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'"Katyusha"', '"Katusha"' or '"Katjusha"' is a Russian wartime song composed in 1938 by Matvei Blanter with lyrics from Mikhail Isakovsky during the Second World War. The song depicts a girl longing for her beloved husband who is off on military service. It was first performed by Valentina Batishcheva in the Column Hall of Moscow's House of the Unions. Later it was performed by Lidiya Ruslanova and other singers. The latest remake is in a euro-dance feel and performed by Los Angeles pop artist Vera Clay. ""Katyusha"" is part of the repertoire of the Alexandrov Ensemble. In 2010, Russian countertenor Vitas covered a version of this song.
Katyusha is a tender diminutive from the female name Ekaterina (Katherine): Katya is the nickname and Katyusha, a tender diminutive.
The Russian song also gave name to the BM-8, BM-13, and BM-31 "Katyusha" rocket launchers that were built and fielded by the Red Army in World War II.
World War II
The song was first sung by female students from a Russian industrial school in Moscow to bid farewell to Russian soldiers going on the battle front against Nazi Germany in July 1941, who were deeply touched by the song. The song quickly became popular throughout the USSR, inspiring the soldiers across the nation who were leaving for the front.
Italian song to the tune of 'Katyusha'
Italy surrendered and joined the Allies in 1943. During the next two years (19431945) Italian partisans fought against German forces in Italy and Italian Fascists. Felice Cascione (19181944) wrote Italian lyrics for the Russian song 'Katyusha'. The song, titled 'Fischia il vento' ("The wind blows"), became (with 'Bella ciao' and 'La Brigata Garibaldi') one of the most famous partisan anthems.
In 1969 the melody of 'Katyusha' was used as base for the song 'Casatchok' (a free transliteration of the Cyrillic ''), sung by Dori Ghezzi.
French version of 'Katyusha'
Performed by Rika Zarai under the name Casatschok.
The Greek version of 'Katyusha'
During the Greek Civil War (19461949) Greek partisans, members of the National Liberation Front (" ", ) who had also fought against the German Invasion in 1941, wrote their version of 'Katyusha' named "The hymn of EAM" (" "). Almost all partisan songs were passed from Panos Tzavelas but were recorded much later by Thanos Mikroutsikos and sung by Maria Dimitriadi. Nowadays there are many versions of this song by various artists and composers. The Greek version of the song speaks about EAM and its achievements during and after the war.
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