Songs written during the struggle (dedicated to the 24th anniversary of the Armenian Army)

When listening to national and patriotic songs, your soul suddenly stirs and you feel very patriotic. You start appreciating your homeland more, the land on which you live and create, the land that gives you strength and the land that you can’t let go of, no matter how much you try, even when your feet touch another land.

The need for those kinds of songs becomes more than important and more than urgent at catastrophic moments. For the Armenians leading a struggle of life and death on the battlefield, those songs become a balm that makes them strong, instills in them the spirit and makes them stand united as one.

If we take a look at the history, we will see that the Goghtn troubadours were the ones who saw the Armenian Kings off to war with their triumphant songs.

Today, we see our soldiers off to serve in the Armenian Army with our patriotic songs and the Armenian national dhol and zurna instruments.

January 28th marks the 24th anniversary of the formation of the Armenian Army. On this occasion, Hayern Aysor presents how some patriotic songs were composed-songs that will inspire, lift spirits and lead the way for a long time…

“Martiki Yerg” (Song of the Soldier)

It was written during the years of the Great Patriotic War (1941-45). The lyrics are by Gegham Saryan, and the music was composed by Ashot Satyan. In an interview with Hayern Aysor, Ashot Satyan’s nephew, President of the Union of Composers of Armenia Aram Satyan mentioned that there were years when it was prohibited to disseminate the song due to the interests of the political party, but it was later permitted to play it again.

In terms of musical design, the song had 18 versions. After long discussions, the melody that we all know was the one that was selected. Shara Talyan and Hovhannes Badalyan were one of the first to perform the song. Later, the song became very popular and served as a story of the longing that a soldier feels for the homeland, his mother and his native land and mountains on the battlefield.

The song has been performed in not only Armenia, but also abroad.

Aram Satyan added that, in one of his interviews, renowned Armenian composer David Tukhmanov mentioned that the song “Martiki Yerge” is a very hearty song that was written with high professionalism.

Over the years, this song became popular around the world, and not only among Armenians. It is still popular and in demand.

Aram Satyan was very moved when foreign singers performed the song “Martiki Yerge” during an event devoted to Armenian songs in Boston in the fall of 2015.


The songs of Gusan Haykazuni

Participant of the Artsakh war Gagik Nazaryan (Gusan Haikazuni) has written songs that are still not only modern, but also continue to be played everywhere. Gusan wrote most of his songs during the war. Some of his songs are played as march songs in the Armenian Army. Hayern Aysor presents how some of those songs were created.

His first song is the song “Hayer, Miatsek” (Armenians, Unite!), which was written at the outset of the Artsakh Movement. Gusan performed the song for the first time at Freedom Square on May 17, 1988. Later, the song went on to become a pan-national song that symbolizes the unity of all Armenians around the world.

What inspired him to write the song was the scream of “Hayer, Miatsek” (Armenians, Unite!) that was often heard at the time. The song was composed in a matter of 10 days and quickly became popular in not only Armenia, but also abroad. Seeing that people loved the song, Gusan and his friends made 1,000 copies and distributed them to soldiers.

Twenty-seven years have passed since the “birth” of the song. Over the years, it has become renewed and has undergone changes.

Gusan received a request to “update” the song and turn it into a modern song from Armenians abroad. He paid heed to the request, maintained the main content of the song, changed the lyrics and made it meet the current demands of the Homeland and the Diaspora today.

RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan was also one of those who supported the idea of making the song sound more modern. The minister was one of the first to whom Gusan presented the updated version of the song, and the minister gave her consent and approval.

The story behind the creation of the song “Getashen” is very influential. In 1990, a volunteer detachment of 25 armed boys led by Commander Laert Saghatelyan arrived in Yerevan to leave for Getashen in order to defend it. Seeing Gusan Haykazuni among the boys, the commander forbade him to leave, saying they wouldn’t know what to do, if a bullet was suddenly fired at him.

However, Gusan was unwavering and secretly tried to enter the plane, but the commander noticed him and said: “Get off, quickly! Where are you going? Didn’t I tell you that you are not going? It’s better for you to stay here and write a song about Getashen.”

It seemed as though this brought Gusan to his senses. He stayed in Yerevan and wrote a song about Getashen in three days. On the fourth day, he left for Getashen in a plane full of arms and food and joined the detachment, and that was where he performed the song for the first time.

Gusan Haykazuni also shared an interesting story related to the song “Getashen”. After losing Shahumyan, the people were migrating to Martakert. On the way, control had been established so that the enemy wouldn’t attack the people. One night, one of the soldiers approaches Commander Mayis Mkrtchyan and says there are Armenian children hidden in the forest. The commander asks if the soldier is certain that they are Armenian children, to which the soldier replies that he heard a child cry and an adult telling the child ��?sus, sus’ (quiet, quiet in Armenian).

They start looking for the children, but in vain since nobody responds to their screams in the forest. Seeing that the search is senseless, the commander tells the troops to line up and orders them to sing the song “Getashen”. After a short while, an old man and about 40 children come out of the bushes. The old man says that when they heard the voices of the soldier and the commander, they were scared to come out, thinking that they might have been Azerbaijanis who were speaking in Armenian to confuse them, and only after hearing the song “Getashen” did they become convinced that the soldier and the commander were Armenian.

Gusan Haykazuni’s song “Hpart Gnatsek” (Go With Pride!) is dedicated to the memory of Dushman Vardan (Vardan Stepanyan). When Dushman Vardan courageously dies near the Myurishen village of Artsakh in 1992, his friends in combat feel great pain and desperate. To dispel their sorrow and convey strength, Gusan Haykazuni writes the song “Hpart Gnatsek” (Go With Pride!). After writing the song, he immediately rushes to Yerevan to see singer Sahak Galoyan. They re-edit the song and start spreading the word about the song to soldiers.

The song truly served its goal. The song helped instill hope in the soldiers, who continued the struggle with unbreakable will.

“Akhpers U Yes” (My Brother and I)

One of the songs that became popular during the years of the Artsakh war is the song “Akhpers U Yes” (My Brother and I) by freedom fighter and songwriter Gusan Totik (Ashot Begoyan).

Gusan’s wife, Mrs. Anush talked about the song in an interview with Hayern Aysor. “Before leaving for the battlefield, my husband decided to write a song that would help console the longing of mothers seeing their boys off to the battlefield. My husband dedicated the song to his friends in combat, and they were very inspired,” Mrs. Anush mentioned, adding that Gusan Totik has also written many other patriotic songs, but unfortunately, people haven’t heard them.

“Yeraz Im Yerkir Hayreni” (The Native Land of My Dreams)

People’s Artist of the USSR and composer Robert Amirkhanyan assures that the song “Yeraz Im Yerkir Hayreni” (The Native Land of My Dreams) is the song that symbolizes the Armenian Army.

In one of his interviews, the composer of the anthem of the Armenian Army mentioned that the song awakens a delicate patriotism, not pompous patriotism. He remembers that a soldier once told him that singing this song helped him resist the difficulties, believe in himself and be filled with patriotism.

According to the songwriter, for him, complete happiness is the appreciation of the song and knowing that the song inspires soldiers even in difficult times of military service. According to him, his song reflects the feeling of admiration for the country.

“Karmir Kakachnere” (The Red Poppies), “Vor Sarere Chmnan Anter” (So That the Mountains Aren’t Left Ownerless)

In 1997, Ruben Hakhverdyan wrote the songs “Karmir Kakachnere” (The Red Poppies) and “Vor Sarere Chmnan Anter” (So That The Mountains Aren’t Left Ownerless). Talking about the songs in an interview with Hayern Aysor, the singer said what made him write the songs was his longing for his friends who had died on the battlefield.

Gevorg Chichyan

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