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ICELAND : Iceland National Anthem
Icelandic National Anthem
National Anthem of Iceland

  • Author: Matthias Jochumsson (1835-1920)
  • Composer: Sveinbjörn Sveinbjörnsson (1847-1926)
  • Adopted: 1874
  • National Day: June 17 (1944) - Independence Day
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  • Further details: Iceland has a National Anthem which is in keeping with the country's status as a sovereign island republic. However, it was written and composed as early as 1874, the year when the Icelanders under the leadership of Jn Sigurdsson at last - after a thirty year struggle - secured their own constitution which gave legislative powers to the Icelandic Althingi. It was also the year when Iceland celebrated the one thousandth anniversary of the first permanent Norwegian settlers in the year 874, this is the inspiration of the Icelandic National Anthem which contains hardly an allusion to the political developments of the period of its origin.

    The poet, MATTHÍAS JOCHUMSSON (1835-1920) also made a name for himself as the translator into Icelandic of various plays by Shakespeare, Ibsen and others. His original works include likewise a number of dramatic pieces.

    The composer, SVEINBJÖRN SVEINBJÖRNSSON (1847-1926), spent the greater part of his life in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he made a living as a music teacher. His National Anthem earned him a gold medal but it is difficult to discover in it anything strikingly Nordic. It is a competent but fairly conventional piece of work.