Chinese National Anthem

The national anthem of the People’s Republic of China is called, “The March of the Volunteers.” Originally, the lyrics of this song were written by Tian Han in 1934 as a dramatic poem. The music that the poem was set to was created by Nie Er for use in a film. Fifteen years later in 1949, the song was adopted as a provisional anthem. However, it was replaced during the 1960s following the imprisonment of Tian Han during the Cultural Revolution. During this time, it was replaced with “The East Is Red.” However, then it was restored without words, then used again with modified lyrics. However, in 1982, the original version was restored and was made the official national anthem. The anthem was made official in Hong Kong in 1997, in Macau in 1999 and was added to the nation’s constitution in 2004.

One of the things that makes this anthem so unique is that it isn’t as positive as other nations’ anthems. The rhythm and the battle cry lyrics make it quite a powerful song, especially during the nation’s war with Japan in the 1930s. “The March of the Volunteers” has been remixed by different performers throughout the years, including an instrumental version created in 1944, an electronic version created by the Slovenian group Laibach, and a more upbeat version used by Damon Albarn in a soundtrack to the musical titled, “Monkey: Journey to the West.”

Chinese National Anthem Lyrics

Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves;
With our very flesh and blood
Let us build our new Great Wall!
The peoples of China are in the most critical time,
Everybody must roar his defiance.
Arise! Arise! Arise!
Millions of hearts with one mind,
Brave the enemy's gunfire,
March on!
Brave the enemy's gunfire,
March on!
March on!
March on, on!