In autumn of 1939 prominent Soviet composer Matvey Blanter together with the poets Vladimir Lugovskoy and Evgeniy Dolmatovskiy were taking part in the Red Army campaign in Belarus. It was then that the trio started working on a song that later was called My Beloved.
The lyrics’ first version didn’t have any success, and Blanter with the music already composed asked his fellow colleagues to make another try. But none of the poets could deliver on a new version immediately, not to say that Lugovskoy quickly lost interest in composing lyrics at all.
Only in the early of 1941 Dolmatovskiy presented the new lyrics that sounded like the recollections about the 1939 campaign.
Dolmatovskiy used to remember “If I had written the lyrics after June 22, they would definitely have been much harsher or even darker. But my song is somewhat gentle, a reminiscence about the old happy days. On the other hand, it might have been due to that very nostalgic mood that the song became so popular”.
Indeed, there have been a lot of songs composed in the days of peace that have acquired new stronger meaning during the war. It was Matvey Blanter who said that those who thought that the war songs had come out of the blue proved wrong as “they didn’t begin with the war breaking out on June 22, 1941 and didn’t end with the Victory Day on May 9, 1945”.
“The thing is that war always brings a lot of losses and grieves, but all those fighting on the battlefields are ordinary people who joke, laugh and even fall in love. The war made them revalue and look differently at their peaceful lives, with music helping them in the hardest of the days. Thus, many came to think that certain songs belonged to the years of war. And I’m very proud that My Beloved composed in the days of peace is in the same line”, said Blanter.
My Beloved was particularly loved by the soldiers. Reflecting their dearest wishes, it resembled a letter that any soldier’s family was longing to receive from a battlefield.