Tuesday, August 17, 2010

National Anthems

National anthems are musical compositions that represent the history, pride, traditions and struggles of a country. They are often heard at sporting events such as the olympics and official government ceremonies. Famous national anthems include those of the United Kingdom, France, Russia and the United States.

I would like to mention ten national anthems that are not so famous but nevertheless are among my favourite anthems. They are from North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

From North America I have selected the national anthem of Belize. It is titled "Land of the Free" and was adopted in 1981.

My favourite South American anthem is from Colombia. It is titled "National Anthem of the Republic of Colombia." It was adopted in 1920.

From Asia I want to comment on two national anthems. The first is the national anthem of South Korea. It is titled "Patriotic Song" and was adopted in 1948. The second is the national anthem of Mongolia. It is titled "National Anthem of Mongolia." The lyrics have changed many times but the music was adopted in 1950.

Three European anthems which I have selected are from Iceland, Hungary and the Netherlands. The national anthem of Iceland is titled "O, God of our Land". It is a beautiful hymn which was adopted in 1944. The national anthem of Hungary is a very emotional one that expresses the nation's struggles through history. It is titled "Hymn" and was adopted in 1844. However, it is usually known by the first verse which translates "God bless the Hungarians." The national anthem of the Netherlands is titled "The William." The music is one of the oldest of any national anthem. It is about William of Orange and his Dutch revolt against Philip II of Spain. The anthem was adopted in 1932.

My favourite African anthems are from Kenya and Botswana. The national anthem of Kenya is based on a Kenyan folk song. It is titled "Oh God of all Creation" and was adopted in 1963. The national anthem of Botswana is titled "Our Land" and was adopted in 1966.

From Oceania I have selected the national anthem of New Zealand. The title is "God Defend New Zealand." It was adopted in 1977. Prior to this date, the national anthem of the United Kingdom was New Zealand's official anthem.

The music and lyrics of these anthems are available on the internet. Many relatively unknown anthems have beautiful music and lyrics that await discovery. If you listen to them, you may be pleasantly surprised.


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