I happened to listen to the Russian National Anthem a couple of times during the recent Winter Olympics, and for whatever reason I found myself kind of melting into it. It got me, and got me again. Very full-hearted and whatnot. Obviously I’m influenced by being married to a passionate Russian, but only, I think, in the sense of being willing to really listen to it. Which I wasn’t before, largely due to the usual circumspect attitudes about crazy, vodka-drinking Russians blah blah. Plus I like the melody and the lyrics more than Francis Scott Key‘s “The Star Spangled Banner,” which is basically about perseverance during an arduous military battle and is hard to sing besides. Listening to the Russian anthem is like being hugged.