Vandaag is het 120 jaar geleden dat de Joegoslavische schrijver Ivo Andric werd geboren. Hij is o.m. de auteur van het boek “De brug over de Drina” en kreeg in 1961 de Nobelprijs voor Literatuur. Ik dacht dat dit de aanleiding was voor The Spotnicks (Zweden, Nobelprijs, heeft u ‘m?) om een versie op te nemen van de zogenaamde “Drina-mars”. Na wat opzoekingen, bleek dit eigenlijk niet zo te zijn, maar de ontstaansgeschiedenis van de mars is interessant genoeg om hier over te nemen van de Engelse Wikipedia.

The March to the Drina is a Serbian patriotic march which was composed by Stanislav Binički during World War I. Binički dedicated it to his favourite commander in the Serbian Army, Pukovnik Milivoje Stojanovic Brka, who had fought during the Battle of Cer, but was killed in a subsequent battle in December. The song experienced widespread popularity during and after the war and came to be seen by Serbs as a symbol of resistance to the Great Powers. Following World War II, it was popular in Socialist Yugoslavia where a single release in 1964 achieved Gold Record status (wellicht door Radomir Mihailović Točak). The march was played at the presentation ceremony for the Nobel Prize in Literature when Yugoslav writer Ivo Andrić was named a Nobel laureate in 1961.
Serbian lyrics to the song were written many decades after Binički composed it, by poet and journalist Miloje Popović, in 1964 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Cer. English lyrics were added in 1964 by American songwriter Vaughn Horton for a recording by Patti Page under the title Drina (Little Soldier Boy). German lyrics were added by Walter Rothenburg in 1964 for Les Compagnons de la Chanson. Italian lyrics were added in 1964 by Daniele Pace for the recording by Marie Laforêt. Milutin Popović Zahar added Serbian lyrics to a version entitled “Svirajte Mi Mars na Drinu” in 1989.
An eponymous 1964 Yugoslav film was made by the Avala Film studio in Belgrade that featured the march in a historical dramatization of the 1914 Battle of Cer.
The composition became an international hit and a staple of world music. Swedish composer Felix Stahl obtained the rights to the song which he published and promoted. Danish guitarist Jørgen Ingmann had a number one hit on the Danish pop singles chart in 1963 in a version arranged for solo electric guitar on the Swedish Metronome Records label. His recording inspired the likes of the Flemish group The Jokers in 1963, a year before the hit version of The Spotnicks. The Shadows and Chet Atkins followed in 1966.

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