Wrote resistance anthem 'Chant des Partisans.'
French songwriter Anna Marly died yesterday (Feb. 15) in her house in Alaska at the age of 88.
During her career Marly wrote more than 300 songs, but she is best known for having penned the song "Chant des Partisans" in 1942, while she was living in London. The song was a tribute to the Russians partisans in Smolensk who were massacred by the Nazis.
Marly was born Anna Betoulinski Oct. 30, 1917 in Saint-Pétersbourg, Russia. After her father's death during the Russian revolution, she emigrated to France with her mother in the early twenties.
She learned to play the guitar at a young age and became a cabaret singer in Paris in her mid-teens. She relocated in 1941 to London, where she joined the French free forces.
Initially sung in Russian, "Chant des Partisans" quickly became the anthem for the French resistance movement during World War II after French lyrics to the song were written in 1943 by Joseph Kessel and Maurice Druon. The track was used by the BBC as the "Guerilla Song."
The song is published by Editions Raoul Breton, a catalog now owned by singer Charles Aznavour and CEO Gérard Davoust.
She also wrote "La Complainte du Partisan," which was eventually sung by the likes of Joan Baez and Leonard Cohen. The track was included in Cohen's 1969 album "Songs from a Room" and is known as "The Partisan."