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'Martiki yerg': Holding the motherland in our hearts

Nairyan Vocal Ensemble

January 28, 2021

Song

By Loucig Guloyan-Srabian

195 views

'Martiki yerg': Holding the motherland in our hearts

The Nairyan Vocal Ensemble actively participated in releasing patriotic songs and keeping up the morale of the nation during the 44 day Artsakh war in autumn. As we honor the troops of Armed Forces in Armenia and Artsakh on Army Day, we dedicate the ensemble’s a cappella rendition of “Martiki yerg” (“Մարտիկի երգ” | “Soldier’s Song”) to those who fought bravely to defend our motherland. 

Genre

Lyrical; a cappella 

Released

2020

Location

Yerevan, Armenia

Language

Armenian

Duration

2:36

Link

YouTube

 
“Martiki yerg” was first released in 1944 under the name “Karot” (Կարօտ | Nostalgia) in memory of the soldiers who fought and were killed in WWII. The music was composed by the Armenian outstanding musician Ashot Satyan and the lyrics were written by the award-winning poet Gegham Saryan
 
Celebrated for its lyrical, melodic and narrative qualities, “Martiki yerg” is considered as one of the most beautiful and earnest songs that have shaped the Armenian cultural identity. It is the soulful cry of a peace-loving soldier who holds “the motherland in his heart,” yet yearns for the beloved pastures and streams of his hometown, and the warm embrace of his mother. 
 
“Martiki yerg” has attained the status of a folk song due to its human elements. However, it has not been always so. Even though the song was performed on the Red Square in Moscow during the Great Patriotic War, it was hard to accept the idea that a soldier should feel nostalgic for home. 
 
“The Soviets wouldn’t understand the idea that this was a definitive characteristic of Armenians. A soldier wouldn’t fight if he didn’t think about his home. The thought of defending his family back home— his mother, father, wife and children, were the impulses that lifted him to victory,” writes Armineh Sargsyan in Irates.am 
 
“Martiki yerg” may sound like a call to arms, a yearning for beautiful life, faith in victory, or consolation for those waiting for the return of their loved ones. However, when it comes to the endurance of the song, one thing is certain: it perpetuates the memory and determination of all those who sacrificed their lives for the motherland. 
 
 

 

The Nairyan Vocal Ensemble released an a cappella version of “Martiki yerg” in late October.

About the Nairyan Vocal Ensemble

The Nairyan Vocal Ensemble was founded in 2015 within the framework of the cultural programs of the Mughdusian Art Center in Yerevan. Its members, Anush Hambardzumyan, Naira Mughdusyan, Yelena Azaryan, Ani Ghazaryan, and Anna Minasyan are five talented young women who are keen to make Armenian classical, spiritual, national, and folk music appealing to international audiences. 

The ensemble is praised for its polyphonic songs, and its skill in fusing the simple yet artistic approach to a cappella singing. Over the years, its mission has extended to raise awareness about civic, social, and health issues, as well as to empower women through music. 

In their quest to make Armenian songs accessible to all, the Nairyan singers have performed in various international festivals, virtual concerts, and flash mobs. They have even learned to sing in sign language, and are the proud holders of more than two dozen songs in sign language.
 

Liked this? Listen to another version

One of our favorite choices is a virtual performance by international musicians. Hear their classical version of the song here. The video comes with English subtitles! 

For other popular versions of "Martiki yerg," check the video section below!

Video

  • "Martiki yerg": On the Border

    (Video: Shant TV Armenia)

  • "Martiki yerg" music by C-rouge, vocals by Carmen Balian

    (Video: "Martiki yerg" C-rouge YouTube page)

  • "Martiki yerg" by Lilith Guegamian

    (Video: "Martiki yerg" Music of Armenia YouTube page)

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