Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Just as a flower which seems beautiful and has colour but no perfume, so are the fruitless words of the man who speaks them but does them not.
- The Dhammapada, Buddhist Collection of Moral Aphorisms (c. B.C. 300)

Ah, the power of music – it can lift the spirits of men, seduce the hearts of women and power political revolutions . . .

  Cristian Paturca, Calling for the End to Communism in Romania Cristian Paturca, Songwriter of the Romanian Democratic Revolution Cristian Paturca, Romanian Protesters

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Cristian Paturca, the composer of a song that inspired Romanians in their struggle against vestiges of the Communist government, has died. He was 46 . . .

Mr. Paturca became one of Romania’s most prominent democracy activists when he wrote “Imnul Golanilor” (“The Hooligans’ Hymn”) in 1990 for antigovernment protesters, who were being called “hooligans” by President Ion Iliescu. The Communist government of Nicolae Ceausescu had collapsed in 1989 in a revolution in which more than 1,300 people died. Romanians then protested for weeks in University Square against the continued presence of former Communists in the government.

The protest was broken up by club-wielding miners in June 1990; six people were killed and dozens injured.

One line from the song, “Better dead than a Communist,” became part of Romania’s post-1989 vocabulary. The word “golan” now means a pro-democracy activist as well as a hooligan.

source: NYT

Now there is a country that suffered so greatly and had to rise up through bloody revolution not once, but twice to overthrow their Communist oppressors. “Mai bine mort decît comunist!!!” Better dead than Communist indeed!

What a great legacy for a songwriter to leave, the new tyrant slurs the great masses calling for Democracy as a bunch of “hooligans” and you write “The Hooligan’s Hymn” and one of the lines of the song “Better dead than a Communist” enters your nation’s lexicon.

I had never heard of Cristian Paturca until I read the obituaries today, but his was a life worth celebrating.

There are no English translations of the lyrics that I can find anywhere, so here is the best I could do in patching together a few different spotty online translation services. There are still some rough patches I can’t correct on my own, but you can get the gist of it.

He was once like in the stories
He was in Romania,
A large gang of punks,
What they banished slavery.
We did not confuse never
With “the people of good”
Name and neo-communist
With no shame.

I’d rather be a tramp than a traitor,
I’d rather be a hooligan than a dictator,
I’d rather be a punk than an activist,
I’d rather be dead than communist.

We want freedom
Not Communism
And no change of shape
And, therefore, Intelligence,
Let us not put the rule.
We do not want neo-communism,
No neolibertate,
“The Democrats’ original
And even blatant lies.


We have been wondering why we are here
But she knows across the country,
We support Section 8
From Timisoara.
Fall seven-three-four
What you TVR
Legînd in her chains,
Even the words!


Elections without communists
No nomenclature,
And do not be afraid of punks
No coloration.
Of those who died
We are back ghosts
May not be as
Then carnage

I’d rather be a tramp than a traitor,
I’d rather be a hooligan than a dictator,
I’d rather be a punk than an activist,
I’d rather be dead than communist.

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3 Responses to R.I.P. Cristian Paturca, Songwriter of the Romanian Democratic Revolution

  • I dugg some of you post as I cerebrated they were extremely helpful very beneficial

  • Very good, Mike! The power of Music, one of the strongest forces in the world. Thanks, this made me think!

    By the way, Sir Walter Scott was Scottish not English. He was a pragmatic Scot, with a strongly romantic side to his personality, which is pretty typical of many Scots. This came out in his writings. He created the myths of Scotland and the Scottish Highlands. I like your quote from him.

  • Thanks for the heads up on Sir Walter Scott, updated his quotes!

    The power of music indeed! I was inspired to give this a little bump after seeing all the energy of the OWS protests and thinking what if we could take the energy from bringing down Capitalism here and channel it into bringing down oppressive Communist regimes elsewhere.

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