Estonia Flag Estonia

National Anthem

"Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm" ("My Fatherland, My Happiness and Joy")

Date of Adoption: 1920–1940; 1990

Music by: Fredrik (Friedrich) Pacius

Lyrics by: Johann Voldemar Jannsen

The national anthem of the Republic of Estonia is a choral-like melody first performed at the first Estonian Song Festival in 1869. The lyrics were written by the festival's organizer, Johann Voldemar Jannsen, a poet who also was a key figure in the movement to establish an Estonian identity. The music was composed by a German composer and conductor, Johann Voldemar Jannsen, who lived most of his life in Finland. "My Fatherland" is a simple song declaring the love of Estonians for their homeland and a prayer for God to defend the nation.

The song became popular during the nationalist movement and was officially adopted in 1920. When Estonia and Finland became independent after the First World War, both nations recognized the melody as their national anthem, but used different words. "Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm" remained Estonia's anthem until 1940, when it was banned during the decades of Soviet occupation. At that time, the melody was strictly forbidden, and people could be arrested or exiled to Siberia for singing it. The anthem was formally readopted as the national anthem when Estonia re-emerged as a free nation in 1990. Some have suggested that the anthem be replaced with purely Estonian music and lyrics, but the current melody continues to be used by both Estonia and Finland.

Estonian Lyrics

Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm,
kui kaunis oled sa!
Ei leia mina iial teal
see suure, laia ilma peal,
mis mul nii armas oleks ka,
kui sa, mu isamaa!

Sa oled mind ju sünnitand
ja üles kasvatand;
sind tänan mina alati
ja jään sull' truuiks surmani,
mul kõige armsam oled sa,
mu kallis isamaa!

Su üle Jumal valvaku,
mu armas isamaa!
Ta olgu sinu kaitseja
ja võtku rohkest õnnista,
mis iial ette võtad sa,
mu kallis isamaa!

English Version (Nonliteral; trans. Jenny Wahl)

My native land, my joy—delight,
How fair thou art—how bright!
For nowhere in the world around
Can ever such a place be found
So well beloved, from sense profound,
My native country dear!

My tiny crib stood on thy soil,
Whose blessings eased my every toil.
With my last breath my thanks to thee,
For true to death I'll ever be,
O worthy, most beloved and fine,
My dearest country mine!

May God in Heaven thee defend,
My own, my dearest land!
May He be guard, may He be shield,
For ever bless and guardian wield
Protection for all deeds of thine,
My own, my dearest land!

Literal English Translation

My fatherland, my joy and happiness,
How beautiful you are!
I shall not find such ever
In this huge wide world
Which would be so dear to me
As you, my fatherland!

You have given me birth
And raised me up;
I shall thank you always
And remain faithful to you 'til death,
To me most beloved are you,
My precious fatherland!

May God watch over you,
My precious fatherland!
Let Him be your defender
And provide bountiful blessings
For whatever you undertake,
My precious fatherland!