72 years of “August 19” song

Bui Hang
Chia sẻ
(VOVWORLD) -On the morning of August 19th, 1945, the Viet Minh forces and the people of Hanoi took control of key offices of the French-backed administration, paving the way for a general uprising to seize power. This unforgettable moment inspired late composer Xuan Oanh to write the immortal song entitled “August 19”.
72 years of “August 19” song - ảnh 1The meeting at the Hanoi Opera House on August 19, 1945. 

The song “August 19” has become inseparable from August Revolution celebrations in Vietnam. Part of the lyrics read: “Never forget August 19, the uprising day; happiness shines all around Vietnam; the entire people join hands and vow to sacrifice for a brighter future”.

Xuân Oanh composed the song as he was joining a demonstration on that date in 1945. He wrote the lyrics and notes on the inner side of a cigarette pack. Composer and music critic Nguyen Thuy Khoa said: “People from every corner of Hanoi and its vicinity gathered at the Grand Opera House square for a rally on the morning of August 19. Xuan Oanh completed the song on his way from the outlying district of Thanh Tri to the meeting point. The song went viral by the afternoon. It portrays a landmark in Vietnam’s history”.

72 years of “August 19” song - ảnh 2 Composer Xuan Oanh

Composer Xuan Oanh said he did not expect the rapid popularity of the song, which depicts the feelings of the people who enjoyed independence and freedom for the first time after nearly a century under colonial rule. Oanh said he was unable to explain why the lyrics and the melody came to him so quickly.

“The song highlights Vietnamese people's solidarity. A revolution only succeeds if it can rally people,” said music critic Nguyen Thuy Kha. 

August 19 is probably the only song in Vietnam which is named after a specific date. Though simple, the song’s title symbolizes the historical significance of the revolution. It demonstrates the optimism and strong spirit of the Vietnamese people. Composer Cat Van said: “August 19 appeals to the public response to the August revolution. It is one of the first revolutionary songs in Vietnam."

Click to hear "August 19" by Xuan Oanh: