Friday, July 30, 2010

The National Anthem of Montenegro

Before Montenegro's union with Serbia in 1918, "Ubavoj nam Crnoj Gori" (To our beautiful Montenegro) was used by the Kingdom of Montenegro as an anthem. The lyricist, Jovan Sundečić, was a priest and secretary to Prince Nicholas I. The music was written by Jovo Ivanišević (adapted by Anton Schulz). The anthem was in use from 1870 to 1918.

On July 12, 2004, while still in federation with Serbia, Montenegro adopted new national symbols. The new anthem "Oj svijetla majska zoro" (Oh, Bright Dawn of May) has a long history as a folk song in Montenegro, dating back to the early 1930s. The new arrangement was based on a harmonization by Zarko Mikovic and the lyrics were written by Sekula Drljević.

Sekula Drljević, (1884 – 1945) was a Montenegrin politician, lawyer, and author. His political views and ideological aims ranged wildly and changed frequently during his career in politics. Initially a fiery proponent of Serb unification, Drljević then became the founder of the pro-Greens Montenegrin Federalist Party that supported Montenegrin sovereignty during the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, only to eventually end up as the figurehead of the Montenegrin fascist puppet state created by the Axis forces in 1941.

Later during World War II, Drljević served for the fascist Ustashi in hopes of forming a militia force that would influence matters on the ground in Montenegro where a chaotic battle was raging. After the war, Drljević was trialed for war crimes and Nazi collaboration, as well the responsibility for the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

The postcard above features the anthem score of "Ubavoj nam Crnoj Gori" (To our beautiful Montenegro), Montenegro's first anthem in use from 1870-1918.