Patriotic composer Xuan Oanh dies at age 86

Published: 29/03/2010 05:00



LookAtVietnam – Xuan Oanh, who composed the revolutionary song 19 Thang Tam (August the Nineteenth), passed away on Saturday, aged 86.

The music lives on: Composer Xuan Oanh.
In August 1945, the nation was a powder keg of dissent. In the early morning of August 19, 22-year-old Oanh, a Viet Minh (Viet Nam League for Independence) cadre, joined a march that ended at Ha Noi’s Opera House. As he looked upon the sea of yellow-starred red flags fluttering in the breeze he sung the first words of what was to become a rallying cry for the revolution:

All the people of Viet Nam rise up this day and fight the good fight.

Swear to sacrifice bone and blood in the fight for our future.

August nineteen.

The light from the star of freedom shines.

Flags fly everywhere…

The song has just 102 words.

Later it was published and broadcast on the radio. It became a rallying cry that united the nation against its oppressors.

A highly developed sense of self-education helped Oanh become one of the first English speakers to broadcast on Radio the Voice of Viet Nam. Thanks to lessons from his elders, he also succeeded in further grasping English and French, and became known by his foreign affairs colleagues as an expert translator. Russian, German, Spanish and Chinese are also on his list of languages.

In the 60’s and 70’s, Oanh participated in various historic events such as the first Asian Peace Congress in Beijing the 1962 Geneva Conference on Laos and the 1968-1973 Paris Talks on Viet Nam.

As a people-to-people diplomat he worked for the Viet Nam Peace Committee, and the Committee in Solidarity with French and American People, tirelessly campaigning for an end to the America war in Viet Nam.

His music also won a place in the hearts of international friends. In 1989, during a peace drive in Hiroshima to collect signatures protesting against weapons of mass destruction, Oanh wrote the four-movement work The Sky Will Turn Blue Again based on a poem by Japanese bard Umeda Shyozi.

He translated dozens of foreign books by famous writers, such as Mark Twain and Jeffrey Archer.

His funeral will be held tomorrow, March 31, at the State Funeral Hall on Tran Thanh Tong Street, Ha Noi.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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