The Last Sunday;

One of my favourites as a child.

The “Last Sunday” was composed by Jerzy Petersburski in 1936. It is a nostalgic tango with lyrics by Zenon Friedwald describing the final meeting of former lovers who are parting. The Polish title was “To Ostatnia Niedziela” (“The Last Sunday”). The song was extremely popular and was performed by numerous artists (best kown performance by Mieczysław Folg). Along the way, it first gained the nick-name of “Suicide Tango” due to its sad lyrics in the night restaurants of Eastern Europe — where the shoot in the brow at 12 at night was not any unusual happening – another version was made in the 1930s -“the Gloomy Sunday” (in Polish: “Smutna niedziela”) by a Hungarian composer Rezső Seress. (Soon, an international hit; in the US sung by Billie Holiday).

During World War II In the concentrations camps it was often played while Jewish prisoners were led to the gas chambers and ovens, to be executed. During World War II, its Russian version was prepared by Iosif Alveg and performed by Leonid Utyosov under the title of “Weary Sun” (Russian: “Utomlyennoye Solntse”). After World War II, the song remained largely successful and appeared in a number of films, including Yuriy Norshteyn’s 1979 “Tale of Tales” (considered by many international critics to be the greatest animated film ever made), the award-winning Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “White” (1994) and Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Burnt by the Sun” of the same year. The Russian title of the song also became the name-sake for the latter film and — as the result – even the more educated and worldly Russians nowadays consider the old tango from Warsaw their “Russian national song”.


I know what Beansprouts would do if he ran a school – play it during assembly and frighten poor little lambs!

We should come together, you and I, and write a list of ‘Songs to play at School Assemblies’.


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