The Pyatnitsky Russian Folk Chorus archives carefully contain correspondence exchanged between composer Vladimir Zakharov and poet Mikhail Isakovskiy during the war. One of the letters Vladimir Zakharov sent to his colleague on January 28 of 1942.
The letter says: “We need a song about the partisans or about a partisan. We need it badly. About a partisan girl. Maybe with a joke”. Zakharov listed other ideas for the song as well. But Isakovskiy has already got enthusiastic about the idea of creating a true partisan song. It took him a long time to complete the task. Only in June he finally finished the lyrics and sent them to Zakharov in Sverdlovsk, where the choir had been evacuated.
Valentina Klodnina, Honored Artist of RSFSR and leading singer of the Pyatnitsky Chorus, remembered “When the song was completed, we learnt the lyrics and went to the railway workers club of Sverdlovsk. Started singing. It was received very enthusiastically. The audiences made us sing it several times. But the most remarkable performance was at the hospital. I sang the song but there was silence in response. No a single applause. I returned to my place at the choir. Suddenly one of the soldiers got up, went onstage, gave me a kiss and said: ‘Thank you for such a wonderful song. It was then that the audiences woke up with a thundering applause. Those with injured hands were tapping the floor with their crutches. What a noise! They called mr for numerous encores…”
Since then the song hasn’t left the Pyatnitsky choir repertoire, remaining to be the glorious symbol of bravery and tough times when the composition was born.