June 25, 2024

The Ballads of Ho Chi Minh

Nothing is More Precious Than Independence and Freedom!

Không có gì quý hơn Độc lập, Tự do!

Introduced by Dai Trang Nguyen
May 2020
Toronto, Canada
ISBN: 978-1-989944-00-4 (print)
ISBN: 978-0-9866079-9-8 (e-book)

Book Description: This Vietnamese-English bilingual book is a collection of 25 songs/poems about President Ho Chi Minh written by artists around the world (Chile, England, Russia, the United States, Venezuela, and Vietnam), and features monuments, plaques and memorabilia of Ho Chi Minh in more than 20 countries.

Table of Contents
1. Ho Chi Minh with the World
2. Ho Chi Minh and the Revolution
3. Uncle Ho with the People
4. Ho Chi Minh and the Environment
5. The Legacy of Ho Chi Minh
6. Ho Chi Minh Remembered Around the World

Selected Songs

Ewan MacColl (1915-1989) was a British folk singer, songwriter and labour activist who became one of the main composers of protest songs in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1954, MacColl recorded The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh, an upbeat folk song that recognized Ho Chi Minh’s strong leadership and devotion to the people of Vietnam. MacColl was inspired by the Việt Minh victory at Điện Biên Phủ. According to MacColl’s ballad, Ho Chi Minh is a leader who seeks to “drive invaders from his land” in order to secure “peace and freedom” for the Vietnamese people [1]. MacColl’s song became popular around the world, particularly in North Vietnam.
The Song Devoted to Our Uncle (Lời ca dâng Bác) was written by Trọng Loan (1923-2011), an army officer and artist from Hà Nội. This song has the rhythmic beat of folksongs from Central Vietnam. He is the Reason for Our Inevitable Victory (Người là niềm tin tất thắng) was composed by Chu Minh of Hà Nội, soon after the passing of Ho Chi Minh. The mortal Ho Chi Minh became immortalized as a symbol of the country’s reunification by the Vietnamese people. He had urged the Vietnamese people to resist the efforts of American imperialism in Vietnam while he was alive, and the Vietnamese had become even more motivated to fulfill his wishes after his death.
Victor Jara (1932-1973) was a Chilean teacher, poet and songwriter who saw Ho Chi Minh as “a figure through whom a unity of political identification was established between Chile and Vietnam.” [2] Jara dedicated the song, The Right to Live in Peace, to Ho Chi Minh in 1971.
Songwriter Phong Nhã (1924-2020) from the northern province of Hà Nam and known as a “songwriter of the young,” composed in 1945, Who Loves Uncle Ho Chi Minh More Than the Children (Ai yêu Bác Hồ Chí Minh hơn thiếu niên nhi đồng). President Ho Chi Minh wrote a letter to the students in September 1945, stating, “From now on, you will receive a completely Vietnamese education… not one of slavery.”
He Seeks and Finds Our Country (Người đi tìm hình của nước) is a poem written by Chế Lan Viên (1920-1989), a well-known poet from Central Vietnam. His poem is a tribute to Ho Chi Minh whose adventures were legendary – departing his beloved country by sea from the Dragon House Wharf (Bến Nhà Rồng) with few belongings, travelling around the world to gain new insights and returning home for Vietnam’s independence.
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