Montenegrin National Anthem (Oj, svijetla majska zoro) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series)
The National Anthem of Montenegro arranged for Brass Quintet.
Oj, svijetla majska zoro" (Montenegrin Cyrillic: „Ој, свијетла мајска зоро”, trans. "Oh, Bright Dawn of May") is the official National anthem of Montenegro adopted in 2004. Before becoming the anthem, it was a popular folk song of the Montenegrins, with many variations of its text. The oldest one is dated to the 2nd half of the 19th century, known as "Oh, Bright Dawn of Heroism, oh!", a popular Montenegrin folk song.
It was played in public for the first time in 1863 in the national theater in Belgrade. It was a component song of the "Battle of Grahovo or blood feud in Montenegro" (Бој на Грахову или крвна освета у Црној Гори) heroic play in three parts. It is unknown if the text’s authors are also the play’s, namely the following Montenegrin composer/writers: the father of Marko Car Jovan Car and an unknown Obrad Vitković. The play and the Montenegrin folk song was also played/sung in the National Theater again in 1870 and 1876. Its first record in Montenegro itself dates to 1887, when it was included into the regular school program of Montenegrin national songs for pupils in the 3rd grade. It was reconfirmed in the teacher’s plan for Montenegrin schools of 1888, which speculates that it must have been an established folk song for decades by then.
Sekule Drljević, party strongman of a minor political party which was active in the Yugoslavian Kingdom in Montenegro known as the Montenegrin Federalist Party, rewrote the text and published it in 1937 in the book of then’s Croatian writer of Montenegrin origins Savić Marković "Štedimlija" known as "Crvena Hrvatska" (Red Croatia), which confounded the thesis not of a Serb ethnic origin of the Montenegrins, which was the dominant one back then, but rather from the Croats. Its name was "Eternal Ours…" (Vječna naša). When Nikola Hercigonja wrote down Oh, Bright Dawn of May shortly after WWII ended after 1945, he erroneously concluded that Drljević was the original wholesale author of this song, which also led to its considerable decline in popularity as a Montenegrin folk song altogether.
The song survived until today under various names as a popular Montenegrin folk song under the name "Oh, Bright Dawn of May" (Oj svijetla majska zoro). This version of the song has been one of the several versions proposed in 1993 during the first discussion on the official anthem, however, on which there was no consensus because of the disputed melodic value.
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