The history, lyrics and meaning of Croatia’s national anthem ‘Our Beautiful Homeland’

14 June 2021, 13:50

The history, lyrics and meaning of Croatia’s national anthem ‘Our Beautiful Homeland’
The history, lyrics and meaning of Croatia’s national anthem ‘Our Beautiful Homeland’. Picture: Getty

By Sian Moore

‘Our Beautiful Homeland’ has swept the country for hundreds of years, but was only made Croatia’s official anthem in the 1970s.

Croatia’s national anthem, ‘Lijepa naša domovino’ (‘Our Beautiful Homeland’), sings of the country’s beauty and glory, and a deep love of the natural land.

The lyrics originate from a poem, ‘Horvatska domovina’ (‘Croatian homeland’), written by Antun Mihanović in 1835.

Just over a decade later in 1846, Austrian composer Josip Runjanin set the words to a melody, supposedly inspired by the recitative ‘Ah! O sole, più ratto’ from Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lammermoor.

Runjanin’s army bandmaster, Josip Wendl, later repurposed the music for a military brass orchestra.

The song was only adopted as Croatia’s official national anthem in 1972, among other amendments to the Constitution of Croatia.

Read more: Turkish national anthem: what are the lyrics and who wrote the ‘Independence March’?

What are the lyrics to Croatia’s national anthem in English?

Our beautiful homeland,
Oh so fearless and gracious,
Our fathers’ ancient glory,
May you be blessed forever.

Dear, you are our only glory,
Dear, you are our only one,
Dear, we love your plains,
Dear, we love your mountains.

Drava, Sava, keep on flowing,
Danube, do not lose your vigour,
Deep blue sea, tell the world,
That a Croat loves his homeland.

Whilst his fields are kissed by sunshine,
Whilst his oaks are whipped by wild winds,
Whilst his dear ones go to heaven,
Whilst his live heart beats

What are the lyrics to Croatia’s national anthem?

Lijepa naša domovino,
Oj, junačka zemljo mila,
Stare slave djedovino,
Da bi vazda sretna bila!

Mila kano si nam slavna,
Mila si nam ti jedina,
Mila kuda si nam ravna,
Mila kuda si planina!

Teci, Dravo, Savo, teci,
Nit' ti, Dunav, silu gubi,
Sinje more, svijetu reci
Da svoj narod Hrvat ljubi

Dok mu njive sunce grije,
Dok mu hrašće bura vije,
Dok mu mrtve grobak krije,
Dok mu živo srce bije