|English: Patriotic Song|
National anthem of North Korea
|Also known as||(English: Song of a Devotion to a Country)|
|Lyrics||Pak Se-yong, 1946|
|Music||Kim Won-gyun, 1945|
"Aegukka" (Chosŏn'gŭl: 애국가; lit. 'Song of Patriotism'), officially translated as "Patriotic Song", is the national anthem of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, more commonly known as North Korea. It was composed in 1945 as a patriotic song celebrating independence from Japanese occupation and was adopted as the state anthem in 1947.
Similar to "Auferstanden aus Ruinen", the former national anthem of the former German Democratic Republic, more commonly known as the former East Germany, being banned in the Federal Republic of Germany, particularly having been banned in the former West Germany and still being banned in the reunified Germany, performance of this anthem is strictly prohibited in the Republic of Korea, more commonly known as South Korea, under the National Security Act.
"Aegukka" is a Romanized transliteration of "The Patriotic Song"; the song is also known by its incipit Ach'imŭn pinnara or "Let Morning Shine" or in its Korean name 아침은 빛나라 or alternatively as the "Song of a Devotion to a Country".
The Encyclopedia of Korean Culture defines "Aegukka" as "the song to wake up the mind to love the country". "Aegukka" in itself is differentiated from a national anthem. While a national anthem or gukka (lit. 'country song') is an official symbol of the state, aegukka refers to any song, official or unofficial, that contains patriotic fervor towards its country, such as Hungary's "Szózat" or the U.S. "The Stars and Stripes Forever". However, the nationally designated "Aegukka" plays the role of symbolizing the country. In general shorthand, the term aegukka refers to the national anthem of North Korea.
Originally, the Korean exile government (1919–1945) in Shanghai, China adopted as their national anthem "Aegukga" (which has the same name with a different Romanization) to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne". After World War II, South Korea kept the words, put to a new tune (changed from "Auld Lang Syne"), while North Korea adopted this newly written piece in 1947. The words were written by Pak Se-yong and the music was composed by Kim Won-gyun.
The complete version of "Aegukka" consists two verses. On official occasions, when only the first verse is performed, it is customary to repeat the last four bars. However, if both verses are performed, it is the last four bars of the second verse that are repeated instead. "Song of General Kim Il-sung" and "Song of General Kim Jong-il" have since taken the place of de facto national anthems domestically, and "Aegukka" is reserved for representing North Korea internationally: when foreign dignitaries visit the country or North Korean athletes compete at international sporting competitions. "Aegukka" is almost unique among most North Korean patriotic songs, as it praises neither the Workers' Party of Korea nor the Kim dynasty, but rather the whole of Korea itself. "Aegukka" is played at the start of each of Korean Central Television's broadcast days.
|Chosŏn'gŭl||Hanja||McCune–Reischauer romanization||English translation from Kim Il-Sung University||Literal translation from Korean|
In the morning, shine, this river and mountain
Full of silver and gold
Three thousand ri, my beautiful homeland
In a long history of five thousand years
𝄆 Growing up with a brilliant culture
With the people's wisdom and glory
I sacrifice my body and mind to Korea
The road is strong 𝄇
With all the spirit of Mt. Paektu
The spirit of work lives on
A strong meaning united by truth
I'll go ahead of the whole world
𝄆 Show your surging strength and anger
A country founded on the will of the people
Korea is infinitely prosperous
The road shines 𝄇
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