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POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCCLXII), Cristian PAŢURCĂ (1964, Bucharest – 2011, Bucharest), ROMANIA: “Imnul Golanilor”, “Hoodlum’s Song”

November 9th, 2015 · No Comments · Diary, Famous People, History, International Media, PEOPLE, quotations, Translations

POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCCLXII), Cristian PAŢURCĂ (1964, Bucharest – 2011, Bucharest), ROMANIA: “Imnul Golanilor”, “Hoodlum’s Song”

Cristian Paţurcă - Bucharest 1990

Cristian Paţurcă – Bucharest 1990

Imnul golanilor (refren):
Cristian PAŢURCĂ (1964 – 2011)

Mai bine haimana, decât trădător
Mai bine huligan, decât dictator
Mai bine golan, decât activist
Mai bine mort, decât comunist.

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Hoodlum’s Song (refrain)
Cristian PAŢURCĂ (1964, – 2011) Romania

I’d rather be a hoodlum than be a nation’s traitor.
I’d rather be a vandal, than be a scum-dictator.
I’d rather be a punk, than Party activist.
I’d rather be long-dead, than rabid Communist!

Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN,
© 2015 Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

Cristian Pațurcă

Cristian Pațurcă

SHORT BIO: Cristian PAŢURCĂ (1964 – 2011) was a Bucharest-born-and-bred composer and guitar player. He is best remembered for a folk song, which, after Ceausescu’s demise in December 1989, inspired Romanians in their struggle against the new Communist government.
In 1990, Paţurcă became one of Romania’s most inspiring democracy activists, when he composed and played on the guitar the “The Hooligans’ Hymn”, (“Imnul Golanilor”). This popular song was dedicated to the young protesters of Bucharest, who were killed or mimed by coal miners, called upon by president Ion Iliescu to stifle the popular uprising. The rabble of rough necks, from the coal mines of SW Romania, was enjoined by president Ion Iliescu to invest the University Square in Bucharest and quell the young student protesters, who were branded as “hoodlums”(“haimanale”): hence the title of the song – “Better hoodlum than traitor” (Mai bine haimana decât comunist).

The title of the song, alluding to the dictum “Better dead than Communist”, became one of Romania’s post-1989, most popular quotations. Furthermore, the word “golan”, in Romanian, now means both, a pro-democracy activist, as well as a hooligan, or hoodlum.
“The Hooligans’ Hymn” was compared to France’s national anthem, “La Marseillaise”, which was a rallying call for the French Revolution. Twenty years after Paţurcă composed the song, the new President of Romania, invested him with the Order of the National Cross for Faithful Service.
Cristian PAŢURCĂ died of cancer, the following year, aged forty six.

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4802830_6_e04c_le-chef-de-l-etat-klaus-iohannis_3276911c4e184ee576f6686512867112 EDITOR’S NOTE: AD 2015 marks twenty five years since the fall of Ceausescu, as well as the death of Romanian students, who protested in the University Square of Bucharest, in the summer of 1990, against the hijacking of the revolution by old Communist apparatchiks. Yet, ever since these dramatic events, Romania was marred by the hijacking of power, engineered by former Ceausescu acolytes, such as Ion Iliescu, Petre Roman & co. More recently, the former prime-minister, (famous for plagiarizing his university dissertation and indulging in shady deals for personal gain) had to resign under popular pressure! In November 2015, some 40,000 denizens took to the streets of the capital and other major cities to mark their despair…
For the last twenty five years Romanians migrated in droves, seeking a better life in Western Europe, North America and elsewhere, only to earn a pittance, often leaving behind their children, in the care of elderly parents, back home. Not much seems to have changed since: that is why the memory of Cristian Paţurcă and his songs are an integral part of Romania’s living, if poignant memory.

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