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View Full Version : Which National Anthem is the most "National" ?


Meeko
02-25-2010, 01:50 PM
With the Vancouver Olympics coming to a close, I figured I had better ask a question that has been in the back of my mind.

I am an American, but I think most Americans know the first two words of the Canadian National Anthem.

Which got me thinking. The Star Spangled Banner doesn't mention America or even the US by name. Germany, IIRC has at least one instance when it mentions "Germany" twice in a row. I believe Canada has a second instance of "O Canada!" from what I can discern from the Olympic coverage.

What National Anthem mentions it's country, by name, the most number of times?

Baffle
02-25-2010, 01:57 PM
The first verse of O Canada (the traditionally sung verse) actually says 'Canada' four times. (English version.) It also contains Canadian metaphors such as 'true north'.

statsman1982
02-25-2010, 02:10 PM
The first line of Germany's national anthem includes "Deutschland", I believe.

ETA: Wrong. They dropped that (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOOV4naAI1I) after WWII. But they do mention "deutsches" (Germans, I guess)?

MikeS
02-25-2010, 02:17 PM
I don't believe the traditionally sung verse of the Marseillaise mentions France by name at all, and "God Save the King/Queen" doesn't mention the UK. So those are out.

Captain Amazing
02-25-2010, 02:20 PM
The first verse of O Canada (the traditionally sung verse) actually says 'Canada' four times. (English version.) It also contains Canadian metaphors such as 'true north'.

Twice, and then the refrain says it three times.

In case anyone is curious, here's a website containing pretty much every national anthem:

http://www.nationalanthems.info

Hypnagogic Jerk
02-25-2010, 02:21 PM
The first verse of O Canada (the traditionally sung verse) actually says 'Canada' four times. (English version.)
It's only once in French. And the second verse mentions "the Canadian", but nowhere else in the song is Canada mentioned.

Before I read the OP, I thought it would be about which national anthem is best representative of its country in its entirety. For this I cannot nominate the original French version of O Canada, which is a 19th century French-Canadian patriotic song, making it both hopelessly passť and not representative of the whole country.

Giles
02-25-2010, 02:25 PM
Advance Australia Fair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance_Australia_Fair) mentions "Australia" 4 times in its 2 verses, and once in the title. It also has "Australians" once and "Commonwealth" (meaning the Commonwealth of Australia) once.

Jas09
02-25-2010, 02:29 PM
If we learned nothing else from Borat, we at least learned that the Kazhakhstan national anthem (http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/164327) mentions their glorious homeland no fewer than 10 times.

BwanaBob
02-25-2010, 02:34 PM
If we learned nothing else from Borat, we at least learned that the Kazhakhstan national anthem (http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/164327) mentions their glorious homeland no fewer than 10 times.

And it's the only one that mentions potassium twice.

Sapo
02-25-2010, 02:36 PM
The first line of Germany's national anthem includes "Deutschland", I believe.

ETA: Wrong. They dropped that (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOOV4naAI1I) after WWII. But they do mention "deutsches" (Germans, I guess)?
Ignorance fought for this one. A real shame since nothing screams patriotism more than "[My country] over all".

panamajack
02-25-2010, 03:00 PM
Ignorance fought for this one. A real shame since nothing screams patriotism more than "[My country] over all".

Not that it didn't eventually acquire that reputation, but when written, 'Deutschland' wasn't yet a country; the song was meant to focus on this concept above all others when trying to unify the state. Although it does expand the expected borders of that state - from part of the Netherlands to almost all of Poland, and from part of Denmark down to Italy. So give it points for that.

The current official version is the third verse. It uses the phrase das deutsche Vaterland (German fatherland) only twice. The whole song uses some variation of the country name 6 times, with 8 more uses of 'German' as an adjective (German wine, women, and song).

To statsman1982 - deutsches is just a declined form of 'German' as an adjective das deutsche -> deutsches, more or less.

Meeko
02-25-2010, 04:17 PM
If we learned nothing else from Borat, we at least learned that the Kazhakhstan national anthem (http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/164327) mentions their glorious homeland no fewer than 10 times.

I was able to forget that part of the movie.

Too bad I can't say as much for the other parts.

ChrisBooth12
02-25-2010, 04:20 PM
Whatever country Borat is from

Lord Mondegreen
02-25-2010, 06:38 PM
Advance Australia Fair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance_Australia_Fair) mentions "Australia" 4 times in its 2 verses, and once in the title. It also has "Australians" once and "Commonwealth" (meaning the Commonwealth of Australia) once.

I'm also willing to wager a significant amount of money the it is the only national anthem to include the word "girt."

Zoe
02-27-2010, 12:48 AM
MikeS: ...don't believe the traditionally sung verse of the Marseillaise mentions France by name at all

But the English translation most familiar to me begins with "Ye Sons of France..." I don't speak French and I'm unfamiliar with the verbatim meaning of the first line.

That has to be the most rousing anthem ever!

Zoe
02-27-2010, 01:08 AM
According to Captain Amazing's link, the translation of the first line refers to the Fatherland and not to France.

Some of the verses refer to France or Frenchmen.

Maybe I was fooled by a scene in Casablanca. Or maybe that is one of the many changes the anthem has been through.

Not the best lyrics for a pacifist.

Polycarp
02-27-2010, 01:08 AM
But the English translation most familiar to me begins with "Ye Sons of France..." I don't speak French and I'm unfamiliar with the verbatim meaning of the first line.

That has to be the most rousing anthem ever!

The Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Marseillaise) on the Marseillaise gives the French lyrics and a fairly good quasi-literal English translation of them.

DrDeth
02-27-2010, 02:02 AM
"Brodny" from The Inspector General?:p

LSLGuy
02-27-2010, 10:53 AM
To extend the OPs's question a bit, hoping not to rise to the level of a hijack ...

All national anthems are marketing puffery. The message is universally "We're good / great / whatever because of our ..."


So which anthem, current or past, is the most nationalistic? Which one goes farthest into "We be totally cool, you be 10zers! We kick yo ass!" territory? Mentioning your own country name a lot, as the OP asks, is a start down that road. But an anthem can go a lot farther than that if it tries.

I'd wager the North Koreans are a good first guess for front runner. Then I checked the link provided by Captain Amazing above: http://www.nationalanthems.info/kp'.htm More tame than I expected. Anyone?

Elendil's Heir
02-27-2010, 03:30 PM
Huh. I'm a little surprised it doesn't mention Kim Jong Il once or thrice.

Mississippienne
02-27-2010, 09:27 PM
The Polish national anthem mentions Poland itself several times. The basic gist of the anthem is something like 'Poland don't start no shit, but Poland don't take no shit.'

sciurophobic
03-01-2010, 02:06 PM
Anvilania's national anthem mentions itself several times, but I fell asleep and lost count.

Anvilania national anthem (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYmcD2HLs8A)

runcible spoon
03-01-2010, 02:28 PM
I count six mentions in both Poland's and Austria's national anthems. Of course, Poland has it in the chorus, and Austria apparently just loves repetition. So no points for creativity.

Incidentally, I can't read Denmark's national anthem (http://www.nationalanthems.info/dk.txt) without imagining it being read by Orson Welles.

elmwood
03-01-2010, 04:03 PM
o which anthem, current or past, is the most nationalistic? Which one goes farthest into "We be totally cool, you be 10zers! We kick yo ass!" territory? Mentioning your own country name a lot, as the OP asks, is a start down that road. But an anthem can go a lot farther than that if it tries.

How about the old Confederate States of America national anthem?

God save the South, God save the South,
Her altars and firesides, God save the South!
Now that the war is nigh, now that we arm to die,
Chanting our battle cry, "Freedom or death!"
Chanting our battle cry, "Freedom or death!"

God be our shield, at home or afield,
Stretch Thine arm over us, strengthen and save.
What tho' they're three to one, forward each sire and son,
Strike till the war is won, strike to the grave!
Strike till the war is won, strike to the grave!

God made the right stronger than might,
Millions would trample us down in their pride.
Lay Thou their legions low, roll back the ruthless foe,
Let the proud spoiler know God's on our side.
Let the proud spoiler know God's on our side.

Hark honor's call, summoning all.
Summoning all of us unto the strife.
Sons of the South, awake! Strike till the brand shall break,
Strike for dear Honor's sake, Freedom and Life!
Strike for dear Honor's sake, Freedom and Life!

Rebels before, our fathers of yore.
Rebel's the righteous name Washington bore.
Why, then, be ours the same, the name that he snatched from shame,
Making it first in fame, foremost in war.
Making it first in fame, foremost in war.

War to the hilt, theirs be the guilt,
Who fetter the free man to ransom the slave.
Up then, and undismay'd, sheathe not the battle blade,
Till the last foe is laid low in the grave!
Till the last foe is laid low in the grave!

God save the South, God save the South,
Dry the dim eyes that now follow our path.
Still let the light feet rove safe through the orange grove,
Still keep the land we love safe from Thy wrath.
Still keep the land we love safe from Thy wrath.

God save the South, God save the South,
Her altars and firesides, God save the South!
For the great war is nigh, and we will win or die,
Chanting our battle cry, "Freedom or death!"
Chanting our battle cry, "Freedom or death!"


Libya also kicks some serious ass.

God is greatest!
God is greatest!
He is above plots of the aggressors,
And He is the best helper of the oppressed.
With faith and with weapons I shall defend my country,
And the light of truth will shine in my hand.
Sing with me!
Sing with me!
God is greatest!
God is greatest!
God, God, God is greatest!
God is above the aggressors.

O world, look up and listen!
The enemy's army is coming,
Wishing to destroy me.
With truth and with my gun I shall repulse him.

And should I be killed,
I would kill him with me.
Sing with me -
Woe to the Imperialists!
And God is above the treacherous tyrant.
God is greatest!
Therefore glorify Him, O my country,
And seize the forehead of the tyrant
And destroy him!


I wonder if there are any national anthems that call for the destruction of other countries? I'd half-expect some "Death to America" references in the national anthems of North Korea or Iran, but fortunately they're lacking. Any "Death to Israel" references in the national anthems of the Middle East?

elmwood
03-01-2010, 05:17 PM
Another bloody national anthem: Mexicans, to the War Cry

Mexicans, when the war cry is heard,
Have sword and bridle ready.
Let the earth's foundations tremble
At the loud cannon's roar.

May the divine archangel crown your brow,
Oh fatherland, with an olive branch of peace,
For your eternal destiny has been written
In heaven by the finger of God.
But should a foreign enemy
Dare to profane your soil with his tread,
Know, beloved fatherland, that heaven gave you
A soldier in each of your sons.

CHORUS

War, war without truce against who would attempt
to blemish the honor of the fatherland!
War, war! The patriotic banners
saturate in waves of blood.
War, war! On the mount, in the vale
The terrifying cannon thunder
and the echoes nobly resound
to the cries of union! liberty!

CHORUS

Fatherland, before your children become unarmed
Beneath the yoke their necks in sway,
May your countryside be watered with blood,
On blood their feet trample.
And may your temples, palaces and towers
crumble in horrid crash,
and their ruins exist saying:
The fatherland was made of one thousand heroes here.

CHORUS

Fatherland, oh fatherland, your sons vow
To give their last breath on your altars,
If the trumpet with its warlike sound
Calls them to valiant battle.
For you, the garlands of olive,
For them, a glorious memory.
For you, the victory laurel

Elendil's Heir
03-01-2010, 07:46 PM
Not a national anthem, but Maryland's is pretty bloodthirsty (and mentions the state's name four times in each verse): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maryland,_My_Maryland

Really Not All That Bright
03-01-2010, 08:21 PM
So which anthem, current or past, is the most nationalistic? Which one goes farthest into "We be totally cool, you be 10zers! We kick yo ass!" territory? Mentioning your own country name a lot, as the OP asks, is a start down that road. But an anthem can go a lot farther than that if it tries.

It's not exactly a national anthem- it's just what they play before Scottish international rugby/football matches- but Flower of Scotland (http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/home/scotland/songs/flower.html) includes the world Scotland twice (plus the euphemism Hill and Glen twice), and is all about Robert the Bruce's victory of Edward II at Bannockburn:
O Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
Your like again,
That fought and died for,
Your wee bit Hill and Glen,
And stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.
The Hills are bare now,
And Autumn leaves
lie thick and still,
O'er land that is lost now,
Which those so dearly held,
That stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

Those days are past now,
And in the past
they must remain,
But we can still rise now,
And be the nation again,
That stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

0 Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
your like again,
That fought and died for,
Your wee bit Hill and Glen,
And stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.
Must be the only anthem which mentions a national of another country* by name.

*well, it was another country for a while after Bannockburn, at any rate.

elmwood
03-03-2010, 03:31 PM
Must be the only anthem which mentions a national of another country* by name.

Are there any that mention other ethnicities, nationalities, in a context of "we'll kick their ass!"? I'm not talking about something vague like "drive the capitalists to the sea" themes of some post-Colonial African anthems, but implied like "we prepare our mighty armies to wage war with the north" or a direct mention like "vengeance will be ours against the Belgian menace".

SurveyorAlpha
03-03-2010, 11:38 PM
Fun national anthem article:

Cracked (http://www.cracked.com/article_16735_6-national-anthems-that-will-make-you-tremble-with-fear.html)

dhkendall
03-04-2010, 05:03 PM
Twice, and then the refrain says it three times.

In case anyone is curious, here's a website containing pretty much every national anthem:

http://www.nationalanthems.info

And, to top it off, a Doper runs that site!

Specifically, this Doper. *blush*

Thanks, Captain Amazing for the free advertising for my site from someone other than me!

Captain Amazing
03-04-2010, 05:50 PM
Thanks, Captain Amazing for the free advertising for my site from someone other than me!

I'll send you my bill later.