Armenia mulls over possible change of national anthem
Charles Aznavour, a world-renowned chansonnier, has recently suggested replacing the present-day national anthem with his song ‘Pour toi Arménie’ (‘For you, Armenia’).
‘Pour toi Arménie’ is a song written and composed by Charles Aznavour a few days after a devastating earthquake hit Armenia on 7 December, 1988, to help the victims of this tragedy. The song was first performed on TV by a group of French celebrities, on 20 December 1988.
The aforesaid statement stirred up heated debates in the Armenian press. Representatives of the Armenian art community and intelligentsia expressed their opinion with regard to the appropriateness of changing the current national anthem of Armenia – ‘Our Motherland’.
For example, Artur Ispiryan, a singer, said that the chansonnier’s song was very melodic and might well serve as the national anthem. “Aznavour is a worthy person, he is a great figure for me and for the whole nation. Therefore, we should listen to his proposal.” The singer believes that if the anthem is changed, people will soon get used to the new one.
Aram Satyan, the Chairman of the Armenian Composers’ Union, spoke out against the aforesaid proposal. “I don’t think the Armenian national anthem should be replaced with this song, because it’s a song, rather than an anthem,” said Satyan.
Yegishe Petrosyan, a musician, said he supported the idea of changing the national anthem in general. Though, in his words, it shouldn’t be replaced with the song ‘For you, Armenia’. “It will be a shame to turn this song into the national anthem,” he said.
Armenian Facebook users also expressed their position in this regard. Although Charles Aznavour enjoys the respect and love of the Armenian people, his proposal caused a negative reaction on social media:
“I’m surprised that, instead of Aram Khachaturyan’s wonderful anthem [the matter concerns the anthem of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic] or the national anthem ‘Yeraz im Yerkir Hayreni’ [My dream homeland], Charles Aznavour’s song ‘For you, Armenia’ is being considered as a national anthem. God forbid if this song becomes the national anthem: every time we perform it, we will remember the earthquake and sink into depression.”
“If it’s going to be changed anyway, then let them bring back Aram Khachaturyan’s anthem, rather than the song that is a reminder of the earthquake. It’s enough: we have already turned into a nation that sees and recalls tragedies everywhere.”
“Think sober! The national anthem isn’t a trifle, so that everyone could take on it. And also, dear proponents of the change of Armenia’s national anthem, say honestly, hand on heart, that the current national anthem ‘Our Motherland’ has been always well-tuned and opportune.”