Update: Tracy requested the lyrics and translation, which are here at the link.. Beyond the first line, I can pull out only isolated words while listening, except for the phrase "Acum ori niciodata," which means "now or never." Reading the translation, it's longer, angrier, and bloodier than I remembered. Well, it's the Balkans.
I keep coming back to these. Re-re-post.
Christmas Day, 1989, the tyrant Ceausescu was finally overthrown. Congratulations, Romania. Chris doesn't remember any of the revolution. J-A was four, and remembers the crowds in the street shouting "Iliescu Sus! Ceausescu Jos!" Which turned out to be Romanian for "Out of the frying pan, into the fire," but it was a start. They have a great national anthem. If you listen to all three one after the other, you will be a little bit Romanian at the end.
We got the only two Romanians who can't sing, by the way.
These three (now four!) performances of the Romanian national anthem ("Romanians, Awake!")* will tell you everything you need to know about the culture since the revolution of December 1989. If you are pressed for time, the first one - the pop version - will tell you enough.
You have to admit, these folks put a lot into the anthem, though not with expressions we usually associate with patriotism in America. Defiance, joy, smoldering sexual display - yeah, that's them.
The Rock Version
And the national rugby team.
*What, you thought Dragostea din Tei was the national anthem? No, that would be Romania's contribution to middle-school culture worldwide.