'Lijepa naša …': the song of love and of national borders

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The paper offers an interpretation of the current version of the anthem and an analysis of the narrative and imagery of the 19th century poem from which the anthem originates. Three out of four stanzas of the anthem speak about the Croats’ love for their homeland and their people and of steadfastness and immortality of their love; the remaining stanza extols the beauty of the homeland. By directly addressing the homeland’s rivers and the sea, its singers appropriate this geography and so demarcate the borders of their much-loved homeland. The anthem thus asserts Croatia’s unity (against potential pretenders) and its unbreakable ties with its people. In contrast, the original fourteen-stanza poem The Croatian Homeland, written in 1835, is a paean to the Croats’ ties to nature, their simple life and bravery – the Romantic virtues of pure national souls. On their path to anthemhood, the four stanzas drawn from this poem have undergone significant modifications and additions, the result being a song doubly reassuring – it reassures the singers first, of the people’s love for themselves as a people, second, that this love is the means by which the ‘natural’ territory of the homeland is maintained.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCroatians
Subtitle of host publicationhistory, language and migration : abstracts of the international conference honouring 30 years of croatian studies at Macquarie university
EditorsLuka Budak
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherMacquarie University : Croatian Studies Foundation
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)9780646916002
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventInternational Conference Honouring 30 years of Croatian Studies - Sydney
Duration: 5 Feb 20147 Feb 2014


ConferenceInternational Conference Honouring 30 years of Croatian Studies


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