National Anthems

I can’t believe this question hasn’t been raised, but I can’t find it in the archives.

I watched “Casablanca” again tonight, and was again moved by the “Marseillaise” scene. And I also love the music of “O Canada.”

Gotta say that I’m not a fan of “God Save the Queen,” and the “Star Spangled Banner” is just too hard to sing–there’s a reason we have so many blooper tapes of it.

What are the other musically great national anthems out there?


I’m thinking of emigrating, if they can ensure that Bill Murray is the only one allowed to sing it.

Itally is cool, Germany has its positives, i like the Dutch athem (obviously), Brasil’s is nice and stirring; but none (absolutely none) of them can compare to the Russion national anthem, especially when sung by a choir.

Also, appearantly Kazakhstans can really get people exited :slight_smile:

This one will have you singing all the way to the gulag comrade.

Choir and full orchestra, yes indeed. The lyrics are the usual “we are Russia, we are strong etc” rubbish but the music is all that a national anthem should be.

I’ll put in a good word for the (recent) version of the NZ national anthem. It used to sound like a complete dirge. :slight_smile:

It got reworked a bit, and is now the first verse is sung twice, first in Maori and then in English.

(An OK example – and then a bonus haka) :slight_smile:

I don’t know if it would qualify as a “musically great national anthem” to non-Indian ears, but here’s a beautiful rendition of the Indian national anthem, performed by India’s best classical vocalists and musicians for India’s 50th Independence Day celebrations:

This rendition was produced and arranged by A.R. Rahman, the guy now better known in the western world for his Oscar winning music score for Slumdog Millionaire.

To a non-American (and one with a pretty boring and pathetic anthem) I think the Star Spangled Banner is actually a pretty stirring tune.

Advance Australia Fair? Please - a national anthem by committe if I’ve ever seen one. Nice enough but bland and inoffensive.

It has actually been discussed before here, btw:

I really think the Soviet Anthem is the best of them all. Evil regime (though I think its evilness had ups and downs) but it did produce some great things and that some is one of them.

Last night’s QI mentioned that the Spanish National Anthem currently doesn’t have any words. The Franco-era verses were dropped a few years ago, but nobody can agree what the new words should be.

Het Wilhelmus, the Dutch anthem, has the distinction of being the oldest national anthem in Europe; it has no fewer than fifteen stanzas; and the first letters of each stanza form an acrostic which spells out Willem van Nassau’s name.

Yes, in the case of Americans I think it’s an example of “familiarity breeds contempt”. “O Canada” is hot stuff by comparison? Give me a break.

As far as music begging to be adopted as a national anthem, there’s a passage in Holst’s The Planets (part of Jupiter’s Theme) that would serve beautifully. The only problem is that I doubt there’s a country on earth that is worthy of it.

Let us hope if the US decides to rewrite ours that Swarzenegger has nothing to do with it.

The sixth verse of the UK national anthem talks about crushing the “rebellious Scots”. Very apt considering the recent call for Scottish independence by the SNP.
6. Lord grant that Marshal Wade
May by thy mighty aid
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush,
And like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush.
God save the Queen!

What I love about “Star Spangled Banner” is that the lyrics were written by a lawyer, and the melody is a drinking song.

Dixie is a lively tune (in most versions) and easy to sing.

Here is an orchestral version of the Irish Anthem. In the days when TV used to close down about midnight it was the final item.

Nowadays many people think the words, relics of the War of Independence, are inappropriate in a Europe drawing ever close together. The music, though, is not so bad. Ocassonally there are suggestions that a completely new anthem is required.

BTW, although it was originally written in English, the Irish version is invariable sung on such occasions as the Anthem are now used.

Sure. Isn’t an anthem, though.