English: A Toast
Original manuscript of Zdravljica, written in the Bohorič alphabet

National anthem of
(the 7th stanza)

Also known as Zdravica
Lyrics France Prešeren, 1844
Music Stanko Premrl, 1905
Adopted 1989
Music sample
Zdravljica (instrumental)

Zdravljica (A Toast) or Zdravica, written in 1844, is a poem by the Slovene Romantic poet France Prešeren, considered the national poet of Slovenes. Since 27 September 1989, its 7th stanza has been the national anthem of Slovenia.[1]

Zdravljica is a drinking song and a carmen figuratum because the shape of each stanza resembles a wine cup. In it, the poet declares his belief in a free-thinking Slovene and Slavic political awareness. The poem has been interpreted as a promotion of the idea of a unified Slovenia, which the March Revolution in 1848 elevated into a national political programme.



Zdravljica from Prešeren's censored manuscript, ready to be published in the Poezije (Poems) collection in 1846. A modified version was published in full in 1848.

Censorship did not allow for the poem to be printed. Later Prešeren himself intended to include it in his poem collection Poezije (Poems), and to that end omitted the third stanza ("V sovražnike 'z oblakov / rodú naj naš'ga treši gróm") in order to save the rest. However the censor (fellow-Slovene Franc Miklošič in Austrian service) saw in the fourth stanza ("Edinost, sreča, sprava / k nam naj nazaj se vrnejo") an expression of pan-Slavic sentiment and therefore did not allow its publication either. Prešeren believed the poem would be mutilated without both the third and the fourth stanza and decided against including it in the Poezije. The integral version was first published after the March Revolution when the censorship was abolished. It was published on 26 April 1848 in the newspaper Kmetijske in rokodelske novice, edited by the conservative Slovene leader Janez Bleiweis.

Zdravljica was first set to music in 1905 by the Slovene composer Stanko Premrl in a choral composition.

National anthem

Zdravljica, in the composition of Premrl, was adopted as the anthem on 27 September 1989 by the Socialist Republic of Slovenia before the breakup of Yugoslavia. Therefore, it was the anthem of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, the Republic of Slovenia as a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 8 March 1990 to 25 June 1991, and of the Republic of Slovenia as a sovereign state.

The question about whether the entire Zdravljica or only its seventh stanza constitute the national anthem of Slovenia is still unresolved. According to the Article 6 of the Constitution of Slovenia, valid since 1991, the national anthem of Slovenia is the entire Zdravljica. According to the Act Regulating the Coat-of-Arms, Flag and Anthem of the Republic of Slovenia and the Flag of the Slovene Nation, valid since 1994, the national anthem of Slovenia is its seventh stanza and the web pages of the National Assembly cite the 7th stanza as the anthem of Slovenia.[1] In practice, mostly only the seventh stanza is sung and reproduced as the national anthem.[2]

Jernej Letnar Černič, a law expert and university lecturer, wrote in September 2010 that the act contradicted the constitution and therefore the entire Zdravljica should be considered the anthem. He also stated that from the ethic, moral, civilization and statehood[clarification needed] point of view it seemed to be necessary for Slovenia to use the entire poem as its anthem.[2] Slovene writer Boris Pahor suggested that using a combination of verses of the seventh and the second stanza as the national anthem, as the second stanza mentions Slovenes, whereas the seventh stanza doesn't.[1]


France Prešeren and the first verse of the 7th stanza of Zdravljica on the Slovenian €2 coin

The following provides the original Slovene text of Zdravljica and its English translation by Janko Lavrin.[3]

Prijatlji! odrodile, The vintage, friends, is over,
so trte vince nam sladkó, And here sweet wine makes, once again,
ki nam oživlja žile, Sad eyes and hearts recover
srce razjásni in oko, Puts fire into every vein.
ki utopi Drowns dull care
vse skrbi, Everywhere
v potrtih prsih up budi! And summons hope out of despair.
Komú narpred veselo To whom with acclamation
zdravico, bratje! čmo zapét'? And song shall we our first toast give?
Bog našo nam deželo, God save our land and nation
Bog živi ves slovenski svet, And all Slovenes where'er they live,
brate vse, Who own the same
kar nas je Blood and name,
sinov sloveče matere! And who one glorious Mother claim.
V sovražnike 'z oblakov Let thunder out of heaven
rodú naj naš'ga trešči gróm, Strike down and smite our wanton foe!
prost, ko je bil očakov, Now, as it once had thriven,
naprej naj bo Slovencov dom; May our dear realm in freedom grow.
naj zdrobé May fall the last
njih roké Chains of the past
si spone, ki jim še težé! Which bind us still and hold us fast!
Edinost, sreča, sprava Let peace, glad conciliation,
k nam naj nazaj se vrnejo; Come back to us throughout the land!
otrók, kar ima Slava, Towards their destination
vsi naj si v róke sežejo, Let Slavs henceforth go hand-in-hand!
de oblast Thus again
in z njo čast, Will honour reign
ko préd, spet naša bode last! To justice pledged in our domain.
Bog žívi vas Slovenke, To you, our pride past measure,
prelepe, žlahtne rožice; Our girls! Your beauty, charm and grace!
ni take je mladenke, There surely is no treasure
ko naše je krvi dekle; To equal maidens of such race.
naj sinóv Sons you'll bear,
zarod nov Who will dare
iz vas bo strah sovražnikov! Defy our foe no matter where.
Mladenči, zdaj se pije Our hope now, our to-morrow -
zdravica vaša, vi naš up; The youths - we toast and toast with joy.
ljubezni domačije No poisonous blight or sorrow
noben naj vam ne usmŕti strup; Your love of homeland shall destroy.
ker po nas With us indeed
bode vas You're called to heed
jo sŕčno bránit klical čas! Its summons in this hour of need.
Živé naj vsi naródi, God's blessing on all nations,
ki hrepené dočakat dan, Who long and work for that bright day,
da, koder sonce hodi, When o'er earth's habitations
prepir iz svéta bo pregnan, No war, no strife shall hold its sway;
da rojak Who long to see
prost bo vsak, That all men free,
ne vrag, le sosed bo mejak! No more shall foes, but neighbours be.
Nazadnje še, prijatlji, At last to our reunion -
kozarce zase vzdignimo, To us the toast! Let it resound,
ki smo zato se zbrat'li, Since in this great communion
ker dobro v srcu mislimo; By thoughts of brotherhood we're bound
dókaj dni May joyful cheer
naj živí Ne'er disappear
vsak, kar nas dobrih je ljudi! From all good hearts now gathered here.

See also


External links

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