How was the song “The Youth follows Uncle Ho’s sayings” composed?

“There is no hard work at all The only fear is inconsistent mind Tunneling a mountain or filling up a sea. Setting mind we will surely do…”

Very few Vietnamese youth have no idea about the song “Following Uncle Ho's saying” by heart. Go up youth! Do not hesitate. Go up youth! Follow Uncle Ho’s saying. “There is no hard work at all. The only fear is inconsistent mind. Tunneling a mountain or filling up a sea. Setting mind we will surely do…”

It has been more than half century since the song was first released in 1953. The Na Tu of Cam Giang Commune, Bach Thong District, Bac Kan province, the place where young vanguards used to garrison, it is now a historic vestige witnessed the Uncle Ho’s visit. Right next to the torch symbol is a big stone panel with the Union's badge and the four famous verses of Uncle's Ho.

It is recalled that the vanguards team visited by Uncle Ho was the No 312 team. In that novel night, the team lighted the camp fire to welcome the General Director of Supply Bureau Tran Dang Ninh. To everyone’s surprise, Uncle Ho appeared and people said out loud “Viva Uncle Ho! Viva Uncle Ho!” Under the flicker of the fire, Uncle Ho was talking to the young vanguards. Following a question was an answer, and then Uncle Ho summed it up by a saying. He even asked everyone to repeat in chorus. There were four verses concluded by Uncle Ho from four issues. They formed a poet which was easy to understand and everyone could easily memorize:

“There is no hard work at all
The only fear is inconsistent mind
Tunneling a mountain or filling up a sea
Setting mind we will surely do…”

Hoang Hoa used to be the Secretary of Hung Yen Provincial Youth Union. He was then a member of the Central Executive Committee in the 2 and 3 terms. He was also a member of the Standing Committee of the Central Youth Union from 1967 to 1981.

March 1953, on business trip to the guerrilla area named Dong Ho (Hung Yen province); he accidently read an article about Uncle Ho on the “National Salvation” newspaper when he visited the vanguards in Viet Bac. The four verses published in the article remarkably drew his attention. He thought deeply on how to disseminate the Uncle Ho's saying to the youth as widely and quickly as possible.

With a guitar in hand, Hoang Hoa started to compose lyrics from the four verses. The song “Following Uncle Ho's saying” was very soon composed. Local youth had immediately learnt and sung the song. This song was then rapidly reached the youth province-wide and nationwide.

As our soldiers entered and took over the capital on 10 October 1954, the song “Following Uncle Ho's saying” was sung aloud in chorus all over the streets of the capital. The “Following Uncle Ho's saying” later became the official song of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union. The song was broadcasted on the Voice of Vienam and Television.

On an occasion, Hoang Hoa was present in the delegation of national advanced youth to visit Uncle Ho, he said after the visit finished: “Who will voluntarily start singing a song before we say good bye?”. The song “Following Uncle Ho's saying” was sung. As soon as the youth finished singing, Uncle Ho asked who the composer was. Hoang Hoa came forward and Uncle Ho gave him a candy and he said: “I’d like to reward you for composing this song”. Uncle Ho said to everyone there “You all should do and mobilize the youth to do as what you’ve just sung”. Hoang Hoa was so moved and looked at Uncle Ho even forgot to say a thank-you to him.

Since then, whenever Hoang Ha told this unforgettable story to his friends, he could not stop his emotional and uttered: “Invaluable! Truly invaluable! No award can be better than that!”.