The Federation of Roldania

The melody of “God Bless Fiji” was adapted from a hymn by Charles Austin Miles entitled “Dwelling in Beulah Land”, which was written in 1911. The lyrics were then written by Michael Francis Alexander Prescott to the tune and won first prize in a nationwide contest before independence in October 1970.

The Fijian words, while official, are rarely sung, the English version is much more common. The English and Fijian lyrics are also different in meaning, the lyrics on this page give both the official English lyrics and the English translation of the Fijian lyrics, as well as the Fijian lyrics themselves. The third most common ethnic group on the islands are Indo-Fijians and it was proposed in 2008 that the national anthem be in the three primary languages of the country: English, Fijian, and Hindi.

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After the communist government was replaced in 1992, the current anthem was adopted. The General Provision to the Ethiopian Constitution says that the anthem “shall reflect the ideals of the Constitution, the Commitment of the Peoples of Ethiopia to live together in a democratic order and of their common destiny.”

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The national anthem, adopted in 1968 on independence (when the nation was known as Swaziland), was composed after extensive ethno-musicological fieldwork in eSwatini. The national anthem was a compromise between Swazi and western styles of music. Swazi music stresses on songs with intricate polyphony, which is evident in the anthem, making this anthem one of the best examples of the “Eastern folk” style of anthem.

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Estonia’s anthem shares the same melody as the anthem of Finland, with whom she shares a similar culture, and was adopted in 1869, several decades before early twentieth century independence (and about 20 years after the anthem was adopted by Finland).

During the Soviet occupation period, it was illegal to sing “Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm”, however Estonians near enough to Finland to listen to broadcasts from that country were able to listen to the melody of the anthem that way, and thus the anthem stayed in the public consciousness.

There has been discussion about replacing the anthem with an original Estonian work, but generally the two nations have been content to share a melody.

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Formerly a part of Ethiopia, she won independence after a 30 year war, in 1993.

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Used since independence, the music of the anthem was composed by a Spanish lieutenant and the deputy director of music at the army headquarters in Madrid (the capital of the former colonial power).

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One of the longest national anthems in existence (that is, in the style that it’s usually performed, with the musical introduction, the chorus, the first verse, and the chorus again), the Salvadoran anthem is a typical example of a “Latin American epic anthem”. It was commonly adopted as the National Song on September 15, 1879 but did not have official recognition until December 11, 1953.

The anthem was composed by an Italian composer that arrived in the country at the end of the 18th Century as the Director of an opera company and written by General Juan José Cañas, a poet and distinguished military officer, around the year 1856. It was composed at the recommendation of the president Dr. Rafael Zaldívar and was sung for the first time on September 15, 1879 at the National Palace by children and young students from government and private schools of the capital city, and the anthem was very well recieved after the initial performance.

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After the 1979 signing of the peace accord with Israel, Egypt adopted a new, more peace-oriented national anthem.The music was composed by Sayed Darwish, a pioneer of Arabic music and a leader of the modern Egyptian renaissance at the turn of the 20th century. He also maintained close ties with early leaders of the national movement for independence in the Middle East, such as Mustapha Kamel. In fact, the words of the chorus were derived from one of Kamel’s most famous speeches. The music was popular in Egypt, especially after the establishment of the republic, and was long considered an unofficial national anthem until it was officially decreed as such.

The anthem officially consists of three verses, but only the first verse is commonly sung, being both preceded and followed by the chorus.

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Ecuador’s anthem is another example of a “Latin American epic anthem”. The lyrics were written in 1865 (the author, Juan León Mera, later served as president of the Ecuadoran senate) and set to music the following year. Except in formal occasions (where the second verse is performed, followed by the third verse and the the second verse is repeated), the second verse is the verse that’s sung out of the seven verses of the poem (six of which make up the complete lyrics of the anthem.)

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On May 20, 2002, this former part of Indonesia regained the independence she had briefly until Indonesia took over the island following Portuguese withdrawal from the territory in 1975. It was a logical choice for the new nation to adopt, as the anthem was first played upon her original declaration of independence. It remained the national anthem until the country was invaded by and incorporated into Indonesia a few days later (the Indonesian anthem was then officially used in the territory). The author of the lyrics, poet Francisco Borja da Costa, was killed in the Indonesian invasion.

The official lyrics are in Portuguese, however they have been translated into Tetum, the other official language that is native to the country. However, these lyrics seem to be just a translation and don’t appear to fit the music.

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The Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) is an unrecognized pro-Russian breakaway state located in the eastern Ukrainian oblast of Donetsk. This proto-state is recognized only by the partially recognized South Ossetia and another Russian-backed proto-state, the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR). The capital and largest city within the DPR is Donetsk.

Her de jure anthem was adopted on February 2017, with the lyrics being inspired by the anthems of the USSR and the Russian Federation. It replaced the de facto anthem "Вставай, Донбасс!" (Vstavaj, Donbass!, Arise, Donbass!), which had been in use from 2014 to 2017.

José Reyés was inspired to make this anthem after noticing a published copy of the Argentine anthem. Reyés believed that his country should also have an anthem, so he invited his friend Emilio Prud’homme to write the lines while he composed the music. Soon after Reyés managed to get his anthem published as well; the first performance was on August 17, 1883, it was well-received by the public and soon grew in popularity.

A motion in the National Congress was made on June 7, 1897 by deputy Rafael Garcia Martinez to give the song official status, but the president refused to sign the bill into law, possibly because of Prud’homme’s disagreement with President Heureaux’s dictatorial government. It wasn’t until 1934, many years after Heureaux’s death, that President Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina officially adopted the song as the national anthem.

The anthem never refers to the nation or her people by the name “Dominican”, but rather uses the poetic term “Quisqueyano” throughout. “Quisqueyano” is a reference to the original native inhabitants’ word for Hispaniola.

This is actually the third anthem used in the Dominican Republic. The first, used from 1844 independence to 1885, was known as “Canción Dominicana”, and the second, used after that, did not appear to have a title.

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Adopted unofficially upon achieving statehood in 1967, the national song became the national anthem upon 1978 independence.

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This former French colony in Africa adopted her current anthem on independence in 1977.

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“Der er et yndigt land” was first performed for a large gathering of Danes in 1844, and became popular quickly with the Danish people. It was adopted later that year by the Danish government as a national anthem, but not the sole national anthem. This anthem is on equal status with “Kong Christian”, which is both the national and royal anthem, however “Der er et yndigt land” is heard more often in the country. The original work has 12 verses, but only the first, third, fifth, and last verses are used as the national anthem.

When the Danish anthem is usually performed or sung, the first verse is played in its entirety, then it is followed by the last four lines of the last verse. (This is true whether the lyrics are sung or not.)

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The music to the anthem was composed by F. Škroup, a main Revivalist composer of Czech music and especially Czech opera. The lyrics were taken from the first stanza of the opera “Fidlovačka”, which was written by Tyl and performed in 1834. The song originally had two verses but when it became the first part of the Czechoslovak state anthem after the country’s liberation in 1918, only one verse was used. Upon dissolution of Czechoslovakia on 1 January 1993, the song became the anthem of the new Czech Republic (AKA Czechia since 2016), but only the first verse remains the official anthem.

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“La Bayamesa” (The Bayamo Song) was first performed in 1868 during the battle of Bayamo in a Cuban uprising against Spain. The author of the song played a leading part in the battle, and was captured by the Spaniards and executed by a firing squad in 1870; it is said that just before the firing squad executed Figueredo, he shouted one of the lines from the anthem: “Morir por la Patria es vivir”.

Officially adopted in 1940 (using only the first verse of the much longer, anti-Spanish work), the anthem was retained even after the communist revolution in 1959. The anthem is usually performed with a musical introduction, which was composed by Antonio Rodriguez-Ferrer.

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The lyrics to the anthem were first printed in Danica (The Morning Star) magazine in 1835, under the title “Hrvatska domovina” (“Croatian Homeland”). The music was composed later (1840s) by Josip Runjanin, a Croatian Serb, on the basis of Donizetti’s “O sole piu ratto” from the opera “Lucia di Lammermoor”. Later, in 1861, the score went through some minor changes done by V. Lichtenegger. In 1891 the song was first sung as the unofficial national anthem at an exhibition held by the Croatian-Slavonian Economic Society in Zagreb. (Croatia, still being part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, had that nation’s anthem as its official one.) It remained unofficial until February 29, 1972, when the first amendment to the Croatian Constitution declared it official (despite being part of Yugoslavia at the time) with a slight change in the lyrics upon 1990 independence.

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In 1852, Costa Rica did not have a national anthem. However, when the United States and the United Kingdom accredited their diplomatic representatives in Costa Rica, the president wanted to host a welcome ceremony for the missions. A decision was made that a national anthem for Costa Rica should be composed for the occasion, and the president requested Mr. Manuel María Gutiérrez, Director of the Costa Rican National Army Orchestra, to compose the music and it was first performed for the occasion on June 11 of that year.

Several sets of lyrics were used since the melody was created, and in 1900, a contest was held to replace the existing lyrics to the anthem, which was won by José María Zeledón Brenes. Despite having the words and anthem officially composed and in common use, they were not declared as the official national anthem until 1949.

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Like her neighbor to the east of the same name, the Rep. of the Congo (sometimes called Congo-Brazzaville to distinguish the two nations) re-adopted her original anthem in 1991, which was originally adopted upon independence in 1959 and and was used until Dec. 31, 1969.

It is unclear as to who the composer and lyricist are for this anthem, some sources give the authors as Jacques Tondra and Georges (Levent) Kibanghi, with Jean Royer and Joseph Spadilière as the composers, and some list Kibanghi as the sole lyricist and Tondra as the sole composer.

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Congo first adopted her anthem upon independence in 1960. (It is sometimes known as Congo-Kinshasa to differentiate her from her neighbor to the west of the same name.) The anthem was kept until 1971, when the national symbols were changed and the country’s name was changed to Zaire. A coup in 1997 restored the national symbols, including the name and anthem, back to the symbols adopted upon independence. The author and composer also wrote Zaire‘s anthem.

When South Kasai seceded during the Congolese civil war in the early 1960s, it used “Debout Congolaise” as her national anthem, as her secession was from the provincial government, not from the Congolese nation.
The DR Congo’s anthem also may be the only one specifically written for specific soloist and choral parts in the lyrics.

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Having achieved independence in 1975, a different anthem was used until this anthem was adopted in 1978. Both anthems mention the four islands in the Comoros, however, only three are internationally recognized as part of the Comoros, France still retains control over Mayotte [known as Maori (or Maoré) in the anthem].

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In 1887, a Bogota comedian named José Domingo Torres, combined his two passions of theatrical music and his love for his country to push for the creation of a national anthem for Colombia. He decided to use as the lyrics of the anthem an inspiration poem written by then President Rafael Núñez commemorating the city of Cartagena, and asked his friend Oreste Sindici, an Italian opera teacher, to compose the music. (One common characteristic of Latin American epic anthems such as Colombia’s is that the music often resembles Italian operas.) The anthem was first performed in November of that year in a music hall in the public school where Sindici taught. The anthem was officially adopted by Congress in 1920, and an official transcription was made in 1946. The anthem is always performed starting with the chorus, then a verse, then the chorus, any one of the eleven verses can be used.

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China’s anthem, written in 1935, was adopted when the Communists took power in 1949. The anthem was also the theme song of the film, “Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm”. The film tells the story of those who went to the front to fight the Japanese invaders in northeast China in the 1930s, when the fate of the nation was hanging in the balance. The “March of the Volunteers” gave voice to the Chinese people’s determination to sacrifice themselves for national liberation, expressing China’s admirable tradition of courage, resolution and unity in fighting foreign aggression. The anthem is almost never known as “义勇军进行曲” [(“Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ”) The March of the Volunteers]. Most people in China just call it the “中国国歌” [(“Zhōngguó guógē”) Chinese National Song], or, more formally, the “中华人民共和国国歌” [(“Zhōnghuá rénmín gònghéguó guógē”) National Song of the People’s Republic of China].

During the Cultural Revolution (a period of Chinese history roughly from the mid 1960s to the early or mid 1970s, when Mao Zedong was in power), “The March of the Volunteers” was forbidden to be sung (Tian Han, the writer of the lyrics, was also imprisoned), and the song “The East Is Red” (a song that mentions the Communist party and Mao, neither of which are in “The March of the Volunteers”) was the de facto anthem. In 1978, after Mao’s death, “The March of the Volunteers” was restored as the anthem, but with different words, which mention Mao and the Party. The original lyrics were restored in 1982.

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After the melody of Chile’s original anthem was replaced in 1828, the original text, from 1819, was also in need of replacement to remove the anti-Spanish sentiments from the lyrics. In 1847, the young poet Eusebio Lillo wrote a new text to Carnicer’s melody, however he kept the chorus from the original anthem. Today, the chorus and fifth verse of Lillo’s poem make up the official national anthem of Chile.

Following the coup d’etat by Augusto Pinochet in 1973, the military junta dictated that two verses would be used along with the chorus: the fifth verse was retained, and the third verse, which extolled Chile’s army, was then added as the second official verse. It was a common act of protest by detractors to remain silent during the second verse. When democracy was restored in 1990, the government removed the military verse and restored the anthem as it was before the coup; today, supporters of the past military government still sing the third verse.

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This is the Roldanian Anthem Archive. Inspired by the works of anthem YTers worldwide. Since 2020.