When the Soviet Union was created in 1922 from a merger between Russia and other neighbouring Soviet communist republics, the new national anthem that was in use was the “Internationale”, a socialist anthem written in the late nineteenth century by two Frenchmen. This song was already in use as Russia‘s de facto anthem due to it being the party song of the Bolsheviks who seized power in the 1917 October revolution and, with Russia being the leading republic in the union, it was their anthem that would be used. (For more information on how the song came to be Russia’s anthem before the Soviet Union was created, and additional information on the song itself, see the page for Russia (1918-1922).) “The Internationale” was never formally adopted by the Soviet Union as a national anthem (though it was formally adopted as the party anthem of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union), yet was used on a de facto basis.
“The Internationale” has since been used by a variety of communist, socialist, and other left-wing groups as their anthem, making it the unofficial anthem of socialism. (It was also used, interestingly, by Chinese demonstrating against their Communist government during the protests of 1989, leading to it being banned within Communist China.) It is traditionally sung with the right hand raised in a clenched-fist salute.
Special thanks to: Jerry Engelbach for providing the sheet music and music file.
See also: Russia (1918-1922).