#nationalanthem

"La Brabançonne" was the national anthem of the Belgian Congo from 1908 to 1960. The originally-French title refers to Brabant; the name is usually maintained untranslated in Belgium's other two official languages, Dutch and German.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Vers l'avenir is a Belgian nationalist song which was also the national anthem of the Congo Free State. Upon the annexation of the Congo Free State as a colony of Belgium, this anthem was replaced with La Brabançonne, the national anthem of Belgium. Vers l'avenir's lyrics were written by Gentil Theodoor Antheunis (1840-1907).

2 weeks, 6 days ago

A story of how our national anthem came to be.

Happy Memorial Day !!! 2021

Let US Liberty and Freedom reign Supreme 4 ever in our shores, most of all, GOD JESUS CHRIST HOLY SPIRIT 1ST IN OUR NATION before all.

www.shepherdschapel.com

3 weeks, 1 day ago

“God Save the Queen” has been New Zealand’s official anthem since 1840, when she became a British colony. The second verse, which is in a more militaristic vein, and the third verse, have been replaced in New Zealand with a “Commonwealth verse“, usually used when more than one stanza is needed. Despite being declared an “official anthem” by the New Zealand government, along with “God Defend New Zealand”, “God Save the Queen” is rarely sung in the country; it is used in the capacity that a royal anthem would be used (that is, when a member of the royal family is present, or their representative, or allegiance to the crown is to be demonstrated by the performance). As such, “God Defend New Zealand” is much more commonly heard.

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4 weeks ago

On New Year 2021, the lyrics of “Advance Australia Fair” were revised to commemorate the Aboriginal Australians, with the word “one” in the second line replacing the previous “young”.

2 months, 1 week ago

In 1994, a contest was held for a uniquely Zimbabwean anthem (the anthem then used, “Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika” was used by at least half a dozen former and current nations and groups in Southern Africa). The winning entry was entitled “Kalibusiswe Ilizwe leZimbabwe” in the Ndebele language, “Simudzai Mureza WeZimbabwe” in Shona, and “Blessed Be The Land of Zimbabwe” in English, and had lyrics written for the anthem in all three of the main languages of the country by a leading Zimbabwean poet and academic.

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4 months ago

Upon independence in 1964, Zambia adopted the melody of “Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika” for the melody, yet different lyrics were written to specifically reflect Zambia. “Nkosi” is a popular song and anthem in Southern Africa; the song was also formerly used by Zimbabwe, Ciskei, and Transkei, and currently by Tanzania and as part of the South African anthem.

In 2005, representatives of the Zambian women’s movement wanted the lyrics to the national anthem changed: “free men” changed to “freely” and “brothers” to “all one”. It was decreed that when the anthem was adopted the masculine gender was used to include females as well, and the anthem was not changed, since the anthem is “composed of historical lyrics that reflect the country’s heritage.”

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4 months ago

First adopted as the anthem of South Yemen in 1979 (without a title), the anthem was titled “al-Jomhuriyah al-Mottaḥedah” and used as the anthem of the entire country when North and South Yemen unified in 1990.

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4 months ago

Currently administered by Morocco, the liberation group POLISARIO unilaterally declared independence for Western Sahara in 1976 under the name of “The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic”, and adopted an anthem.

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4 months ago

Văn Cao (born Nguyễn Văn Cao), a noted Vietnamese writer and composer, composed “Tiến quân ca” in 1944 while working for an independentist group. It was published in a newspaper and was well-received by the citizens, and was sung often during demonstrations and meetings of the revolutionary council. The provisional government adopted it as the anthem in 1945, becoming the anthem of North Vietnam. In 1976, when unification with South Vietnam occurred, “Tiến quân ca” was adopted as the anthem for the entire nation.

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4 months ago

Inspired by the first attempt of the Venezuelans to win their independence in 1810, members of the Patriotic Society in the capital Caracas decided to create a patriotic song to encourage the people in their revolution against Spain. While Venezuelan independence was declared in 1811, both the composer (attributed) and lyricist of the anthem, still fighting in the revolution, were executed by a Spanish firing squad in 1814.

Different from most other anthems of the area (known in this site as “Latin American epic anthems“), the Venezuelan anthem has been known as the “Venezuelan Marseillaise“, possibly due to its origins.

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4 months ago

The “Hymnus et modus militaris Pontificalis” is the first official anthem of the Vatican after a work known as the “Gran Marcia Trionfale” (Great Triumphal March) by Vittorino Hallmayr, the bandmaster of an Austrian regiment located in Rome, was used on an unofficial basis. The “Hymnus” is performed in the presence of: the Pope; one of his special legates; or on occasion of presentation of Credential Letters by a papal nuncio. The music by noted composer Charles-François Gounod was written in 1857 for the jubilee anniversary of Pope Pius IX. Originally, the anthem had Italian lyrics, but Latin lyrics were created later (and slightly modified in 1993) as a way for Catholics around the world to sing it in a common language, and the Italian ones are no longer used. The Latin lyrics were by a Catholic priest, who took inspiration from scripture passages about St. Peter (the first Pope in Catholic tradition). According to the Vatican, the “Hymnus” is not to be understood as a national anthem, but rather as a hymn that speaks to Roman Catholics worldwide; in practice, however, it serves as the anthem for the Vatican State.

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4 months, 1 week ago

Vanuatu gained her independence from both the United Kingdom and France in 1980. Upon independence, the anthem “Yumi, Yumi, Yumi”, written in the Bislama language (a type of Pigdin English/French hybrid), was chosen as the national anthem.

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4 months, 1 week ago

When Uzbekistan was a republic of the Soviet Union, she was given her own anthem to use. When independence was proclaimed in 1991, lacking any prior history as a nation or prior national anthem, the old anthem as a Soviet republic, with new lyrics, was adopted a year later.

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4 months, 1 week ago

White House Says Dallas Mavericks’ National Anthem Ban Recognizes U.S. Failings

Published February 10, 2021

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd-n6wFyjm-nvpq2d9c9cLQ

4 months, 1 week ago

After Uruguay’s independence in 1828 without a national anthem, the poet Francisco Esteban Acuña de Figueroa offered to write one for the government, and it was accepted as a draft anthem in 1830 and officially approved by the government three years later. However, like many anthems of the era at the time, it had violent diatribes against Spain (the colonial power over Uruguay) and Portugal and Brazil (Uruguay’s neighbor who annexed the area after a revolt against Spain). The final version debuted in 1845. Acuña de Figueroa’s text had 11 verses, but today only the first verse and the chorus is sung.

The music, typical for a Latin American epic anthem, is operatic in nature, reminiscent of works by Italian composers Donizetti, Verdi, Bellini or Rossini, but the music was composed by Ferenc József Debály, a Hungarian who had moved to Uruguay in 1838 after having served as a military band master in the Piedmont area of Italy. Acuña de Figueroa’s words were first set to a piece of music by a composer named de Barros, but in 1848 it was set to Debály’s work. The extended grandeur of the music makes it run very long, even though only one verse is performed today; at 105 bars and almost five minutes in length (if the musical introduction is included), Uruguay’s anthem is the longest in the world.

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4 months, 1 week ago

During the War of 1812 (on September 14, 1814), poet and lawyer Francis Scott Key wrote a poem entitled “Defense of Fort McHenry”, being inspired by seeing the American flag still flying amidst the battle, of which he was being held as a prisoner of the British because he knew of the plans. Key never meant for it to become a song, or a national anthem, yet after showing the poem to his brother-in-law Judge Joseph H. Nicholson, Nicholson noticed the poem could fit the tune “The Anacreontic Song” (also known as “To Anacraeon in Heaven”), a song originally written for a gentlemen’s social club in London, but gained popularity outside Great Britain, including in the United States, where by this time the tune was familiar to American ears. Key may have had this tune in mind when he wrote the poem; an earlier poem of his called “When the Warrior Returns” was also in the same rhythm, could be set to the same tune, and is of similar subject matter – the last two lines of each stanza of that poem also end with “wave” and “brave”.

The poem spread quickly across the United States, the first printing of the poem in a Baltimore paper suggested the “Anacraeon in Heaven” tune, and it stuck. A Baltimore music store owner first printed the song under the title “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It gained in popularity, and was made the official tune to accompany flag raisings by the secretary of the Navy in 1889. In 1916 it was ordered to be played at military and other occasions, and, due to a large public relations effort, it was officially adopted by Congress as the first official national anthem of the United States in 1931. There are four verses to the anthem, but it is the first verse that is almost always sung. (Interestingly, the first verse is a question, only answered by the other three verses).

In addition to countless patriotic songs, there are also state songs for each of the fifty states as well. Also, the song “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” is considered an unofficial anthem by the African-American community, and is often used by African-American organizations and at events for the African-American community.

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4 months, 1 week ago

“God Save the Queen” (or “God Save the King”, depending on the gender of the ruling monarch) was first publicly performed in London in 1745 to support King George II after he was defeated in a battle in the Jacobean uprising which started that year. The song was used to boost morale and the forces loyal to George II would go on to defeat the Jacobites the following year. The song came to be referred to as the national anthem from the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The words and tune are anonymous, and may date back to the seventeenth century. There are various claimants to authorship of both the words and tune, the words can be found as early as 1545, when the watchword at night was “God save the King”, the reply was “Long to reign over us.” The authorship of the melody has been claimed by many, including John Bull (the author of the earliest piece of music that resembles the work), Henry Carey, Henry Purcell, and Joseph Haydn (although he probably borrowed the tune upon hearing it in London.)

There is no authorized version of the National Anthem as the words are a matter of tradition. The anthem has also never been officially declared as the national anthem of the country, the royal anthem (as this technically is) is used as the national anthem as a matter of tradition, but this is also due to the unique constitutional situation in the United Kingdom, as the nation doesn’t have a formal constitution. The words used are those sung in 1745, substituting ‘Queen’ for ‘King’ (and female pronouns with male ones) where appropriate. On official (and most other) occasions, the first verse only is sung, on a small number of occasions, the third verse is heard as well; very rarely is the second verse heard due to its militaristic nature. There exist many other verses, some dating as far back as the first three verses, but the first three are what can best be represented as the “standard” British national anthem.

The British tune has since become one of the world’s most recognizable anthems, and has has been used in other countries – as European visitors to Britain in the eighteenth century noticed the advantage of a country possessing such a recognized musical symbol – including Germany, Russia, Switzerland, the United States (where use of the tune continued after independence as the patriotic song “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” and one of several unofficial anthems before 1931), and even today by Liechtenstein and as the royal anthem of Norway. The song also was an influence on early anthems used in the Kingdom of Hawaii. (One might say that because of this fact, that the United Kingdom was the creator of the concept of a “national anthem”.) Some 140 composers, including Beethoven, Haydn and Brahms, have used the tune in their compositions.

“God Save the Queen” also serves as the royal anthem for most Commonwealth countries, such as Australia and Canada. (Governors-general of Commonwealth countries usually have bits and pieces of the national anthem strung together played as their anthem.)

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4 months, 1 week ago

After the United Arab Emirates’ formal nationalization in 1971, Mohammed Abdel Wahab—an Egyptian composer who composed national anthems of other Arab states—created the melody for “ʿĪshī Bilādī” in that same year. However, the anthem did not have lyrics until 1986, which were written by ʿĀrif al-Shaykh ʿAbdullāh al-Ḥassan.

4 months, 1 week ago

In 1862, Ukrainian poet and ethnographer Pavlo Chubynskyi wrote a poem called “Šče ne vmerla Ukrajina” (“Ще не вмерла Україна”, Ukraine Is Not Dead Yet) in 1862, which gained a wide popularity among the Ukrainian intelligentsia of the time. It also caught the attention of Mykhailo Verbytskyi, a priest, and was moved to compose music for the poem; it was first performed as a choral work in 1864 in the Ukraine Theatre in Lvov.

Upon the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1917, a number of patriotic works were used in the capacity of a national anthem, including Chubynskyi’s work, but none of them were officially declared as the national anthem. In 1920, Ukraine was made part of the Soviet Union, and “Šče ne” and other patriotic works were officially discouraged. During the second world war, the short lived Carpatho-Ukraine Republic (now located in western Ukraine) adopted “Šče ne” as her anthem. Upon the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine regained her independence and Chubynskyi’s anthem was the most popular choice already in use as an anthem; when independence was declared no lyrics were officially mandated, the lyrics that were in common use at the time differed somewhat from Chubynskyi’s original poem.

The lyrics were made official in 2003 and changed slightly; the most important change was made to the first line (and title), which were interestingly borrowed from the Polish anthem. In the new version, the case ending of the word “Ukraine” was changed, so that rather than saying “Ukraine hasn’t yet died, nor has her glory or freedom,” it now says that it’s Ukraine’s glory and freedom which haven’t perished. Also, the current version of the anthem is limited to the first verse of Chubynskyi’s poem (with the modification to the first line mentioned above) plus the chorus, which was the first half of Chubynskyi’s original chorus; previously, three verses and a chorus were commonly used.

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4 months, 1 week ago

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the decision by the Dallas Mavs to stop playing the national anthem:

President Biden "has great respect for the anthem... He'd also say that pride in our country means recognizing moments when we as a country haven't lived up to our highest ideals."

The Biden W.H. never misses an opportunity to trash America. Have you noticed?

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4 months, 1 week ago

Before independence in 1962, a committee was formed to choose Uganda’s national symbols. A contest was held to determine the national anthem; the criterion for the entrants was that the compositions had to be “short, original, solemn, praising and looking forward to the future.” Despite having received several compositions, none were deemed suitable. The head of the committee then asked George Kakoma, a graduate of Trinity College of Music and Durham University in London, to compose an anthem. Kakoma came up with the anthem within a day and it was declared the winner in July of that year, a few months before independence; the short length of the work (it is only nine measures in length; the shortest national anthem in the world) was one of the biggest advantages it had in being selected.

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4 months, 1 week ago

The national motto, the title of the national anthem, “Tuvalu mo te Atua”, also appears on the nation’s coat of arms. The lyrics reflect the deep Christian faith of the song’s author and the nation as a whole. Tuvalu also has the British monarch as her head of state, and uses the British “God Save the Queen” as the royal anthem.

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4 months, 1 week ago

After the passing of the first President, the Turkmen anthem had to be re-written to remove references to him in the anthem lyrics. The new lyrics substitutes “the people” instead and the lyrics remain relatively the same. Also, the music has been slightly changed by switching the order of the verse and chorus, in the new version the verse precedes the chorus.

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4 months, 2 weeks ago

The “İstiklâl Marşı” was officially adopted as Turkey’s national anthem on March 12, 1921. 724 poems were submitted to a competition organized to find and select the most suitable original composition, and a poem written by the poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy was adopted unanimously by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. There are ten verses to Ersoy’s poem, but only the first two are usually sung as the national anthem.

Twenty-four composers participated in another competition arranged for the selection of a musical composition for the National Anthem. The Council, which was only able to convene in 1924 due to the War of Independence, adopted the music composed by Ali Rifat Çagatay. The words of the National Anthem were sung to this music for six years. The music of the National Anthem was then changed to an arrangement written by Zeki Üngör, conductor of the Presidental Symphonic Orchestra, and the words of the National Anthem have been sung to this musical accompaniment ever since.

The anthem of Turkey is also used in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

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4 months, 2 weeks ago

The lyrics of the Tunisian anthem were written by an Egyptian, Mostafa Saadeq Al-Rafe'ie, in the 1930s. Originally just one verse, two more were added by the Tunisian national poet Aboul-Qacem Echebbi. The music was composed by the same person who wrote the music of the anthems of Libya and the United Arab Emirates (or possibly Ahmed Kheireddine, according to musicologist Salah El Mahdi). It was first used as an interim anthem after the deposition of the monarchy, between the times when the Bey’s anthem was abolished and the first anthem under the republic was instituted. It was then introduced again in 1987 since the previous anthem was closely tied to the government of Habib Bourguiba, who had been deposed.

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4 months, 2 weeks ago

Patrick Castagne, a songwriter from Trinidad, had originally composed an anthem for the West Indies Federation (a proposed union of British-controlled islands in the West Indies, of which Trinidad was one of the largest in terms of area and population, and was also where the capital was located). However, this federation was dissolved in 1962 (partly due to Trinidad and Tobago striving for independence on their own). He reworked the song, titled “A Song for Federation”, by slightly altering the text, and submitted it for the contest for the anthem of Trinidad and Tobago. It was deemed to be the winner, and was played for the first time when independence was granted.

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4 months, 2 weeks ago

Transnistria is a region of Moldova with a high concentration of Russians and Ukrainians in her territory. When Moldova declared her independence from the Soviet Union, Transnistria was concerned for the significant non-Moldovan population in her borders, and unilaterally declared her own independence from Moldova. She retained state symbols from the Soviet era, such as the flag of the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic, and the anthem chosen also has roots in the Soviet era, but she does not have a communist government.

The anthem was composed by a son of Alexander Alexandrov, who was the author of the music of “The Hymn of the Soviet Union”. In 1943, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin held a contest for the anthem of the USSR. Both Alexandrovs took part in it and Alexandrov Jr. presented his song, “Да здравствует наша держава” (“Da zdravstvuet naša deržava”, Long Live Our Country) (lyrics by A. Shilov). While Stalin chose the music of Alexandrov, Sr., the song of his son also became popular. Upon the 1990 Transnistria declaration of independence, this melody was adopted, and new text was created.

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4 months, 2 weeks ago

The anthem was first performed in 1874, though it was probably in use earlier. Officially it is named “Ko e fasi ʻo e tuʻi ʻo e ʻOtu Tonga”, but it is more popularly known as “Fasi Fakafonua”. The anthem references King Tupou, while this was the name of the king of Tonga when the anthem was written. It is also the name of the Tongan Royal House, and therefore of every Tongan ruler since 1874.

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4 months, 2 weeks ago

Originally adopted during independence in 1960, the national anthem was replaced in 1979 and restored in 1991, when Western-mandated reforms were brought in and one-party rule dropped.

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4 months, 2 weeks ago

The current Thai anthem is actually the latest of many used in the history of the country, although few have enjoyed the longevity the current anthem has.

The notion of a Thai (or Siamese, as Thailand was then known as Siam) anthem was first raised in 1871, when the king, upon visiting the British colony of Singapore, noticed that the British had a national anthem, so one should be made for his country. The first anthem, written by Phraya Sri Sunthornvoharn and entitled “Jom Raj Jong Charoen” (Long Live the King), was derived from an anthem written by two British officers who trained the military band. This anthem proved unpopular, and the second, “Bulan Loy Luen” (Moving Moon), was composed and written by King Phra Phutthaloetla Naphalai (Rama II).

The third anthem, “Phleng Sansasoen Phra Barami” (A Salute to the Monarch) is still in use today as the royal anthem, but it ceased being the national anthem after the 1932 coup. A short lived song, “Chart Mahachai” (now used as the anthem of the Crown Princess) was the national anthem for a while, but the coup planners wanted to have the composer Peter Feit (known in Thailand as Phra Jenduriyang) compose an anthem for the citizenry in the spirit of “La Marseillaise”. With lyrics by Sanga Kanchanakphan (noble title Khun Wichitmatra), the new anthem was played for the first time in July, 1932, and the lyrics were subsequently rewritten two years later by Chan Kamwilai. When the nation’s name was changed to Thailand from Siam in 1939, it was decided new lyrics should be written, and the lyrics by Luang Saranupraphan won the contest and remain the lyrics today. It was also ordered around this time that the anthem must be played every day at 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. when the national flag is also to be raised and lowered. The citizens must stand and show respect for the nation when the anthem is heard. This law remains in force today.

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4 months, 2 weeks ago

Tanzania was the first African nation to use the popular African song “Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika” as her anthem, in 1961 when she was Tanganyika, and was retained after union with Zanzibar in 1964. It is now also used by South Africa (as part of the current anthem) and Zambia (with different words), and formerly used by Zimbabwe, Ciskei, and Transkei. The version used in Tanzania is in Swahili (the official language of the country) and not in Sontonga’s original lyrics of Xhosa, and was translated by a group of people.

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4 months, 2 weeks ago

The anthem of Tajikistan, a Central Asian nation, was officially adopted three years after 1991 independence when new words were given to the old music used when she was part of the Soviet Union.

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4 months, 3 weeks ago

First selected as the anthem for the entirety of China when controlled by the Kuomintang, in 1949 the Kuomintang government was ousted by the Communists, and the government fled to the island of Taiwan and continued their government there, using the same state symbols they had on Mainland China.

There is some debate as to whether it should remain the national anthem of Taiwan; some oppose it since it was composed in Mainland China, while others because it was (and still remains) the party anthem of just one of Taiwan’s parties. There is support by some to use the alternate national anthem, “The National Banner Song”, which is used to represent Taiwan at international events like the Olympic Games, and also locally as a song played at flag raisings.

The current Taiwanese anthem is presently banned from performance on Mainland China and strongly discouraged from being performed in Hong Kong and Macao.

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4 months, 3 weeks ago

The national anthem of Syria was adopted in 1936; the composer of the music also composed many other Arab folk songs of the Middle East region. During the time that Syria was a member of the United Arab Republic (1958-1961), the UAR anthem was in use, which consisted of the then-Egyptian anthem followed by “Ḥumāt ad-Diyār”. Once Syria left the union, the anthem was again performed on its own.

During the Syrian Civil War that started in 2011, both sides of the conflict (the pro- and anti-government forces), despite using different national flags and emblems, each use “Ḥumāt” as the national anthem. This is possibly due to the fact that the anthem, unlike the flag, predates the current government. (The Kurdish elements in the civil war presumably use the Kurdish anthem, and the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, another faction in the civil war, also have their own anthem, albeit unofficial.)

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4 months, 3 weeks ago

In the summer of 1841, Alberich Zwyssig received a piece of mail from Leonhard Widmer, a music publisher, journalist and lyricist from Zurich. The mail contained a patriotic poem that Widmer had written and wanted set to music. Zwyssig chose to use a hymn that he had composed to the psalm “Diligam te Domine” (I will love Thee, O Lord) for an ordination service in 1835 when he was music director at the monastery in Wettingen. On November 22, 1841, Zwyssig rehearsed his “Schweizerpsalm” for the first time with four residents of Zug. The song turned out to be very popular in several Swiss cantons, and numerous attempts were made between 1894 and 1953 to have it declared the Swiss national anthem, but they were consistently turned down by the Swiss government for the reason that a national anthem should not be selected by government decree but by popular opinion.

It was due to the fact that the anthem in use at the time had the same melody as the British anthem, that the Swiss government declared the “Swiss Psalm”, a fully and unmistakably Swiss creation, the provisional Swiss national anthem in 1961, the provisional clause was abandoned in 1975, but without official ratification as the national anthem. A number of other suggestions for a national anthem were made in the years that followed, none of which, however, earned nearly as many votes as the “Swiss Psalm”. Finally, on April 1, 1981, the “Swiss Psalm” was officially declared the Swiss national anthem, “a purely Swiss song, dignified and ceremonial, the kind of national anthem that the majority of our citizens would like to have.”

Switzerland has four official languages; the French, Italian and Romansch versions are official translations of Widmer’s original German lyrics. Some of Switzerland’s cantons (especially those with a recent history of independence outside of Switzerland) have their own anthems, Neuchatel’s cantonal anthem, for example, uses the same melody as the former Swiss anthem, that is “God save the King (Queen)”.

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4 months, 3 weeks ago

Sweden’s anthem was written in 1844. The author of the lyrics chose a Swedish folk tune from the province of Västmanland to set his words to to create the anthem and entitled it “Sång till Norden” (Song of the North). The song was created at a time when a “pan-Scandinavian” movement was strong, which is why it is a “Song to the North” instead of just to Sweden. This has led to other verses being written that are more patriotic to Sweden, but these additional verses have never gained popularity and have never been considered part of the national anthem.

In the late 19th century the anthem started to be considered as Sweden’s “national anthem”, differentiating it from the royal anthem that was being used as both a royal and national anthem. The anthem has never been officially legislated as Sweden’s national anthem, one attempt in the 1930s by a member of parliament brought forth claims by the opposition of wanting state controlled patriotism. (However, a bill in 1960 which attempted to make a different song the national anthem was defeated, which indirectly gave official support to “Sång till Norden”.)

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4 months, 3 weeks ago

The anthem has its beginnings in a Sunday school song written in 1893 by Cornelis Atses Hoekstra called “Suriname’s Trotsche Stroomen” (Suriname’s Proud Streams). The song was set to a piece of music by Johannes Corstianus de Puy written in 1876. In 1959, after self-government was granted, the government asked the poet Henry de Ziel (whose pen name was Trefossa) to write lyrics for the anthem in the language popularly spoken in Suriname, Sranan Tongo. He also revised Hoekstra’s lyrics of the second verse to remove the “negative tones” in some lines. Originally the anthem was song with de Ziel’s verse first, but now it is performed with Hoekstra’s Dutch verse first and de Ziel’s Sranan lyrics as the second verse.

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4 months, 3 weeks ago

In preparation for the upcoming independence referendum in January 2011, the South Sudan National Anthem Committee asked a group of 49 writers to come up with an anthem for the country. After following guidelines by the army and government, which stated that the anthem had to include mentions of her history, people, and resources, as well as being told about the struggle for independence, lyrics were then chosen by means of a televised competition. Originally under the working title “Land of Cush” (in reference to a Biblical kingdom which is roughly located in the area of South Sudan), the lyrics were revised several times in the following months after the successful independence referendum, and a final version was settled in March 2011, which slightly altered the wording (among other things replacing the word “Cush” with “South Sudan”).

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4 months, 3 weeks ago

4 months, 3 weeks ago

The Sudanese anthem was adopted upon independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956 and was originally the anthem of the Armed Forces.

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4 months, 3 weeks ago

After independence was granted to Sri Lanka (at the time known as Ceylon) in 1948, the need for a national anthem arose. As a result of a contest, Ananda Samarkone’s (real name Egodahage George Wilfred Alwis Samarakoon) contribution, written in Sinhala, was chosen as the new anthem. It was first performed on the fourth anniversary of independence in early 1952. There was some controversy with the early lyrics, and they were slightly changed in the early 1960s, against the author’s wishes.

The anthem is usually performed in Sinhala, but lyrics also exist in Tamil, the country’s other official language, and are usually performed in Tamil speaking areas of the country. Despite a government official openly opining that the Tamil lyrics should be scrapped, a public backlash forced a reversal on this position, and the Tamil lyrics remain official.

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4 months, 3 weeks ago

The anthem first appeared in a book of military bugle calls dating from 1761, known as the “Marcha Granadera”. In 1770 King Charles III declared it as the official “honor march”, and was played at events attended by the royal family. It was then soon known as the “Marcha Real”. According to that book, Manuel de Espinosa de los Monteros is the composer.

In 1870, there was a contest held to have a new national anthem, but no winner was declared and the “Marcha Real” (as it is commonly known) remained as Spain’s anthem. After the anthem was replaced by the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War with “Himno Riego“, the victorious monarchist forces restored the “Marcha Real” by a decree from General Franco in July 1942. In 1997, the royal family issued a decree regulating the official use of the anthem. According to the decree, it should be in the key of B-flat major and a tempo of 76 bpm (♩=76), with a form of AABB and a duration of 52 seconds.

There have been many attempts to compose lyrics for the anthem. One set of lyrics by Eduardo Marquina was often heard during the reign of Alphonse XIII (1886-1931), and another by José María Pemán were common during Franco’s dictatorship (1939-1975). Neither of these were official in their respective time periods, and have not been made official since then, due to their association with the dictatorships of Primo de Rivera and Franco respectively. In 2007, a contest was held to seek lyrics for the anthem, but the winning entry was criticized, resulting in it being pulled only five days later, and the idea was scrapped indefinitely.

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4 months, 3 weeks ago

The Ossetians are a people group that live primarily in Southern Russian and Northern Georgia, in the Caucasus mountains. In late 1991 the Georgian region of South Ossetia declared independence, which has been recognized by Russia and a few other nations since 2008. The anthem remains in use solely by the separatist regime (as a region of Georgia, South Ossetia lacks a unique anthem). Adopted on May 5, 1995 by that separatist government, a few years after the original declaration of independence, the music is by Felix Alborov, a member of the Soviet composers during the time that South Ossetia was a part of the USSR, and the lyrics by poet and playwright Totraz Kokaev, a member of the Writers’ Union of Russia.

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4 months, 4 weeks ago

At the time that South Africa’s multi-racial system of government was adopted, there were two anthems in use among the people, divided by the old racial lines. “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” (God Bless Africa), written and composed by Enoch Mankayi Sontonga, was popular with the black population and was used as an anti-Apartheid anthem. The white South Africans had been using “Die Stem van Suid Afrika” (The Call of South Africa) since the 1920s on an unofficial basis, and was made the country’s official anthem in 1957. Even though the latter anthem was seen as too closely tied to the apartheid system by the majority black population, it was decided in the interim to make both anthems the national anthem, so “Nkosi” was usually played in its entirety followed by the complete “Die Stem”.

In 1997, the two anthems were combined, and the lyrics reflect South Africa’s multi-racial status in that the lyrics employ five of the most popularly spoken of South Africa’s eleven official languages. The lyrics start with a few lines of “Nkosi” in Xhosa, then Zulu, followed by Sesotho, then a few lines of “Die Stem” in Afrikaans, and finishing the anthem with another few lines from “The Call of South Africa” in English. The English lines actually do not appear in the official English version of “Die Stem”, but are an abridgement of the last few lines of the first verse, with the words slightly altered to reflect South Africa’s new freedom.

The national anthem of South Africa is unique in a couple of aspects: first of all, as mentioned above, the anthem employs five different languages in the same version of the official lyrics, secondly, by virtue of the fact that it combines two disparate pieces of music, this anthem, along with those of Italy and the Philippines, is the only one that ends on a different key than it begins with.

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4 months, 4 weeks ago

In 1991, following the collapse of the Somali government, the northwestern region of the country, formerly known as British Somaliland and then the State of Somaliland before merging with Somalia in 1960, broke off to become a self-declared independent nation (which has not been internationally recognized, but does have political contacts with Ethiopia, Djibouti, Taiwan, South Africa, Sweden, Great Britain and even Liberland). The anthem, adopted in 1997, is from a Somalilander poet, playwright and author.

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4 months, 4 weeks ago

Somalia’s flag was first flown in 1954, 6 years before Somali independence, as a symbol of the Somali people. The song “Qolobaa Calankeed” was written the following year to celebrate the adoption of a flag for the Somali people. After a long period of governmental instability, the song was proclaimed as the new Somali anthem in the August 1, 2012 constitution as a break from the past.

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4 months, 4 weeks ago

“God Save Our Solomon Islands” was adopted as the national anthem upon 1978 independence. The Solomon Islands are a “Commonwealth realm”, which means that Queen Elizabeth II is their head of state, and her royal anthem “God Save the Queen” is the royal anthem of the Solomon Islands also.

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5 months ago

“Zdravljica” was written by France Prešeren, considered as Slovenia’s national poet, as a drinking song (in his original manuscript, the layout of the words resemble a wine glass), but also was seen as a politically charged piece when it was written in 1844 as it spoke of pan-Slavic nationalism, which was controversial in Austria-Hungary (which Slovenia was part of at the time). It was finally published in 1848, after revolutions in Austria-Hungary lifted the censorship.

In 1905, “Zdravljica” was set to music for the first time, the entire poem had a choral composition composed for it by Stanko Premrl, and this was the composition chosen as the Slovenian anthem in September 1989. The constitution of Slovenia, adopted on December 23, 1991, does not specify a specific verse and just states that “Zdravljica” is the national anthem. The 1994 act regulating the flag, anthem, and other symbols states that it is just the seventh verse that is the anthem, and in government publications and in practice, only the seventh verse is the anthem.

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5 months ago

Until the breakup of Czechoslovakia at the end of 1992, the Slovak anthem was used as part of the Czechoslovak anthem. The melody of the anthem, long used as an unofficial anthem, is that of a Slovak folk song entitled “Kopala studienku”. The lyrics were written by a Slovak student who was one of those who joined other students in an exodus from Bratislava to Levoča in 1843 in protest over the firing of a teacher who had Slovak nationalist views. The Tatras, mentioned in the first verse, are a mountain range the students would have passed through on their way from Bratislava to eastern Slovakia, and have been used as a symbol of the nation as a whole.

The song quickly became popular with Slovaks, especially the other students involved in the protest and was used as the Slovak anthem when Czechoslovakia was created. Upon restoration of Slovak independence in 1993, the anthem was made the anthem of Slovakia, slightly altering the version in use until then by replacing the phrase “Zastavme sa” (“Let us pause”), which was a common variant to that point, with “Zastavme ich” (“Let us stop them”), which was determined to be the original words in Matúška’s poem.

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5 months ago

The national anthem was written in the wake of nationalism during 1956-57. Its composer and author, Zubir Said, had written it on the basis of two words, “Majulah Singapura” or “Onward Singapore”, as a theme for the city council’s official functions. It was first performed in 1958 at the Victoria Theatre. After Singapore attained self-government, the song was slightly rewritten and was reintroduced in 1959, at the installation of the new head of state and the introduction of the state (later national) flag. The anthem was used as a state song within Malaysia, of which she was a part of, and was adopted as a national anthem in 1965 upon independence.

In 2000, the anthem underwent a slight change in that the official arrangement was made more solemn and inspiring. The new version, arranged by Phoon Yew Tien, was officially recorded at the Victoria Concert Hall in November of that year (where the first performance took place 42 years earlier) and was officially unveiled in January 2001.

On December 3, 2019, a much newer recording of Majulah Singapura by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra was released with improvements in sound quality. This new version was first broadcast at National Gallery, exactly 60 years after the anthem was first released. In addition, this version is 5 seconds shorter than the 2000 version. The new version was recorded at The Esplanade Concert Hall on August 7, 2019. The new recording still uses Yew Tien's arrangement, albeit with younger voices.

Although Singapore has four official languages (Malay, English, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil), the anthem is only to be sung in the original Malay lyrics, not any translation, as Malay is indigenous to the region and is designated the National Language.

(description c/o nationalanthems.info, with additions by yours truly)

5 months ago

Lady Gaga Sings National Anthem at Biden-Harris Inauguration

Published January 20, 2021

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd-n6wFyjm-nvpq2d9c9cLQ

5 months ago

Formerly a British colony, this West African nation adopted her national anthem upon independence in 1961. The composer of the music was the first post-independence Director of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) as well as the founder of the Sierra Leone National Dance Troupe, and the lyricist was a professor at Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone.

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5 months ago

Adopted on National Day (June 18) 1996, the Seychellois anthem was replaced to reflect the country’s new multi-party status.

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5 months ago

Written in 1872 as part of a play, the popularity of “Bože Pravde” helped to have it officially adopted as the Serbian anthem in 1904, after Serbia became an independent nation in the 1880s. Upon forming the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later to be called Yugoslavia) in 1918, “Bože Pravde” was retained as the anthem of the Serbs within the federation. In fact, the first anthem of the federation, in use until 1945, uses part of “Bože Pravde” in the melody to represent the Serbs of the land.

After World War II, “Bože Pravde” continued to be popular with Serbs, and identified as their anthem. During the Yugoslav civil war in the 1990s, Serbian areas that broke away from Croatia (Krajina) and Bosnia (Srpska) also used “Bože Pravde” upon their creation to identify themselves as a Serbian state. In August, 2004, 18 months after Yugoslavia became the new federation of Serbia and Montenegro, “Bože Pravde” was recommended as Serbia’s anthem by the Serb national assembly and was constitutionally adopted upon the dissolution of the union and the regaining of Serbian independence in 2006. Although the anthem has four verses officially, it is usually only the first that is performed.

The original lyrics, present in the former Yugoslav anthem, refer to the Serbian monarchy, which was replaced with a republican-style government in 1945. The current lyrics of the Serbian anthem replace the references to the king with references to the Serbian race. The music of the anthem is by a Slovene, Davorin Jenko.

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5 months ago

Senegal first gained independence in June of 1960 in a federation with Mali called the Mali Federation. The anthem of this federation, titled “Un Hymn du Mali” (A Song of Mali), used lyrics written by a prominent Senegalese politician, the music was written by a Malian, and thus was deemed to require replacing when the federation dissolved two months later, as Mali retained the music upon her independence from the federation. New music was written by a French composer who also composed the music for the Central African Republic and the lyrics of the federation’s anthem (whose author was now the country’s first president) were retained, with some slight changes.

The “koras” (a harp-lute) and “balafons” (a xylophone-type instrument) mentioned in the anthem title and opening line are native instruments to this African nation, and can be used in the playing of the national anthem.

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5 months ago

In 1947, Saudi Arabia lacked an anthem, so when King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman bin Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah bin Muhammad Al Saud visited Egypt that year, he asked Egyptian composer Abdul-Raḥman al-Khaṭīb to create an anthem and “an-Našīd al-Waṭanī as-Saʿūdī” was created. The melody, an Arab fanfare style, is similar to those of other Arab states in the area at the time. In 1958, the first set of lyrics were written for the anthem by Mohammed Talat, but weren’t often heard. In 1984 King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud asked poet Ibrāhīm Khafājī to write new lyrics, which are the official lyrics today.

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5 months ago

“Independência total” came for this African island nation in 1975 from Portugal, when their anthem was adopted. The author of the lyrics held several governmental positions after independence: Minister of Education and Culture, Minister of Information and Culture, President of the National Assembly, and General Secretary of the National Union of Writers and Artists of São Tomé and Príncipe.

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5 months ago

This melody of the anthem of this small republic surrounded by Italy and independent since the 4th century is based on a 10th century chorale. There are no official lyrics, but there are unofficial ones written by Giosuè Carducci.

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5 months, 1 week ago

Both the words (which reference the country's flag) and the music of the anthem were composed by Sauni Iiga Kuresa. It was adopted as the national anthem upon Samoa's gaining of independence from New Zealand in 1962.

5 months, 1 week ago

First adopted in 1969 when the island group became self-governing, the national anthem was confirmed upon independence in 1979. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines also have a royal anthem, “God Save the Queen”, as they are a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state.

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5 months, 1 week ago

First adopted in 1967 when Saint Lucia became self-governing, the national anthem was confirmed upon independence in 1979. Saint Lucia also retains the British anthem as her royal anthem, as they share a monarch.

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5 months, 1 week ago

In addition to their national anthem, adopted upon 1983 independence, Saint Kitts and Nevis also has “God Save the Queen” as their royal anthem.

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5 months, 1 week ago

On December 31, 2001, Rwanda altered the national symbols as a break from her violent and bloody past. The new national anthem is very reminiscent of African-style music, like others in the “Eastern folk” style of anthem.

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5 months, 1 week ago

In late 2000, Russia’s new president Vladimir Putin, made creation of a new anthem for Russia a top priority, since a common complaint was not having words to their current anthem. In early December 2000, Putin presented a bill in the national assembly to have the melody of the old anthem from the Soviet Union adopted as the new national anthem. The measure passed by a wide margin on December 8, but it was not without controversy, both at the time and since. Many (including former President Yeltsin) did not feel a change was necessary, and the use of the old Soviet anthem could be seen as rejecting post-communist reforms. Others have expressed concerns that the melody brings back memories of the past of hardships under the communist regime, especially the crimes that took place under Stalin (who was Soviet leader when the anthem was first introduced).

It was then needed to adopt lyrics for the anthem, as the communist-era lyrics would be inappropriate. After reviewing thousands of entries, new lyrics by Sergei Vladimirovich Mikhalkov (the same person who wrote the lyrics to the old Soviet anthem) were adopted. The lyrics were also not without controversy as well, the main one being that the words were not well-known (perhaps due to the fact that this was the third set of words used for the melody since its introduction in 1944). Others, particularly the communist deputies in the legislature, who were in favor of adopting Alexandrov’s melody, objected to the reference to God in the anthem.

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5 months, 1 week ago

Written during the 1848 revolution by Andrei Mureşianu and set to the music of Anton Pann by Gheorghe Ucenescu and originally titled “Un răsunet” (An Echo), the poem’s theme of revolution, liberty, and patriotism, quickly became popular with Romanians, especially in subsequent national struggles, earning the song the nickname of the “Romanian Marseillaise“. It was first used as a national anthem by the short-lived Moldavian Democratic Republic in 1917-1918 (and was the first anthem in use by independent Moldova from 1991-1994) and was long regarded as an unofficial Romanian anthem. It was heard frequently during the protests against the communist government in late 1989 and was officially confirmed as the national anthem in the spring of 1990. The original work has eleven verses, but only four (verses 1, 2, 4, and 11) are usually performed as the official lyrics [although on special occasions, such as National Anthem Day (July 29, the anniversary of its first performance in 1848), the full lyrics can sometimes be heard].

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5 months, 1 week ago

The new anthem of Qatar was adopted on December 7, 1996, shortly after the accesstion of the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani. (The author of the lyrics appears to be of the same house as the Emir, and may be related in some way.) It was first performed during a reception of Gulf Cooperative Council leaders that was held in Qatar.

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5 months, 1 week ago

“A Portuguesa” was written in response to the British ultimatum in 1890 to Portugal regarding territorial control of Africa. Anywhere there was protests against the monarchy as a result, “A Portuguesa” could be heard. The song still echoes the original intent, the verses and especially the chorus speak of a call to arms, the third verse speaks of “insults” and “embarrassment” (which is how the Portuguese saw the British ultimatum), and the original last line of the chorus read “Contra os bretões marchar, marchar” (Against the British we march, we march!). With the success of the Republicans in ousting the monarchy and replacing them with a democratic government in 1910, “A Portuguesa” was approved as a national anthem shortly after; it is the first verse and chorus that is usually presented as the anthem.

In 1956, there were a number of variations of the anthem, not just in its melodic line but also in the instrumentation. Recognizing this, the government named a commission charged with determining the official version of “A Portuguesa.” This commission prepared a proposal which, approved by the Council of Ministers on 16 July 1957, remains in effect to this day.

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5 months, 1 week ago

The Polish national anthem was written in July 1797 in Reggio near Bolonia by Józef Wybicki, one of the organizers of General Jan Henryk Dąbrowski’s Polish Army in Italy. The theme of the original poem was a novel idea in the era of the nation state (that is, most European nations were made up of eponymous nationalities), that the nation does not need a territory to be a nation, she only needs a group of people. This idea was a timely one, as Poland had only been partitioned out of existence only two years earlier. Several more times in subsequent Polish history would an independent Polish nation appear then disappear from the map, which could explain why the song resonates with Poles even today. The original poem also mentions several Polish war heroes of the time, as well as heroes of past Polish wars; also Napoleon is mentioned, as the commanding officer of Dąbrowski and as an example to be held up.

The source of the melody is unclear; it is usually ascribed to Michal Kleofas Oginski, but this has not been determined with certainty. It is most likely based on an anonymous folk song, due to the unusual mazurka tempo (which is often played at a faster rate than most anthems); mazurkas originated in Poland and have always been heavily associated with that nation.

Its familiar mazurka melody and its message – a call to join the fight for independence – inspired numerous 19th century patriotic songs and national hymns of the Slavic nations under foreign rule (some of which would later become Yugoslavia, which could explain the similar melody of the former Yugoslav anthem.) The opening line of the lyrics was also borrowed by Ukraine (which, of course, speaks of the Ukraine not perishing rather than Poland.) In the early years after Poland’s revival in 1918, during the debate about the choice of the national anthem, several candidates were considered. On February 28, 1927 the choice of “Dąbrowski’s Mazurka” as the national anthem was officially announced.

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5 months, 1 week ago

On June 5, 1898, a week before Philippine independence would be declared, Julian Felipe, a local pianist from Kawit, Cavite, arrived at the home of Maximo Inocencio, one of Cavite’s thirteen martyrs during the revolution. Upon his arrival, the leader of the revolution, General Emilio Aguinaldo, asked Felipe to play a march written by a Filipino in Hong Kong. However, Aguinaldo was not satisfied with this march. Recognizing Felipe’s skills, he asked him to compose a more soul-rousing tune that would install courage and patriotism in the hearts of every Filipino.

On June 11, the day before the declaration of independence, Felipe arrived again and played his tune to the revolutionary leaders. The leaders unanimously approved it as the national hymn. Felipe called his work the “Marcha Filipina Magdalo.” The next day, Felipe’s tune was played during the hoisting of the Philippine flag at the historic window at the Aguinaldo mansion. The march was renamed the “Marcha Nacional Filipina,” and immediately became the National Anthem. However, the anthem still lacked words. The next year, a young soldier named José Palma penned the poem “Filipinas” in Spanish, to match the music of the anthem. It was adopted as the official lyrics.

The Philippines were now under American rule, and as such, a suitable English translation was to be made of the anthem. The first translation was made by Paz Marquez Benitez of the University of the Philippines. However, the most popular version was written by Mary A. Lane and Senator Camillo Osias, known as the “Philippine Hymn”. On December 5, 1938, the Philippine Congress passed Commonwealth Act 382, which made the anthem’s English words and Felipe’s music official.

A Tagalog (the Filipino language) version of the words started appearing in the 1940s. In 1948, the Department of Education approved “O Sintang Lupa” (O Beloved Land) as the national anthem’s Filipino words. In 1954, Education Secretary Gregorio Hernandez, Jr., created a committee to revise the words. The new version, entitled “Lupang Hinirang,” was adopted (a minor revision was made in 1962), and is still in use today. Since the passage of the 1998 law about the national symbols (RA 8491), the national anthem can only be sung in Tagalog (the national language) and using only the music composed by Felipe. However, that has not prevented other translations from being created, such as Ilonggo.

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5 months, 1 week ago

The first leader of Peru declared a contest to compose a new national anthem shortly after independence. The winning anthem, entitled “Marcha Nacional” (National March) was accepted immediately as the new national anthem, and was sung for the first time in the Principal Theatre of Lima on the night of 24 September 1821. In the intervening years, there were efforts to alter the lyrics (partly due to the anthem’s anti-Spanish tone) but in 1913 the lyrics were declared to be sacrosanct and not to be rewritten (previous efforts to do so didn’t catch on in popularity anyway). Despite this, the anthem continued to be revised in the ensuing decades. Different words for the first verse, then the second and third verses, were written, with varying degrees of success, during different presidential regimes but after their terms were over, the lyrics reverted back to the original ones.

In 2005, it was determined that the first verse, which was most commonly sung at the time, was not written by José de la Torre Ugarte, but it had become part of the popular ethos by this time, as well as being part of the 1913 law regarding the intangibleness of the anthem. It was also determined that the original fifth stanza had been excluded from the anthem, and was reinstated as the sixth stanza, making seven stanzas in all. In 2009, the government declared the last verse to be the official verse to be sung when the anthem is played.

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5 months, 1 week ago

Paraguay’s first anthem was adopted in 1831, called “Tetã Purahéi”, and written by Anastacio Rolón completely in the native Guaraní language (the ruler of the time, José Gaspar Rodríguez, refused it to be translated into Spanish, and insisted that it always be performed in Guaraní). A later president, Carlos Antonio López, translated it into Spanish in 1845 as the “Himno de la independencia” (Anthem of Independence) as a literal translation of the Guaraní. It is unknown who wrote the music, or what it was.

During López’ presidency, he requested Francisco Esteban Acuña de Figueroa, the lyricist of Uruguay’s anthem, to write a new anthem for the country. It was completed on May 20, 1846 and approved as the national anthem that year. Fransesco Cassale, an Italian, composed the music somewhere in the 1850s, then in 1934, Paraguayan composer Remberto Giménez rearranged and developed the version of the anthem in use today.

Paraguay’s anthem is a classic example of a “Latin American epic anthem”. The seven verses of the anthem also resemble other nations’ anthems of this type, for example, the first three verses of Paraguay’s anthem, recalling its history and specific events, is very similar to the theme of Honduras‘ anthem, whereas the fourth verse which praises the national symbols, and the last three verses, which are a call to patriotism, are common themes in these type of anthems.

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5 months, 2 weeks ago

“O Arise, All You Sons” was given the status of national anthem upon independence in 1975. Papua New Guinea also has “God Save the Queen” as her royal anthem, as Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state.

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5 months, 2 weeks ago

Panama is an isthmus (a narrow strip of land enclosed by water on two sides), and her anthem is entitled – appropriately – “Himno Istemño”. The anthem was first performed by citizens in the streets on the day of independence in 1903, and was fully adopted as an anthem in 1925.

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5 months, 2 weeks ago

“Fida’i” was declared the anthem of Palestine by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (an organization charged with the governance of Arab Palestinians) in 1972, in advance of her 1988 declaration of independence. The anthem, also known as the “Anthem of the Intifada” (or “Anthem of the Palestinian Revolution”) was written by Said Al Muzayin [also known as Fata Al Thawra (“The Rebel Boy”)], and its music was composed by Egyptian maestro Ali Ismael. While being the official national anthem for use in the areas currently controlled by the Palestinian government, “Mawtini” is considered an “unofficial Palestinian anthem”, popular with many Palestinians, and was considered the Palestinian anthem before “Fida’i” was adopted.

The word “فدائي” (fida’i), in addition to being the anthem’s title, appears several times in the anthem as well. The term is difficult to express in a single word or two in English; it refers to a man (the feminine form is “fida’iya”, plural is “fida’iyeen”) who is willing to sacrifice his life. The object that he will sacrifice to can be anything, his lover, tribe, religion, etc., but in the modern sense it is usually meant as a sacrifice to his country. It has been translated various ways in the anthem, depending on context, the terms “sacrificer”, “resistor”, “freedom fighter” or “revolutionary” could all express the intended meaning to an extent.

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5 months, 2 weeks ago

Shortly before adopting her first constitution in 1981, Palau’s anthem was officially adopted. At the time part of the US-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, independence was gained in 1994. The lyrics of the anthem are combined from several authors.

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5 months, 2 weeks ago

Shortly before independence, an interim anthem hastily written by Jagnnath Azad, a Hindu, was put into use at the time of Pakistan’s independence in August 1947. Then in December 1948, a committee to select a national anthem for Pakistan was formed. A member of the committee, Ahmed Ghulamali Chagla, was asked to produce a composition. Mr. Chagla’s background in music involves study in both western and eastern music, and characteristics of eastern music can be found in the anthem.

After some “test runs” which included performances for the Prime Minister, for a visiting head of state, for the Prime Minister’s visit to the United States, and finally for the committee itself, it was then approved by the anthem committee in August 1950 and gained official recognition in December 1953. The words, written in a highly Persianized form of the national language, Urdu, were composed by another member of the committee and officially approved in August 1954. The anthem is sometimes referred to by its first line [“Pak sarzamin shad bad” (Blessed Be The Sacred Land)].

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5 months, 2 weeks ago

The music, in the “Arab fanfare” style of anthem, is taken from a salute to the Sultan by a British ship in 1932. The bandmaster of the HMS Hawkins, while visiting Muscat, was asked to write a salutation for the Sultan on the occasion of his visiting the Hawkins. The tune was composed and first performed on the occasion of the visit, December 10, 1932. Originally, there were different words to the anthem. When the former Sultan, Qâbus ben-Saʿyed ʾâl-Saʿyed, took power in 1970 and changed the name of the country to Oman (from Muscat and Oman), new words were written. A slight change to the harmonization was made on November 6, 1996.

Following Qâbus’ death in 2020, the current Sultan, Hayþam ben-Ṭâreq ʾâl-Saʿyed, issued a decree to remove the name of His Predecessor from the national anthem.

(description c/o nationalanthems.info, with updates by me)

5 months, 3 weeks ago

The words for the national anthem, written by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, one of Norway’s great dramatists and poets, were first published in 1859. The original poem had six verses; in 1863 one of the original verses were deleted and three more were added, giving a total of eight verses; the deleted verse was a tribute to King Carl XV, but Bjørnson changed his political views later from monarchism to republicanism, and deleted that verse. Nowadays, the first verse and last two verses are most commonly sung.

The music was composed by Rikard Nordraak, cousin of Bjørnson and a friend of the famed Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, in 1864. It was first performed later that year for the 50th anniversary of their constitution, and caught on quickly, overtaking “Sønner af Norges” in popularity. It became a part of the reading books in schools all over the country, and was sung by the children in the children’s parades organized by Bjørnson on every 17th of May.

This song has been the most popular one presented as the anthem since the early twentieth century, and was performed as the national anthem at the time of Norwegian independence in 1905. Since the summer of 2011, the patriotic song “Mitt lille land” has also been referred to as a “new national anthem”, and has been performed at patriotic events, but has not been used as a national anthem as much as “Ja, vi elsker” continues to be. Only on December 2019 was “Ja, vi elsker” officially adopted as the national anthem.

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5 months, 3 weeks ago

The national anthem of North Macedonia was created in 1943 by Vlado Maleski, a poet from Struga. It was adopted as the anthem of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia while in Yugoslavia after World War II. The song was later selected to be the anthem of the newly independent Republic of Macedonia after her independence in 1991.

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5 months, 3 weeks ago

The words to Nigeria’s anthem were amalgamated from the best five entrants to a national contest. The music was by the Nigerian Police Band.

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6 months ago

This former French colony in West Africa adopted her national anthem in 1961, a year after independence.

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6 months ago

The melody of the anthem goes back to the 1700s as a liturgical anthem in Spain. It was brought to Nicaragua shortly before independence in 1821, and was declared as the country’s first official anthem sometime between 1835 and 1837. The wordless melody was used until 1876, when it was replaced with the song “Soldados, ciudadanos” (Soldiers, Citizens). (This anthem may have been wordless until 1889.) It was replaced yet again in 1893 after General José Santos Zelaya took over the country; the anthem “Hermosa Soberana” (Beautiful Sovereign) was composed by Zelaya’s son-in-law Alejandro Cousin and was written by either Rubén Darío, Santiago Argüello or Manuel Maldonado. Despite being replaced in 1910 after Zelaya fled the country, the song remains a popular patriotic song in Nicaragua.

After decades of political upheaval, which was reflected in the anthem, it was decided to bring stability back to the country by bringing stability to the anthem, so the first anthem, the piece of liturgical music brought over from Spain nearly 90 years previously, was reinstated as the anthem, but had to be recreated from memory as no written record of the music was found. Also, emergency lyrics were written by Marco Antonio Ortega under the title “La Patria Amada” (The Beloved Homeland) until a contest could be held for new lyrics.

The first priority was to arrange the old music of the national anthem, and Luis Abraham Delgadillo, a Nicaraguan composer who studied in Milan, was chosen to arrange the anthem. In 1918, the key of the anthem was changed to G major and it was made to be played by a band more easily; the new arrangement made the anthem also sound more like other “Latin American epic anthems” also in use by neighboring countries. A contest was then held for the new lyrics for the anthem. The requirements were that there be words for both parts of the anthem, the only topic would be peace and work (as a contrast to the political upheavals of recent history) and that the words fit the melody. The winning lyrics were adopted by the government in 1939.

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6 months ago

“God Defend New Zealand” was written by Irish-born poet and New Zealand citizen Thomas Bracken in 1870, and the music composed by John Joseph Woods as a result of a newspaper contest in 1876. (Woods actually composed the music in one sitting, starting as soon as he read about the contest and not resting until he was finished.) Gaining popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, it was adopted as New Zealand’s national song in 1940 (New Zealand’s centennial year), but “God Save the Queen” remained the sole national anthem. A petition in 1976 prompted the government to seek royal assent to make “God Defend New Zealand” as a national anthem on equal status with “God Save the Queen”. This was signed into law by the Queen on November 21, 1977.

The Māori words, officially translated numerous times, are made to fit the melody. As such, they don’t translate exactly to the English lyrics. The anthem is commonly sung lately with the first verse in Māori followed by the first verse in English.

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6 months ago

The Dutch national anthem is one of the oldest anthems in existence, the melody was known from before 1572 as a French Huguenot melody titled “Charles”, and the song first appeared in 1626 in a collection of songs assembled by Adriaan Valerius. Philips van Marnix van Sint Aldegonde is widely credited as the author, but as this is very much in dispute, the author is at this point basically unknown. It was not approved as the official national anthem until 1932.

“Het Wilhelmus” has 15 eight-line verses (the first verse, and sometimes the sixth, is most commonly performed). Based on older songs, the Wilhelmus takes the form of an acrostic on the name of William of Orange, the leader of the Dutch revolt against Philip II of Spain.

The song’s style resembles that of the work of the Rederijkers (“rhetoricians”), sixteenth-century companies of poets. For example, the first letters of the 15 verses spell the name “Willem van Nassov” (in the original orthography, the modern Dutch version has the acrostic spell “Willem van Nazzov”). The text is also thematically symmetrical, in that verses one and 15 resemble on another in meaning, as do verses two and 14, three and 13, etc., until they converge in the eighth verse, the heart of the song: “Oh David, thou soughtest shelter / From King Saul’s tyranny”. The words of the song also highly resemble the poems in the biblical book of Psalms.

Another fact about the anthem that is often in dispute is the use of the word “Duitsen” in the second line of the first verse. Often translated as “German”, William’s birthplace indeed lies in modern-day Germany, however, Germany as a nation would not exist for another 300 years (the area still being known as the “Holy Roman Empire”). Only in modern Dutch has “Duits” come to mean “German” in all uses. Others have interpreted the word to mean “of the people”, which of course makes it more inclusive of the Dutch people. This site prefers “Germanic” as the translation; the original lyrics read “van Duytschen bloet”, “Duytschen” referring not to Germany (as it has been established that there was no such nation at the time), but to the lowlands area, which includes the modern-day Netherlands and certain areas of Germany, including where William of Orange was born; the word therefore highlighted William’s local origins. “Germanic” may be the best modern word to cover the original intent and area inferred.

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6 months ago

After the revolutions of spring 2006 against the monarchy, Nepal sought to replace her pro-monarchy anthem with a new one in a public contest. The winner, Pradeep Kumar Rai [writing under the pen name Byakul Maila (व्याकुल माइला)] was selected from 1,272 submissions. During the submission process, Rai and his family were interviewed several times to prove he was not a monarchist, since he, for one, edited a book of poetry that contained a submission from the king.

The new anthem was officially declared on August 3, 2007. Despite the lyrics speaking of diversity, peace, and unity, the anthem is seen as highly tied to the Maoist government that controls Nepal, whereas some of the Maoists themselves want a more revolutionary anthem.

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6 months ago

The music for Nauru’s anthem was composed by Laurence Hicks, an Australian squadron leader. The lyrics were by Margaret Hendrie, a Nauruan writer. It was adopted upon 1968 independence from Australia.

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6 months ago

After independence in 1990, Namibia held a contest for a new national anthem. The winner of the contest was Axali Doëseb, the director of a Kalahari traditional music group. The anthem was performed for the first time at the first anniversary of independence. During the year before “Namibia, Land of the Brave” was adopted, the popular African song “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” was used as the national anthem.

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6 months, 1 week ago

(I used the MLC transcription for the romanization of the anthem's title.)

In 1930, Saya Tin was a member of the “Dobama Asiayone” (“We Burmans”) group that was a Burmese nationalist group against the controlling British government. He composed the song “Kambha Ma. Kye” as the party song and first performed it on July 20, 1930. Tin was promptly arrested for inciting rebellion and was jailed until 1946. Meanwhile, the song became a national symbol during British rule and then the Japanese occupation.

In 1947, before independence, a committee was formed to select proposals for the future flag, coat of arms and national anthem. Saya Tin became a member of this committee in July 1947. It was decided to adopt Tin’s composition with some slight changes of the text. On 22nd September 1947, another correction of the text was done and this version became official upon independence in 1948. (A slight change was also made to the words, presumably in 1988, when the name of the country was changed to Myanmar).

Two versions of the anthem exist, a short one when played internationally, and a longer one that adds a more Burmese type of music to the beginning of the piece that is performed domestically. There is also an interesting custom associated with the national anthem, and that is that singers who sing the anthem must give a small bow upon the conclusion of their singing, as a sign of respect for the anthem and the nation.

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6 months, 1 week ago

On April 30, 2002, Mozambique adopted a new national anthem to reflect her new multi-party political system.

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6 months, 2 weeks ago