔ̯̯ ‖] 𝄇

𝄆 [kur ɫɑt.vju mɛi̯.tæz zi̯æd]
[kur ɫɑt.vju dɛː.ɫi dziæd]
[ɫɑi̯d mu(m)s tur ɫɑi̯.mɛː diæt]
[muːz ɫɑt.vi.jɑː ‖] 𝄇

𝄆 God, bless Latvia!
Our beloved fatherland,
Bless Latvia,
Oh bless it, yet again! 𝄇

𝄆 Where Latvian daughters bloom,
Where Latvian sons sing,
Let us dance for joy there,
In our Latvia! 𝄇

Other usesEdit

Latvian 2 euro coins bear the inscription DIEVS SVĒTĪ LATVIJU around the edge.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Darba apraksts". LIIS mūzikas lapas (in Latvian). Latvijas Izglītības informatizācijas sistēma. Archived from the original on 2007-05-12. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
  2. ^ Dr. art. Arnolds Klotiņš (1998-11-13). "Latvijas svētās skaņas (Part I)" (in Latvian). Latvijas Vēstnesis. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  3. ^ Dr. art. Arnolds Klotiņš (1998-11-17). "Latvijas svētās skaņas (Part II)" (in Latvian). Latvijas Vēstnesis. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  4. ^ Dzintra Stelpe (2009). Lielā Latvijas Enciklopēdija (in Latvian). Riga: Zvaigzne ABC. p. 263. ISBN 9789984408095. OCLC 644036298.
  5. ^ "Par Latvijas valsts himnu" (in Latvian). Latvijas Vēstnesis. 1998-03-05. Retrieved 2007-05-27.

External linksEdit