History of anthems

Below we present summaries of the history of 82 anthems and state songs!

USA ALASKA : Alaska State Song
State Song of Alaska
Alaska's Flag

The words to the state song, 'Alaska's Flag,' were written by MARIE DRAKE (1888-1963), a longtime employee of the Alaska Department of Education, and first appeared as a poem in 1935. The poem was set to music composed by ELINOR DUSENBURY (1889-1980), whose husband was commander of Chilkoot Barracks at Haines from 1933 to 1936. The Territorial Legislature adopted 'Alaska's Flag' as Alaska's official song in 1955.

Marie Drake, author of the words to 'Alaska's Flag,' the state song, was born February 11 1888. In 1907, she married James Drake in Van Wert, Ohio, where she was engaged in social work with the YWCA and the Red Cross. They came to Alaska when her husband was assigned to work with the Bureau of Public Roads. In 1917, Lester Henderson was appointed first commissioner of education, and he hired Marie Drake as his secretary. She remained with the Department of Education for 28 years, retiring July 1 1945. Marie Drake assumed the post of assistant commissioner of education in 1934. She edited and wrote most of the material for the department's 'School Bulletin' that was circulated throughout the territorial school system. The poem that later provided the words for the official state song first appeared on the cover of the October 1935 'School Bulletin'. In recognition of her devotion to the young people of Alaska, Marie Drake received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of Alaska in 1958. She died March 5 1963.

USA FLORIDA : Florida State Song (1935-2008)
Former State Song of Florida (1935-2008)
Old Folks At Home

Composed in Pittsburgh and published in New York in October 1851, this was undoubtedly the most popular song and the one that earned STEPHEN COLLINS FOSTER (1826-1864) (and later his widow and daughter) the largest royalties from sheet-music sales. It is the song that is perhaps most immediately associated with the composer's name. A long-noted irony in this respect is that Foster's name did not appear during his lifetime on the published song. (His name did appear as composer after the copyright of the song was renewed in 1879.) It was of course Edwin P Christy who was credited as having 'written and composed' "Old Folks at Home," and Foster himself was responsible for this. He apparently sold to Christy the right to be published as composer of the song for the sum of $5.00. Eight months after "Old Folks at Home" appeared, Foster regretted his action and tried unsuccessfully to nullify the agreement.

USA GEORGIA : Georgia State Song
State Song of Georgia
Georgia On My Mind

STUART GRAHAM STEVEN GORRELL (1901-1963) and HOAGY CARMICHAEL (1899-1981), wrote the song in 1930 almost as a lark, and with the help of some pretty good Scotch. The inspiration was theirs, the booze was borrowed.

Hoagy Carmichael went to Indiana University, and one of his best college chums was Stuart Gorrell. Hoagy Carmichael was going to be a lawyer and Stuart Gorrell, when not hanging around the local "jazz joint" (called The Book Nook!) had promised someone that he would eventually be a success in the world of business.
The two of them were together at a party in New York and Hoagy Carmichael played what he had of the "Georgia" music line for Stuart Gorrell and some friends. After the party broke up, the two of them went back to a friend's apartment and worked on the tune throughout the night. Stuart Gorrell wrote what he thought would be a good lyric line on the back of a post card (now displayed in the Carmichael Room at Indiana University) and showed it to Hoagy Carmichael. One can still plainly see the few, but important, changes that Hoagy Carmichael made on that small piece of cardboard to Stuart Gorrell's lyrical scratchings. The song was improved upon, and the lyrics written, in that boozy early morning, and recorded in September 1930 by a band that included Hoagy Carmichael's great friend, Bix Beiderbecke - a recording session that proved to be Bix's last.

Hoagy Carmichael went on to write many more songs, some of them hits, and Stuart Gorrell kept his promise and became a Vice President at Chase Bank. Stuart Gorrell never tried to write another song lyric, but 'Georgia on my Mind' became a hit after World War II and Hoagy Carmichael, true to his word - although Stuart Gorrell was not legally credited as the lyricist by the music publisher - always sent Stuart Gorrell a cheque for what would have been his share of royalty. The royalty income from that song is substantial and, after Stuart Gorrell died, the income put his daughter through college.

Georgia also has an official state waltz, 'Our Georgia' (adopted in 1951).

USA HAWAII : Hawaii State Song
State Song of Hawaii
Hawaii Ponoi

This was Hawaii's former national anthem and now its state song. King DAVID KALAKAUA (1836-1891) wrote the text in 1874. HENRY BERGER (1844-1921) composed the music shortly afterwards. The arrangement for four-part chorus and band is impressive in the grand manner of the majestic national anthems of European royalty.
The national anthem was first sung by the Kawaiaha'o Choir on the birthday of King Kalakaua, November 16 1874. Subsequently it became the regular closing piece for every Royal Hawaiian Band performance. In 1876 it was proclaimed the national anthem of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Even after the US annexation, the song was popularly accepted as the territory's national anthem. In 1967, the Hawaii State legislature passed an act making it the state song.

USA IOWA : Iowa State Song
State Song of Iowa
The Song of Iowa

The state song of Iowa, entitled "The Song of Iowa," written by SAMUEL HAWKINS MARSHALL BYERS (1838-1933) in 1867, was at that time, and has been, sung to the tune of the old German song "O Tannenbaum". Samuel Byers received inspiration for writing the words whilst he was confined in Libby Prison, at Richmond, Virginia, after he had been taken by the enemy in the battle of Lookout Mountain, in 1863. His captors were accustomed to pass by his prison playing the air of "O Tannenbaum" or "My Maryland," or singing it "set to Southern and bitter words." It was at this time that Samuel Byers resolved to put that tune "to loyal words." The song "Iowa" was the crystallization of his resolve. This musical composition was authorised to be recognised as the state song of Iowa by a House Concurrent Resolution of the Senate on March 20 1911.

The theme of Samuel Byer's lyrics centres on his love for, and praise of Iowa, the cornfields, prairies, purple sunsets, fair women, and the patriotic sons of his beloved state.

USA KENTUCKY : Kentucky State Song
State Song of Kentucky
My Old Kentucky Home

STEPHEN FOSTER (1826-1864) composed this song probably in 1852, and it was published in January 1853. There are several legends that connect the piece to Federal Hill, the summer home of Judge John Rowan in Bardstown, Kentucky, but there is no documentary evidence from the period to prove that Foster had much connection with the place. Judge Rowan, a one time US Senator from Kentucky, was a cousin of Stephen Foster's father and well known to the Foster family. Stephen probably visited Federal Hill in the 1840's, but it is most unlikely that he composed "My Old Kentucky Home" there or that he even had the house in mind when he composed it.

Foster's manuscript workbook reveals that the original title of the poem was "Poor Uncle Tom, Good Night" and that the text varied from that of the final published version. Each verse originally ended with the line "Den poor Uncle Tom, good night." Foster was perhaps inspired by Harriet Beecher Stowe's recently published 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (1851) or was attempting to capitalize on the book's new fame. In any case, legends die hard, and Federal Hill is still secure in Foster lore and is a museum and tourist attraction. Kentucky took the song as its own long ago and finally proclaimed it the official state song on March 19 1928.

USA NEBRASKA : Nebraska State Song
State Song of Nebraska
Beautiful Nebraska

JAMES FRAS (1925-2002) was born in the Soviet Union and he came to Lincoln (Nebraska) in 1952. He has had a variety of jobs, ranging from janitor for a candy company to having his own radio variety show.

'Beautiful Nebraska' was created after he took a ride in the country. He noted the wave of the wheat fields, saw the green valleys and "loved everything I saw."
The music was written entirely by him. GUY GAGE MILLER (1922-1986), a Lincoln friend, helped with the words, which James says "are about 85% percent mine."
This was James's second attempt to have his selection accepted by the Legislature. In 1963, he was unable even to get a committee to "listen to my music." Two years later, the Centennial Commission indicated it would take over the project. The official song ran into more controversy within the commission. It was probably academic when the Legislature finally selected his song in the summer of 1967. Before it acted, many schools were already singing the words.

OMISSION The sheet music does not give the year of death of the joint author and composer which was in 2002.

USA NEW JERSEY : New Jersey State Song
State Song of New Jersey
I'm From New Jersey

Please visit the website of the author/composer www.njstatesong.com

'I'm From New Jersey' by RED MASCARA (b.1922), is a state song written in 1960 especially for and dedicated to the State of New Jersey. And, it is the only State Song in America, that is adaptable to any municipality with a two or three syllable name.

In 1961, Phillipsburg, New Jersey adopted the Phillipsburg version as the official song for its 100th Anniversary. The song was so successful, that the town adopted it as its official song. This induced other municipalities to follow suit, and the news media soon had a story that spread throughout the state. In 1962, Perry Como featured the song on his nationally televised show, and shortly thereafter, New Jersey Senator Wayne Dumont, and Assemblyman Robert Frederick simultaneously introduced bills that would designate 'I'm From New Jersey' as the State Song. But it was not until 1966 that enough momentum had been created to spark the New Jersey State Assembly into passing the first state song bill. However, the Senate was not ready yet for such a move. So the Assembly tried again in 1968 and 1971. The Senate still was not ready. In 1972 however, S-772 by Senator Dumont, which designated 'I'm From New Jersey' as the State Song, passed the Senate and Assembly and went to the governor's desk. Governor William Cahill who was not aware of the song's record of achievements, vetoed the bill indicating that he did not think the song was popular enough with the people of New Jersey. This did not stop the song's growth in popularity, or the legislature's desire to make it the official state song. 'I'm From New Jersey' bills did pass both houses again thereafter, but not in a format that would send the bill on to the governor for his approval. So the journey continues.

A partial summary of the song's achievements is as follows:
1. Bills designating 'I'm From New Jersey' as the State Song have passed the Assembly six times, and the Senate three times.
2. The song has been published in two books: 'State Songs of America' and 'Social Studies - New Jersey.'
3. It has received seven awards from ASCAP - The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers - because of its merit as a state song.
4. 'I'm From New Jersey' is the only state song in America, that is adaptable to any municipality with a two or three syllable name. And, adapted versions have been adopted by twelve towns as their official municipal song.
5. A charming, customized high-end music box that plays the song is available on the internet.
6. The song title can be used for many types of logos and projects.
7. 'I'm From New Jersey' is supported by documented endorsements that represent millions of New Jerseyans.
8. Although 'I'm From New Jersey' has been challenged over the years, it remains popular throughout the state and on the web. And, it is sponsored by a majority of members in both Houses of the New Jersey State Legislature.

When friends ask why - with so much support and history - it is not already the official state song, Red replies: I was on a TV show once, where a music columnist said, "I don't think a state song should be adopted until the author is dead." Everyone laughed. But it does make you wonder...doesn't it?

USA OREGON : Oregon State Song
State Song of Oregon
Oregon, My Oregon

The song "Oregon, My Oregon," the state's official song has since the early 1920's been sung by nearly every child in Oregon and has been sung more times by more people than any other song composed in Oregon.

JOHN ANDREW BUCHANAN (1863-1935) was a municipal judge who liked to write poetry. HENRY MURTAGH (1890-1961) was a professional musician - a theatre organist in the silent movie days when the artist at the keyboard of the mighty Wurlitzer drew billing almost equal with the picture.

John Buchanan's lyrics and Henry Murtagh's music came together as the winning entry in a competition sponsored by the Society of Oregon Composers in 1920. The music was published later the same year with an endorsement by the state superintendent of public instruction. In 1927 the legislature made it the official state song. It is reprinted, words and music, in every new edition of the Oregon 'Bluebook'.

John Buchanan died in 1935 at his home in Astoria. A number of years ago, Henry Murtagh left Portland, where he had been at several theatres and lastly at the United Artists, for Los Angeles. Old associates in Oregon have not heard of him since World War II days, when he travelled through Portland with a bond drive group.

USA PENNSYLVANIA : Pennsylvania State Song
State Song of Pennsylvania

The writing of the song 'Pennsylvania' in 1967 was motivated by the fact that the state was one of a few that had not adopted an 'official' song. An additional incentive was the urging by a Philadelphia newspaper columnist to adopt such a song to celebrate the up-coming Bi-Centennial Year - 1976. To achieve such a lofty objective, a song in the anthem vein seemed most appropriate. Having completed the lyrics EDWARD KHOURY (1916-2001) gave them to his long-time co-writer, AARON BONAWITZ (1921-1991), to compose the music. A sheet music edition of the completed work was published in 1967. In 1969 the song was nominated for a Freedoms Foundation Award.

Over the years, many efforts were made in the state capitol to adopt an 'official' song but none reached fruition. It wasn't until 1988 when State Representative Frank L Oliver came up with a plan to form a committee of music professionals to select a song without legislative influence. The song was among the over two hundred which the state had accumulated over the years. Being totally unaware of this latest effort, the author and composer were completely surprised when notified of the selection of the song by this committee.

On June 8 1988, the song was performed live in the Harrisburg Capitol rotunda before a gathering which included the House Committee. After the performance the song was unanimously approved, thus overcoming the years of political wrangling and partisan bickering.

On November 29 1990, 'Pennsylvania' was adopted as the official song of Pennsylvania.

OMISSION The sheet music does not give the year of death of the author which was in 2001.

USA TENNESSEE : Tennessee State Song
State Song of Tennessee
Rocky Top

There are six official state songs of Tennessee other than 'Rocky Top'. They are: 'My Homeland, Tennessee' (adopted in 1925), 'When It's Iris Time in Tennessee'(adopted in 1935), 'My Tennessee' (adopted in 1955), 'Tennessee Waltz' (adopted in 1965), 'Tennessee' (adopted in 1992).

OMISSION The sheet music does not give the year of death of the the joint author and joint composer which was in 2003.

USA WYOMING : Wyoming State Song
State Song of Wyoming
Wyoming March Song

According to CHARLES EDWIN WINTER (1870-1948), the song as written by himself and Mr Clemens proved a great success, but it did not lend itself readily to popular singing because of its extreme vocal range.

In the early part of the year 1920, Professor GEORGE EDWIN KNAPP (1886-1967), Professor of Voice at the State University at Laramie, composed new music in march time and a more singable range. This immediately proved itself adapted to popular singing. The fact that the new music lent itself to the march and dance secured for it general acceptance.

On February 15 1955, the song was adopted as the state song.

CANADA ALBERTA : Alberta Provincial Song - NOT AVAILABLE
Provincial Song of Alberta - NOT AVAILABLE

The idea for an official song for Alberta, in conjunction with the province's 2005 Centennial, began with the introduction of the Alberta Official Song Act by Wayne Cao, MLA, Calgary Fort, in May of 2001. The Act was passed by the Legislative Assembly in November 2001.

In the autumn of 2003, Alberta Community Development issued a call to Albertans to put their provincial pride into song. The Alberta Official Song Contest drew over 300 original submissions from approximately 100 different communities across the province. The entries encompassed a diverse mix of styles and genres, ranging from rap to rock to folk to country. The composers were also a diverse group, aged anywhere from five to 90 years old.

The chosen song, selected by the 13-member Alberta Official Song Committee, was 'Alberta', with words and music by MARY KIEFTENBELD (b.1965).

'Alberta' is a song that embraces the province's past, present and future, and captures the unfettered optimism that has always characterised Albertans. It is a fitting tribute to the province for the Centennial year of 2005, and captured the spirit of the province for future generations.

CANADA NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR : Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Song
Provincial Song of Newfoundland and Labrador
Ode to Newfoundland

'Ode to Newfoundland' is the official provincial anthem of Newfoundland and Labrador. It dates back to 1904, when it was penned by Governor Sir CHARLES CAVENDISH BOYLE (1849-1916) to a tune by Sir CHARLES HUBERT HASTINGS PARRY (1848-1918). When Newfoundland received Dominion status in 1907, the song was made into its national anthem, but this distinction was dropped when Newfoundland joined the Canadian Confederation in 1949. Three decades later, in 1980, the province re-adopted the song as an official provincial anthem.

CANADA QUÉBEC : Québec Provincial Song - NOT AVAILABLE
Provincial Song of Québec - NOT AVAILABLE

'Gens du pays' is the unofficial national anthem of Québec. Written by poet, songwriter and avowed Québec nationalist GILLES VIGNEAULT (b.1928) (with music co-written by GASTON ROCHON (1932-1999)), it was first performed by Vigneault on June 24 1975 during a concert on Montreal's Mount Royal at that year's Fete nationale du Québec ceremony. It has been played frequently at Fete nationale ceremonies since then. The chorus, in triple time, is by far the most famous part of the song, which translated, says, "countrymen, it's your turn to let yourselves speak of love."

The song is also associated with the Québec sovereignty movement and the sovereigntist Parti Québécois, which use it as a sort of anthem. A famous instance of this took place at René Lévesque's concession speech after the citizens of the province rejected independence in the 1980 Québec Referendum. At the end of Lévesque's speech, the crowd assembled to hear him speak stood up at the end of the speech and sang "Gens du pays", which Lévesque called "the most beautiful Québécois song in the minds of all Québecers."

CANADA SASKATCHEWAN : Saskatchewan Provincial Song - NOT AVAILABLE
Provincial Song of Saskatchewan - NOT AVAILABLE
Centennial Song - NOT AVAILABLE

What would a birthday party be without a song? And for the 100th birthday of the province of Saskatchewan in 2005 a very special song was required. On September 23 2004, the Saskatchewan Centennial Songwriting Competition was opened. From all across Saskatchewan, 250 submissions poured in from all genres - pop, country, Celtic, jazz, folk and rock - before the deadline of November 17 2004.

Emerging as the official Saskatchewan centennial song was 'Saskatchewan, We Love This Place!' by STAN GARCHINSKI (b.1961). Filled with inspirational lyrics, a hand-clapping melody and an upbeat and energetic chorus, the song captured the emotion of the Saskatchewan 2005 centennial celebrations and invited the province to join in through song.

Territorial Song of Yukon - NOT AVAILABLE

The winners of the $1,000 Yukon Klondike '73 Song Contest were announced on January 31 1973 by contest chairman Reid Berquist and Russ Graham of the Yukon Department of Travel and Information in Whitehorse. The winners, out of 53 entries from across Canada, were GEORG HAUSCHILD (b.1945) and CAROLE HAUSCHILD (b.1948) as composers of the music, and the writer of the lyrics was JOHANNES JOSEPH WINKELAAR (1913-1980).

State Anthem of Sarawak Bumi Kenyalang - NOT AVAILABLE
Ibu Pertiwi Ku - NOT AVAILABLE

Sarawak has had three previous State Anthems: 1st State Anthem 'Gone forth beyond the sea' (1872-c.1946) was composed and dedicated to Charles Brooke by GHITA in 1872 and has three verses. 2nd State Anthem 'Fair Land Sarawak' (c.1963-1973) has just a single verse, the name of the author and composer are unknown. 3rd State Anthem 'Sarawak Bahagia' (1973-1988) also has a single verse, the author of the words is unknown but the composer of the music is JOHARI SALLEH (b.1940).

OLYMPIAD : Olympic Hymn / Hymne Olympique - PHOTOCOPY AVAILABLE ONLY

The Olympic anthem was composed by Spiros Samara (1861-1917), based on the words of Kostas Palama (1859-1943), for the Games of the I Olympiad in Athens in 1896. It was played again in 1906, but subsequently replaced by anthems specially commissioned for the Olympic ceremonies. In 1954 the IOC held an international competition won by the Polish composer Michael Spisiak, who had put a poem by Pindar to music. It was played in Melbourne in 1956, but the composer demanded such a large fee that it was subsequently abandoned. When the Japanese played the piece by Spiros Samara at the 55th IOC Session in Tokyo in 1958, everyone enjoyed it so much that it was unanimously adopted as the official anthem, at the proposal of IOC member Prince Axel of Denmark.

ARGENTINA : Argentina National Anthem
Argentinian National Anthem
National Anthem of Argentina
Marcha de la Patria

'Marcha de la Patria' ('March of the Fatherland'), is the official National Anthem of Argentina which was carried to Peru and Chile by Argentine soldiers in the army of General San Martin, the liberator of those two countries. There is an account of how the General in 1818 during a great celebration at Santiago de Chile magnetized the crowd by singing the Argentine National Anthem with his tremendous basso voice. The 'Marcha de la Patria' was written by VICENTE LÓPEZ y PLANES (1785-1856) and set to music by BLAS PARERA (1777-1840) in 1813. The composer, was a music teacher, and it seems that he was equally inspired by his familiarity with the Italian operas of Rossini and Donizetti and by his admiration for the German composers of sonatas like Haydn and Mozart. The National Anthem prelude consists of two parts. The first is classical in style, the second with its triplets of eighths recalls the Italian opera. The National Anthem proper is very dignified, and the refrain, introduced by an instrumental interlude, is convincing and powerful. It was declared the official Argentine National Anthem by a resolution of the Asemblea General on May 11 1813. On March 30 1900, a Government decree required it to be performed at all public functions as well as in the schools and institutions of higher learning throughout the country.

AUSTRALIA : Australia National Anthem
Australian National Anthem
National Anthem of Australia
Advance Australia Fair

Close to the hearts of all patriotic Australians is the song 'Advance Australia Fair' with words and music by PETER DODDS McCORMICK (1834-1916). Its style reflects typically mid-nineteenth-century popular music. The triadic structure of the melody gives it a touch of solemnity and dignity. In 1973, a competition was organized to choose an Australian National Anthem, but none of the entries, which numbered over 1200, were considered suitable. 'Advance Australia Fair' was chosen from three well-known national songs after a poll conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It was adopted as the National Anthem officially on April 11 1984.

AUSTRIA : Austria National Anthem
Austrian National Anthem
National Anthem of Austria

Both the melody and text were selected by a jury in a nationwide contest held in 1946. The prize-winning poem - chosen from among two thousand entries - was a contribution by the Austrian poetess, PAULA von PRERADOVIĆ (1887-1951). She was born in Vienna from an old Croatian family and had published, before the time of her national triumph, five volumes of verse as well as several plays and novels. The text of the National Anthem breathes a spirit of quiet love of country rather than of political patriotism.

The usual attribution of the music to Mozart is questionable, but the evidence according to Austrian scholarship is more in favour of JOHANN HOLZER (1753-1818) a member of Mozart's masonic lodge.

The National Anthem was officially adopted by the Austrian Cabinet on February 25 1947.

BANGLADESH : Bangladesh National Anthem
Bangladeshi National Anthem
National Anthem of Bangladesh
Amar Sonar Bangla

The music and words were written by RABINDRANATH TAGORE (1861-1941) during the movement against the partition of Bengal effected by Lord Curzon in 1905. Later it was widely sung during the struggle for independence against Pakistan, and was adopted as a National Anthem by the then provisional Bangladesh government in April 1971, and approved by the National Assembly on January 13 1972.

BELGIUM : Belgium National Anthem
Belgian National Anthem
National Anthem of Belgium
La Brabançonne

One evening after the Belgian-Dutch difficulties of September, 1830, a group of young people went into the cafe de l'Aigle d'Or in Brussels' rue de la Fourche. They were given a room on the first floor in which to take their ease. Amid the noble speeches, the laughter and singing of these revolutionaries, one of them, the French comedian and poet HIPPOLYTE LOUIS-ALEXANDRE DECHET (1801-1830) - more generally known by his pseudonym JENNEVAL (who had come from Paris to fight with the Belgian patriots), began to recite a poem he had written which expressed the aspirations of the revolutionaries at the time.

It is thus explained how the National Anthem came about in 1830. The anecdote may or may not be true, but what is certain is that the first Brabançonne was written by Jenneval in late 1830. Jenneval was also an actor at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, where the revolution broke out on August 25 1830, which led to the independence of Belgium. He composed three versions of the Belgian National Anthem which he gradually adapted to reflect the events as they happened. The first version was sung on September 12 1830 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, that is, at a time when Belgium was still part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands under the rule of the House of Orange-Nassau. It pledged loyalty to the King provided it be allowed to ripen as a fruit on the tree of liberty. The second version, written during the street fighting in which Belgium won its independence, kept the theme of the tree of liberty but now no Orange-Nassau could be tolerated on it. Such was the mood in the heat of the moment. Later on things cooled off and people were eager again to establish good-neighbourly relations. Jenneval fought in the rebel army and was killed in combat near Lièrre, on October 18 1830.

In 1860, this song was further changed, this time by the Prime Minister, CHARLES ROGIER (1800-1885) who wrote a completely new text which omitted all allusions to Holland and its royal house but dealt instead exclusively with the glory of Belgium. The fourth verse of this version, is still used today.

FRANÇOIS VAN CAMPENHOUT, a violinist also from the Théâtre de la Monnaie, composed the melody and called it 'La Brabançonne', derived from 'Brabant'.

There are also several versions of 'La Brabançonne' in Dutch. Apart from a translation of the words by Rogier, there is also an original version which is not a translation, with words by Victor Ceulemans written to Van Campenhout's music. The version generally accepted today is a translation by an unknown author (possibly Ceulemans) of the words by Charles Rogier with the music by Van Campenhout.

BOLIVIA : Bolivia National Anthem
Bolivian National Anthem
National Anthem of Bolivia
Canción Patriótica

The words are by JOSÉ; IGNACIO de SANJINÉS (1786-1864), the music by the Italian LEOPOLDO BENEDETTO VINCENTI (1815-1914). The author was a lawyer and scholar of high standing and a fervent patriot. He was among the signers of his country's declaration of independence and its first constitution. The music is a vocal specimen in the heroic style of the Italian opera. Its rhythm with dotted quavers, which can inspire the Bolivians with patriotic enthusiasm, has very little to do with native music.

ERRATUM The words and music of the first verse are correct, but there are major errors with regard to the words of the second and third verses.

BRAZIL : Brazil National Anthem
Brazilian National Anthem
National Anthem of Brazil
Hino Nacional Brasileiro

The music was written by FRANCISCO MANOEL da SILVA (1795-1865), court composer to King Pedro II and founder of the National Conservatory and the Philharmonic Orchestra in Rio de Janeiro.

The National Anthem has an introduction with dotted quavers whose somewhat pretentious elegance is directly suggestive of Rossini's 'Barber of Seville'. The first phrase, however, occurs in a very popular Hugarian Czardas. Except for some rather conventional passages, the Brazilian National Anthem is dignified and expressive of patriotic devotion. The text of the National Anthem alluded to the political events of the year 1831 and was soon felt to be somewhat inappropriate. In 1922, a new text was officially adopted, it is by JOAQUIM OSÓRIO DUQUE ESTRADA (1870-1927) and breathes a spirit of fervent patriotism free from allusions to transitory phases of the country's history.

CANADA : Canada National Anthem
Canadian National Anthem
National Anthem of Canada
O Canada!

The text of the Canadian National Anthem was written in French by ADOLPHE BASILE ROUTHIER (1839-1920). The music is by CALIXA LAVALLÉE (1842-1891), a native of Verchères in the province of Québec. Calixa Lavallée died in Boston where he had settled down as a concert pianist and music teacher after a successful travelling career. During the United States Civil War he was in the US and fought on the side of the North. In 1874, he became the Director of the Grand Opera House in New York, the predecessor of the Metropolitan Opera House. He wrote 'O Canada' in 1880 at the request of prominent French-Canadian patriotic societies.

'O Canada' represents rather the introvert and prayer like type of National Anthem. The melody seems expressive of the country's peaceful character and the religious attitude of its people.

There is also an English text by ROBERT STANLEY WEIR (1856-1926). It is not a translation of Routhier's lines but was written - as the author put it himself (1908) - "because Mr. Lavallée's splendid melody (one worthy to rank with the finest national airs of any of the older lands) has hitherto lacked an English setting in the song style".

It was officially adopted on July 1 1980.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC : Central African Republic National Anthem
National Anthem of the Central African Republic
La Renaissance

The composer of the National Anthem of the Central African Republic was HERBERT PEPPER (1912-2001). He was a French ethnomusicologist who married Eliane Barat and both graduated from the Paris Conservatory in 1941. They went to Oubangui-Chari in present day Central African Republic in the heart of Equatorial Africa to study local music. There they met Félix Éboué (1884-1944) a well known Guyanese administrator in Oubangui-Chari, who also was interested in local music. Herbert Pepper and his wife stayed in the country for several years and later they moved to Sénégal where they also studied local music. Whilst in the Central African Republic Hebert Pepper met BARTHÉLÉMY BOGANDA (1910-1959) who asked him to put music to the words he had written for the national anthem of the newly proclaimed Central African Republic. This way Herbert Pepper was able to combine solemnity due to a national anthem along with local music, the result being that he composed a beautiful national anthem. Because of this experience he was also asked to write the music for the National Anthem of Sénégal a country where he also stayed in for several years.

OMISSION The sheet music does not give the year of death of the composer which was in 2001.

CHILE : Chile National Anthem
Chilian National Anthem
National Anthem of Chile
Canción Nacional de Chile

In 1847, a new Peace Treaty was signed between Chile and Spain, and at this time EUSEBIO LILLO (1826-1910), a journalist and well-known poet, was commissioned to write a new National Anthem with more restrained sentiments in regard to the old mother country. The music of the National Anthem is by RAMÓN CARNICER (1789-1855). It was written in 1828, the Spanish composer never set foot on Chilean soil. The tune is of course likewise introduced by a noisy prelude which, together with the militant vigour of the National Anthem itself, represents a fine specimen of South American musical nationalism. Subsequent modifications were made to the National Anthem by Fabio Petris in 1907 and by Enrique Soro in 1909, and it was recognised officially as the National Anthem on June 27 1941.

Bar 54 (1st note) in the vocal line should be: E (not C) - this will be corrected as soon as possible

CHINA (People's Republic) : China (People's Republic) National Anthem
Chinese (People's Republic) National Anthem
National Anthem of the People's Republic of China
March of the Volunteers

The National Anthem of the People's Republic of China is 'The March of the Volunteers'. It was first composed in 1935. On June 15 1949, the Preparatory Committee for the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference decided to solicit songs suitable for China's National Anthem and on July 18 1949 it inserted notices in the newspapers to this effect. On September 27 1949, the Preparatory Committee passed a resolution that until such time as a National Anthem was officially chosen 'The March of the Volunteers' would serve as a temporary National Anthem.

During the 'cultural revolution' there was a period when 'The East Is Red' was used as a substitute National Anthem. Later, the earlier National Anthem was restored, though according to a resolution passed by the People's Congress in 1978, its lyrics were changed. In 1982, the Fifth Session of the Fifth National People's Congress resolved to restore the original 1935 version of 'The March of the Volunteers' as the official National Anthem. It was written by the lyricist TIAN HAN (1898-1968). In his youth he studied in Japan, returning to China in 1921. He was an active dramatist and poet, and wrote more than one hundred plays and other dramatic works.

The composer was NIE ER (1912-1935). He fell in love with music at an early age and mastered numerous folk instruments. He went to Shanghai in 1930, and the following year joined the Mingyue Song and Dance Troupe as a violinist. In 1935, shortly after composing 'The March of the Volunteers', he embarked on a trip to the Soviet Union via Japan. During his stopover in Japan, he drowned while swimming.

1935 was a time of grave national peril, and as soon as the song appeared it was rapidly transmitted to every part of the country. 'The March of the Volunteers' expresses the Chinese people's desire to resist foreign aggression and strengthen their nation; it conveys as well their revolutionary spirit, their staunchness in the face of violence and their willingness to lay down their lives for freedom and 1iberation.

COLOMBIA : Colombia National Anthem
Colombian National Anthem
National Anthem of Colombia
Oh! Gloria inmarcesible

The music of the National Anthem of Colombia was composed by the Italian tenor ORESTE SINDICI (1837-1904), who had arrived in Bogotá with an Italian opera company and for some reason decided to stay on. His remains rest in the cemetery in Bogotá.

The words of the National Anthem are by RAFAEL NÚÑEZ (1825-1894), the great statesman who served his country as President for no less than four terms. The Italian inspiration of the music is quite apparent. There is a triumphant prelude followed by the tune.

COSTA RICA : Costa Rica National Anthem
Costa Rican National Anthem
National Anthem of Costa Rica
Himno Nacional

When in 1853 the plenipotentiaries of Great Britain and the United States arrived in San José, the capital of Costa Rica, the President of the Republic decided that the two gentlemen should be welcomed to the strains of the National Anthem. The trouble was that Costa Rica had no National Anthem. To remove this slight obstacle, MANUEL MARÍA GUTIÉRREZ (1829-1887), who enjoyed the reputation of being his country's foremost practicing musician, was ordered to compose one. The poor devil insisted that he knew nothing about the art of musical composition. But that did him no good. He was thrown into prison and promised that he would not be released until he had produced a usable piece of music. The resulting composition was first performed in the National Assembly of San José on June 11 1853.

The story may be apocryphal, for there are sources which give the date of the National Anthem as 1821. However that be, with its text by JOSÉ MARÍA ZELEDÓN BRENES (1877-1949) (officially adopted in 1900 as the result of a public contest), the National Anthem of Costa Rica is a very respectable composition. It is somewhat conventional and suggests vaguely the style of contemporary German glee club arrangements.

Bar 44 (4th note) in the vocal line should be: G (not B) - this will be corrected as soon as possible

CUBA : Cuba National Anthem
Cuban National Anthem
National Anthem of Cuba
La Bayamesa

In keeping with its first line, the National Anthem is also known as the 'Himno de Bayamo'. The author and composer is PEDRO FIGUEREDO (1819-1870). He played a distinguished part in the movement of the Cuban patriots against the Spanish oppressors and commanded the revolutionary forces in the Battle of Bayamo in October 1868. When in the course of this operation the village of Guanabacoa was stormed, he felt the inspiration to write both the words and the tune of the National Anthem. In 1870, he was taken prisoner by the Spaniards, condemned to death and executed.

CZECH REPUBLIC : Czech Republic National Anthem
National Anthem of the Czech Republic
Kde domov můj?

The official National Anthem of the Czechs is the melodious song' 'Kde domov můj' ('Where is my home'), the Czech National Anthem was originally an operatic melody. Its first performance occurred on December 21 1834, as part of the operetta 'Fidlovačka' ('Shoemakers' Fair'). The librettist was the reputed Czech poet JOSEF KAJETÁN TYL (1808-1856); the composer FRANTIŠEK JAN ŠKROUP (1801-1862). Both men are representatives of the Czech national renaissance, the reawakening of the soul of the Czech people. Štroup was a noteworthy composer who held the position of conductor at the national Theatre in Prague. In its lyrical mellowness, its romantic dulcitude, the song is a perfect expression of the peaceful and somewhat sentimental qualities of the Czech people. In 1919, it became the authentic National Anthem of the Czechs.

ECUADOR : Ecuador National Anthem
Ecuadoran National Anthem
National Anthem of Ecuador
Salve, Oh Patria!

The composer of the National Anthem of Ecuador was ANTONIO NEUMANE (1818-1871) born of German parents in Quito, where he also died. He was also the first Director of the National Conservatory in Quito which was established in 1870.

The author of the text was JUAN LEÓN MERA (1832-1894), a scholar and journalist. In his later years he was the President of the Senate of Ecuador. The National Anthem had been in use for a considerable length of time before it was officially recognized in 1886 by a Government decree.

The introduction to this National Anthem of marchlike rhythm is written in the grandiloquent style one is apt to associate with romantic piano sonatas. The tune is replete with dash and ardour and admits no doubt in regard to the German background of the composer.

EL SALVADOR : El Salvador National Anthem
El Salvadoran National Anthem
National Anthem of El Salvador
Saludemos La Patria Orgullosos

The National Anthem of El Salvador has a text written by JUAN JOSÉ CAÑAS (1826-1918).

It was composed by one JUAN ABERLE (1846-1930) whose German name squares poorly with the claim that he hailed from Italy. He settled in El Salvador and became the teacher of a whole generation of musicians of his new country as also of Guatemala. The Government of Guatemala had a gold medal struck for him with the inscription, 'To the Prince of Central American Music'.

The beginning of the music is marked by a solemn flourish of trumpets which recurs throughout this marchlike composition. The trio is a striking reminiscence of the 'Coronation March' in Meyerbeer's opera 'Le Prophète'.

FINLAND : Finland National Anthem
Finnish National Anthem
National Anthem of Finland

The Finnish National Anthem, 'Maamme' ('Our Land'), was sung for the first time at a students' gathering on May 13 1848. The text, first published the previous year, was by Finland's national poet,
JOHAN LUDVIG RUNEBERG (1804-1877), all of whose works - including the National Anthem - were first written in Swedish and subsequently translated into Finnish.

The melody is considerably more than an amateur's lucky hit. It is the work of the Finnish violinist and composer of operas and songs, FREDRIK PACIUS (1809-1891), who was born in Hamburg, Germany, but lived most of his life at Helsinki where he died. He became the founder of the Finnish National School of Music (1852) and is considered the father of Finnish opera. His National Anthem - without shift of key -is simple, forceful and melodious. It has a certain distinctive boldness which makes it sound angular and massive.

FRANCE : France National Anthem
French National Anthem
National Anthem of France
La Marseillaise

'La marseillaise' was written in a mood of excitement by the poet, dramatist, singer and violinist
CLAUD-JOSEPH ROUGET de L'ISLE (1760-1836) in a single night in April 1792, as a marching song for Marshall Lukner's army of the Rhine. It was first sung by Mayor Dietrich of Strasbourg at his home and was performed a few days later by the band of the Garde Nationale. Its popularity throughout France became assured when it was taken up by a battalion of volunteers from Marseilles, who sang it as they entered Paris in July the same year, it thereafter became known as 'La marseillaise'.

An attempt was made during the Second Empire to replace the National Anthem with another of a less 'revolutionary' character, but after the fall of Emperor Napoleon III 'La marseillaise' was immediately reinstated.

GERMANY : Germany National Anthem
German National Anthem
National Anthem of Germany
Das Lied Der Deutschen

The music composed in 1797 by FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809) was written as the National Anthem of Austria, and it was used in that country until the beginning of World War II. On August 11 1922, it was officially adopted by Germany with the poem beginning 'Deutschland, Deutschland über alles' by AUGUST HEINRICH HOFFMANN von FALLERSLEBEN (1798-1874), and from 1933 to 1945 this was sung in conjunction with the Nazi Party song, the 'Horst-Wessel-Lied'.

In 1952, the Federal Republic replaced the first verse of von Fallersleben's poem by the third verse.

GREECE : Greece National Anthem
Greek National Anthem
National Anthem of Greece
Imnos Eis Tin Eleftherian

Greece may claim to have the longest National Anthem in the world. It has no fewer than one hundred and fifty-eight stanzas of four lines each. The poet of the Greek National Anthem, DIONYSIOS SOLOMÓS (1798-1857), was born on the island of Zante and died in Corfu. Written in 1823, he sang the heroic deeds of the Greek fighters for freedom.

King George I declared the poem Greece's National Anthem. For this purpose it was naturally shortened. The composer was NICOLAOS MANZAROS (1795-1873). He had studied in Italy and earned the first successes of his career there. If one did not know about this, it certainly could be inferred from his 'Hymn to Freedom' of 1828 which shows no Hellenic characteristics but is pronouncedly Italian.

The Greeks were not quite certain that their National Anthem was musically adequate. So, at the suggestion of King Otto, it was submitted to musical experts in Bavaria. When no veto was forthcoming, a special edict bestowed official standing upon the National Anthem in 1864.

Montage of Six Kings of Greece

GUATEMALA : Guatemala National Anthem
Guatemalan National Anthem
National Anthem of Guatemala

It was not until 1896 that the government of Guatemala decided that the country needed a national anthem. A competition was announced to award the best author and best composer.

The winning composer of the music was RAFAEL ALVAREZ OVALLE (1860-1948). However the author of the lyrics was submitted anonymously, but in 1911 it was discovered that it was the Cuban JOSÉ JOAQUÍN PALMA (1844-1911).

On March 14 1897, the winning entry received its first performance at the Colon Theatre as one of the main events of the Central American Exposition.

In 1934, the lyrics were modified by José Maria Bonilla Ruano.

There are four verses each with a different chorus at the end of each verse. The entire words are officially sung in Guatemala.

HAITI : Haiti National Anthem
Haitian National Anthem
National Anthem of Haiti
La Dessalinienne

In contrast to almost all the other South American National Anthems, that of Haiti - though typically South American - shares certain characteristics -especially its comparitive brevity - with the National Anthems of European countries. Its name is 'La Dessalinienne' after Jean Jacques Dessalines (1758-1806), the liberator of this Negro Republic which forms the Western part of the island of Santo Domingo. Dessalines defeated the French under Rochambeau and on January 1 1804, he issued a Haitian declaration of independence assuming for himself the title of Emperor of Haiti.

The National Anthem was written in 1903 in connection with the country's centennial celebration. The words are by JUSTIN LHÉRISSON (1873-1907), the music by NICOLAS GEFFRARD (1871-1930). Haiti is the only Latin-American republic with French as its official language. 'La Dessalinienne' was sung for the first time on November 29 1903, at the Petit Théatre Sylvain in Port-au-Prince in commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the occupation of Gonaïves.

If anyone requires the Creole words then please send an e-mail to me.

HONDURAS : Honduras National Anthem
Honduran National Anthem
National Anthem of Honduras
Tu bandera es un lampa de cielo

It was selected as the most suitable entry in a public competition. The text is by AUGUSTO CONSTANCIO COELLO (1883-1941). The composer was CARLOS HARTLING (1869-1920), an ardent Honduran patriot of German descent. He organized the first symphony orchestra in Central America and a number of military bands in the larger communities of his country.

The National Anthem is characteristically South American, but the German background of its composer cannot be concealed.

The text is an interesting description and interpretation of the national flag.

HUNGARY : Hungary National Anthem
Hungarian National Anthem
National Anthem of Hungary

In 1842, a public contest was organized for a National Anthem. The prize went to FERENC ERKEL (1810-1893), the distinguished Hungarian composer. He is considered the creator of the Hungarian national opera and of national Hungarian music. He was the Director of the Hungarian Academy of Music and organized the philharmonic concerts in Budapest.

Erkel's National Anthem is typically 'Hungarian' with characteristic features of Hungarian popular music (as the nineteenth century saw it), skilfully employed. In contrast to many other National Anthems, Erkel's work can withstand the strictest critical scrutiny. It is both fiery and chivalrous. A certain rhetorical element does not prevent it from being strictly logical in structure.

Words by FERENC KÖLCSEY (1790-1838). About the origin of Kolcsey's poem, a note in a published edition gives the information, 'from the tempestuous era of the Hungarian people, Czeke, January 22 1823'. Other authorities trace it back to 1817.

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

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.

INDIA : India National Anthem
Indian National Anthem
National Anthem of India

The National Anthem of India is the work of the great poet and philosopher RABINDRANATH TAGORE (1861-1941) and was written orginally in Bengali. It was first sung on December 27 1911 at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress. It was published in 1912, and was for years associated with India's struggle towards independence. He wrote not only the words but also the melody and provided furthermore an English adaption. The melody has little to do with the 'Ragas' of the Hindus. It was sung at the historical midnight session of the Constituent Assembly on August 14 1947 and adopted in its Hindi version by the Constituent Assembly as the National Anthem on January 24 1950. It was awarded as the most beautiful National Anthem in the world.

INDONESIA : Indonesia National Anthem
Indonesian National Anthem
National Anthem of Indonesia
Indonesia Raya

Indonesia's National Anthem 'Indonesia Raya' ('Indonesia The Great') was composed in 1928 during the Dutch colonial period, at a time when the Dutch rulers in Indonesia carried out a divide and rule policy which stressed linguistic, ethnic, cultural and religious differences amongst the Indonesian people.

The birth of 'Indonesia Raya' was closely related to the awakening of Indonesia's nationalist movements. The song was first introduced by its author and composer, WAGE RUDOLF SOEPRATMAN (1903-1938) at the Second All Indonesia Youth Congress held on October 28 1928, at the time when Indonesia's youth originating from different ethnic, linguistic, religious and cultural denominations enthusiastically pledged: 1. having one native country, Indonesia, 2. belonging to one nation, the Indonesian Nation and
3. having one language of unity, the Indonesian language.

The then National Song, introduced to this youth congress, stressing the call for unity among Indonesians, soon became popular. It was sung at Indonesian political rallies where participants stood up in solemn adherence. The song had really implanted Indonesia's national consciousness among the population all over the archipelago. It became the National Anthem in 1949.

IRISH REPUBLIC : Irish Republic National Anthem
National Anthem of the Irish Republic
Amhran na bhFiann

The National Anthem of the Irish Republic is 'The Soldiers Song'. It was officially adopted in July 1926. The text is by PEADAR KEARNEY (1883-1942), the music is by PATRICK HEENEY (1881-1911). The exact date of the composition cannot be ascertained. The words were written late in 1909 or early in 1910 and apparently first published in 1912 in 'Irish Freedom', a monthly expressing the view of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. The music of the National Anthem was composed not later than July 1911, when Patrick Heeney died.

Only the chorus belonging to the song constitutes the official National Anthem; however if anyone requires the full song (three verses and chorus) then please send an e-mail to me.

ISRAEL : Israel National Anthem
Israeli National Anthem
National Anthem of Israel

Israel has a National Anthem whose goal and purpose it is to serve the renaissance of the Jewish people, the strengthening of its national reawakening, and the development of the Promised Land.

This National Anthem, the 'Hatikvah' ('Hope'), is not merely used by the Jews of Israel. It unites all ethnically determined Jews throughout the world and was actually adopted as the Zionist Anthem as long ago as 1897, the year of the first international Zionist Congress at Basel, Switzerland. The text was written by the itinerant Hebrew scholar and poet, NAFTALI HERZ IMBER (1856-1909). It was first published in the collection 'Barkai' ('Morning Star') which appeared in 1886 in Jerusalem where Imber lived at the time.

Its notation is ascribed to SHMUEL COHEN (1870-1940) pioneer settler of Rishon Le-Zion in Israel, who was born in Besarabia (bordering Romania). He came to Rishon-Le-Zion in 1886-1887, married and had one daughter, Eda, who died in Haifa and had no children. Shmuel Cohen was a farmer growing grapes for wine, he failed economically and left Rishon Le-Zion but later returned and was buried there. Shmuel Cohen was gifted musically and played the violin. However, aside from his connection with 'Hatikva', it is not known that he wrote music. Naftali Herz Imber's poem 'Tikvatenu' reached Cohen, either in Rishon Le-Zion after Imber's stay here, or after his brother sent Imber's book of poems 'Barkai' to him while still in Europe. Since there were no, or very few, Hebrew songs at that time, and since the children of Rishon Le-Zion studied in the First Hebrew school and kindergarten in the world, a need for Hebrew songs became apparent. Shmuel Cohen, familiar with a Romanian/Moldavian folksong from his homeland, called 'Carul cu boi', joined the words of 'Tikvatenu' to this melody. The first stanza and refrain (which the Hebrew teachers in Rishon Le-Zion altered with Imber's approval) became a Hebrew children's song called 'Hatikva'. The song soon became known throughout the country (the workers from Rishon Le-Zion would sing it on their way to work in the fields of Rehovot nearby) and was also sung spontaneously at official ceremonies (the Zionist Congresses) and quickly became familiar all over the world.

The book 'The Music of Israel' (1949) states that Shmuel Cohen had borrowed the tune from a cantorial composition by the famous Cantor Nissan Belzer. In any event, it does represent a type which has been familiar in Spanish folk singing for centuries. Pendrell, the well-known Spanish folklore expert quotes a very similar tune under the title of 'Virgen de la Cueva' ('Virgin of the Cave'). It would seem that the Sephardic Jews knew it in Spain and took it along with them to the near east. It is interesting to note that the same tune can be found among the Poles ('Pod Krakovem') , the Basques, and even the Netherlanders.

ITALY : Italy National Anthem
Italian National Anthem
National Anthem of Italy
Inno di Mameli

When the Italian Republic emerged from the turmoil following the Second World War, it had no official National Anthem. Unofficially the 'Inno di Mameli' came to be used. It gets its name from the author of the text, the poet and patriot GOFFREDO MAMELI (1827-1849).

It proceeds in a vein of fairly aggressive patriotism which claims that God created victory as a servant of the fatherland. Mameli wrote this battle hymn in November 1847. In 1848, he served as a volunteer under Garibaldi in Lombardy and in 1849 became Chief of Staff of the Roman Republic. The 'Fratelli d'Italia' was set to music almost immediately by MICHELE NOVARO (1822-1885), and throughout Italy it helped awaken interest in the growing revolutionary movement.

The march has a forceful introduction, marked andant maestoso, in triplet rhythms which are carried throughout the entire first section in the accompaniment. The vocal line itself has an energetic motive of dotted eighths evidently intended to symbolize the marching Italians. The same motive is carried through the middle section of the National Anthem, which modulates to the subdominant, after which it returns to the main key.

JAPAN : Japan National Anthem
Japanese National Anthem
National Anthem of Japan

'Kimigayo', the title of the National Anthem of Japan, means 'The Reign of Our Emperor'.

The words of anonymous authorship have been taken from the seventh volume of 'Kokinshu' dating from the 9th century.

In 1860, John William Fenton, the Englishman who was the first bandmaster of the Japanese Army, composed a melody for 'Kimigayo'. This was used until 1881 when a committee was appointed to select a more suitable melody. The composition submitted by OKU YOSHIISA (1858-1933), a Court musician, was finally selected. It had been composed primarily for traditional Japanese instruments and it was found necessary to harmonize this piece according to the Western musical scale. Franz Eckert (1852-1916), a German bandmaster and successor to Fenton, harmonized the melody to the Gregorian scale which was the basis of medieval Church music. Thus, the stately harmony has an almost religious solemnity. This version was played at Court for the first time on the Emperor Meiji 's birthday on November 3 1880.

'Kimigayo' was officially adopted as Japan's National Anthem on August 9 1999.

ERRATUM The sheet music does not give the correct name of the composer of the music.

KOREA (South) : Korea (South) National Anthem
Korean (South) National Anthem
National Anthem of South Korea

It is generally believed that the words of the National Anthem of the Republic of South Korea, were written towards the end of the 19th century by either YUN CH'I-HO (1865-1946), a politician, or by AN CH'ANG-HO (1878-1938), an independence leader and educator.

The composer of the music of the National Anthem was AHN EAKTAY (1905-1965). He was born in Pyongyang, now the capital of North Korea. He first studied music at a conservatory in Japan, majoring in the cello. In 1930, he went to the United States to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and later at the music department of Cincinnati Bible Seminary. Eaktay entered the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest in 1936. In 1937, he studied under the tutelage of Richard Strauss in Vienna and composed the music of the National Anthem. In that year, he became the permanent conductor of the Mallorca Orchestra in Madrid. Thereafter, he served also as guest conductor for more than 200 orchestras around the world and composed many works.

During Japanese colonial rule (1910-1945), the use of the National Anthem was banned but overseas Koreans continued to sing it to express a yearning for national independence. Eaktay's composition was officially adopted by the Provisional Korean Government (1919-1945) in Shanghai, China. It was later sung at a ceremony celebrating the founding of the Republic of Korea Government on August 15 1948, following national liberation in 1945. Thus, it informally became the National Anthem of the Republic of South Korea.

LATVIA : Latvia National Anthem
Latvian National Anthem
National Anthem of Latvia
Dievs, Sreti Latviju!

The author and composer of the National Anthem of Latvia 'Dievs, sveti Latviju!' ('God bless Latvia!') was Baumanis Karlis (1835-1905). The anthem first appeared in the second half of the 19th century when the Latvian people were beginning to openly exhibit a strong sense of national pride and identity. It was first performed publicly in June 1873 at the First Song Festival in Riga. Although most Latvians did not dare to dream of a sovereign state totally independent of the Tsarist Russian Empire, the song served as a powerful catalyst for the emerging national consciousness. It was first sung as a National Anthem on November 18 1918 at the proclamation of Latvia's independence and on June 07 1920 was officially proclaimed the National Anthem of the Republic of Latvia.

LEBANON : Lebanon National Anthem
Lebanese National Anthem
National Anthem of Lebanon

The National Anthem of Lebanon is a regular strophic song of three stanzas. The words were written in Arabic by Lebanon's noted poet, RACHID NAKHL (1873-1939).

The musical setting is the work of WADIH SABRA (1876-1952), who was Director of the Lebanese Conservatory of Music. It was the winning entry in a contest sponsored by the Lebanese Parliament. It should be performed at a quick tempo in keeping with its tenor of military severity. The spirit it breathes is rather that of the French mandate than of Arab nationalism.

The National Anthem was adopted officially by a Presidential decree of July 12 1927.

LIBERIA : Liberia National Anthem
Liberian National Anthem
National Anthem of Liberia
All Hail, Liberia Hail!

The Republic of Liberia was founded in 1821 as a home for emancipated slaves from North America and thus got its name which is a somewhat unorthodox derivative from Latin 'liber' ('free'). Its capital, Monrovia, was named after President Monroe of the United States.

The text is by DANIEL BASHIEL WARNER (1815-1880) - third President of Liberia (1864-1868).

The music is by OLMSTEAD LUCA (1826-1869), the tune cannot suggest Negro music in any way. There is no trace of Afro-American or straight African influence. The marchlike beginning is much rather suggestive of a German student song. The trio recalls Viennese beergarden music and old-fashioned military marches. Towards the end there is even a dash of Mozart from 'The Magic Flute'.

MALAYSIA : Malaysia National Anthem
Malaysian National Anthem
National Anthem of Malaysia
Negara ku

It was not until 1956 that anything concrete was done about the choice of a National Anthem for the then Federation of Malaya. Up to that time, each of the eleven States that made up the Federation had their own State Anthems but there was no single National Anthem or patriotic song of any sort for the whole country. In the year, with independence just around the corner, TUNGKU ABDUL RAHMAN (1903-1990), then Chief Minister and Minister for Home Affairs set up a Committee for the purpose of choosing a National Anthem suitable for Malaya. On his suggestion, a worldwide competition was launched and 514 entries from all over the world were received.

After going through the entries, the Committee felt that none of the entries were suitable and it was then decided to invite selected composers of international repute to submit compositions for consideration by the panel. The composers' chosen were Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), Sir William Walton (1902-1983), Carlo Menotti (b.1911) and Zubir Said (1907-1987) (who later composed the National Anthem of Singapore). Although the compositions submitted were of a high standard, they were still not considered suitable as the National Anthem.

The Committee then decided to hear the State Anthems to find out if any of them might be suitable. The final selection was made on August 5 1957 and an adaptation of the Perak State Anthem was selected on account of the traditional flavour of its melody. The lyrics for the National Anthem were written jointly by the Panel of Judges with the Tengku himself playing the leading part. Up to the time of the choice of this melody as the National Anthem of the country, it was, while still the State Anthem of Perak, also a well-known and popular Malay song under the title, 'Terang Bulan' ('Bright Moon'). The song was very popular on the island of Mahé in the Seychelles where the Sultan of Perak, was living in exile. It was played by a French band, which gave public concerts on the island. It is believed that this melody was composed by a Frenchman, PIERRE JEAN de BERANGER (1780-1857), who was born and died in Paris. The tune was later introduced into an Indonesian Bangsawan (Opera), which was performing in Singapore. In no time at all, the melody became extremely popular and was given the name 'Terang Bulan'. Side by side with its dignity and prestige as the Perak State Anthem, the tune became a Malayan 'evergreen', playing at parties, in cabarets and sung by almost everybody. Many Malaysians who grew up in the 1920's and 1930's have fond memories of this tune. Today, of course, since independence, it is not played as a popular melody.

'Terang Bulan' was a love song. The 'Negara ku' ('My Country') is also a love song - a song of the love of the people for their country, a song depicting the charm and the peacefulness, the gaiety and the tolerance of the people of Malaysia.

In 1993, the Malaysian Government approved the re-arrangement of the tempo of the National Anthem into a "fast march" tempo (from 96 beats per minute to 126). In accordance with the National Anthem Act, 1968, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong gave his consent to the change on August 20 1993 and the new version was played for the first time during the National Day celebrations on August 31 1993.

History of the Malaysian State Anthems

MEXICO : Mexico National Anthem
Mexican National Anthem
National Anthem of Mexico
Mexicanos, al grito de guerra

In December 1853, General Santa Anna offered a prize for the best patriotic poem. Twenty-six were submitted to the adjudicators and the winning version was that by FRANCISCO GONZÁLEZ BOCANEGRA (1824-1861) which contained ten verses. The General then followed this up in February 1854, with an offer of a prize to the musician who sent in the best setting to this poem. Sixteen musicians sent in their efforts, and the prize of five hundred dollars was awarded to the Spaniard JAIME NUNÓ ROCA (1824-1908), who at the time was conductor of the National Music Band.

He was born in Gerona, Catalonia, and left Mexico shortly after the success of his National Anthem entry and settled down in Buffalo, in the United States. In 1901, Roca visited Mexico, was given a national reception, and received a chaplet of gold, a silver medal, and a purse of money. In October 1942, his mortal remains were taken back to Mexico City where they were laid to rest in great state in the Hall of Heroes which houses also the body of Bocanegra. The National Anthem had its première on September 16 1854 in Mexico City at the Teatro de Santa-Anna which later became known as the National Theatre.

No doubt, the Mexican National Anthem does have a dash and vigour all its own. Its march rhythms are contagious and the modulation to E flat major brings out a particularly solemn quality.

ERRATUM The sheet music does not give the correct name of the composer of the music JAIME NUNÓ ROCO (1824-1908).

MONACO : Monaco National Anthem
Monégasque National Anthem
National Anthem of Monaco
Le Marche de Monaco

The music composed by CHARLES ALBRECHT (1817-1895) is based on a folksong, to words by THÉOPHILE BELLANDO (1820-1903) which was used as a marching song by the Guarde Nationale, in which Bellando served as a captain. It was first performed as a National Anthem in December 1867 to greet the arrival in the port of Monaco of Prince Albert I.

NB. The words are separate from the musical notation

NETHERLANDS, THE : Netherlands National Anthem (The Netherlands National Anthem)
Dutch National Anthem
National Anthem of The Netherlands

The Dutch National Anthem 'Wilhelmus' is the oldest authentically of all National Anthems (compared with the uncertain age of the National Anthem of the United Kingdom). It stems from the era of Dutch heroism, of the Dutch people's struggle against Spanish oppressors for freedom in politics and religion and is a folksong in the truest sense of the term.

The words were written in about 1568, possibly by the poet and diplomat PHILIP van MARNIX of ST.ALDEGONDE (1540-1598), the faithful friend and ardent supporter of Prince Willem I of Orange-Nassau. In 1568, Prince Willem, who had fled The Netherlands the previous year together with thousands of his compatriots who were opposed to Spanish rule, attempted to free his country from tyranny and religious persecution, but his three invasions were completely without success. In 'Wilhelmus' the poet depicts the Prince addressing the oppressed people of The Netherlands in this terrible and dramatic situation.

The music of 'Wilhelmus' is based on a melody, which was popular in France around 1568, alternating between four/four and three/four time. Since 1626, 'Wilhelmus' has been included in 'Nederlandtsche Gedenck-clanck tot Haarlem', by ADRIAAN VALERIUS (1575-1625) a well-known collection of national songs.

The song is composed in the style of the sixteenth century literary societies, as can be seen from the fact that the initial letters of the fifteen verses form the name W-I-L-L-E-M V-A-N N-A-S-S-O-V; however, its sober language and the deep feelings which inspired it make 'Wilhelmus' far superior to the fashionable works of that period. The general tenor is not one of confidence in victory but rather of resignation and at best of hope for comfort and redress in the life hereafter.

When the National Anthem is actually sung, the usual practice is to take only the first and sixth verses. In the first, Prince Willem professes that he will remain true to his country unto death, while in the sixth he prays to God for strength to rid the land of tyranny. Especially in periods of oppression these verses have held a strong appeal for the people of The Netherlands.

The National Anthem was officially adopted on May 10 1932.

Montage of Four Queens of the Netherlands

NEW ZEALAND : New Zealand National Anthem
National Anthem of New Zealand
God Defend New Zealand

'God Defend New Zealand' is sung on all special occasions. The text was written by THOMAS BRACKEN (1843-1898). He was born in Ireland, but went to New Zealand early in life. There he engaged primarily in newspaper work, although for a time he was a Member of Parliament. He wrote the words of 'God Defend New Zealand' in 1878. The original edition was published with both English and Maori texts.

The 'Saturday Advertiser' offered a prize for the best musical setting of it. The winning entry was by
JOHN JOSEPH WOODS (1849-1934), an Australian, who was teaching at the time in New Zealand. It was a very simple marching song with a choral refrain.

It was officially adopted in 1977.

NICARAGUA : Nicaragua National Anthem
Nicaraguan National Anthem
National Anthem of Nicaragua
Salve a ti, Nicaragua

The first National Anthem of Nicaragua was a religious piece of music without words and was used to honour the President of the Assembly and Federal Court. Described as an anonymous psalm - a kind of liturgical chant brought to Nicaragua in 1821 by a monk called Anselmo Castinove (believed to have been born in Toledo, Spain). Between 1835-1837 it was adopted as the official National Anthem. According to findings made by Gilbert Vega Miranda in the Guatemalan colonial archives, another composer was believed to have been the Jesuit Father Gómez. It was in use until 1876, when the National Anthem was changed. The National Anthem was again changed in 1893. When the Conservative Revolution took place in 1910, the new government decided to bring back the original religious hymn which had been composed in Guatemala by Father Gómez. But since the written music could not be found in the archives, the old people were asked to reconstruct the National Anthem and the Professor of the National Institute, Marco Antonio Ortega, was commissioned to write the 'emergency' words for it. This hymn was immediately accepted as the official National Anthem.

The well-known composer of the Milan Conservatory LUID ABRAHAM DELGADILLO (1887-1961) who was born in Managua, was asked to add the instrumentation so it could be played by a band. But the people wanted a stable National Anthem, and in 1918 under President Emiliano Chamorro there was a contest to put new words to the National Anthem; the only rules were that there should be: 1. Two verses about peace and work, 2. Peace and work should be the only topics, and 3. The words should fit the music. The winner was the Nicaraguan poet, SALOMÓN IBARRA MAYORGA (1890-1985). The author moved to Honduras in 1972 after the massive earthquake which devastated Managua. The music isn't exactly the same as the old hymn since Delgadillo gave it a new and majestic form; so he can be considered the composer.

The National Anthem was officially adopted in 1939 by a government decree.

NORWAY : Norway National Anthem
Norwegian National Anthem
National Anthem of Norway
Ja, vi elsker

The original version of 'Ja, vi elsker' ("Yes, we love') was written by BJØRNSTJERNE BJØRNSON (1832-1910) in 1859. 'Ja, vi elsker' is in content essentially historical, though there is also some description of the Norwegian landscape, it is also coloured by Bjørnson's great eloquence, his marvellous faculty for rousing the enthusiasm of the masses with a few striking words. He wrote it when he was beginning to embark on that career as a public speaker for which he is renowned in Norwegian history. Typical of Bjørnson too is his daring to begin a poem with the little, everyday word 'Ja' ('Yes'). 'Ja, vi elsker' did not acquire its final form till 1863 (the few alterations made in 1869 are quite unimportant). In this 1863 version one stanza was deleted and three new ones were added. The last of these new stanzas begins with a repetition of the first four lines of the magnificent opening stanzas of the poem, then continues, in four new lines, with a powerful forward looking pledge to follow the example of those forebears who fought victoriously for Norway in times of distress (the English translation does not render the meaning of the original accurately on this point). Thus Bjørnson has combined in one song devotion and enthusiasm, modesty and strength. Bjørnson put it this way: 'Our National Anthem is that of a small, peace-loving nation, but if it is sung in the hour of danger, determination clad in armour speaks from every line".

'Ja, vi elsker' became Norway's National Anthem on May 17 1864, the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution which the people of Norway gave to themselves. It was sung for the first time on that day at Eidsvoll; Bjørnson was a guest at the solemn ceremony along with the Norwegian Government and Parliament. In its fullest form 'Ja, vi elsker' consists of eight verses. When the National Anthem is actually sung, the usual practice is to take only the first and last two verses of the poem.

'Ja, vi elsker' certainly owes much of its popularity to the tune composed by the young Norwegian composer RIKARD NORDRAAK (1842-1866) in 1863.

Nordraak and Bjørnson had much in common - they were in fact cousins - and the solemnity and gentleness of Bjørnson's poetry are admirably reflected in Nordraak's settings. Nordraak did not realise that 'Ja, vi elsker' was to be the National Anthem and so arranged it for a quartet of male voices. When Nordraak died in 1866 at the early age of twenty-four, Norway lost in him one of her most promising sons. Naturally he did not leave behind him a great body of music but he will always be remembered for his fine songs and, of course, above all for his setting of 'Ja, vi elsker'. In a speech in which he compares Nordraak's setting of his own poem with other National Anthems, Bjørnson said: "...either they make a melancholy impression or else they breathe insurrection, or, alternatively, they are pure idylls. But this National Anthem of ours is free and open as the day, it soars upwards without a threat, it shows determination unmarred by boasting". And Grieg, the man in whom we see Nordraak's work carried on, said of his friend: "...he lived and died with a firm faith in Norway's future. This faith he instils into us even today - through his national music".

The anthems for (1) Lappland (Sami), (2) Bergen and (3) Northern Norway will soon be available for download.

Montage of Three Kings of Norway

PAKISTAN : Pakistan National Anthem
Pakistani National Anthem
National Anthem of Pakistan
Quami Tarana

The composer of the National Anthem of Pakistan AHMED GHULAMALI CHAGLA (1902-1953) was born into a family which had taken to the marine and fishery business. Versatile like most artistes, he was a musician, a free-lance journalist, playwright and art critic. Early in life, he devoted himself to a serious study of music. In 1928 he qualified from Trinity College of Music in London. His experience and study of music, however were of extreme vastness. Besides classical music, he excelled in orchestral, operatic classical composing and conducting of European music. He also studied Iranian and Arabic music. He composed music for a number of Urdu, Gujarati, Sindhi and English plays. He was music director of a film company until 1933. In this capacity he composed music on eastern and western instruments for various films. He was also a widely travelled person. These travels were study tours-cum-business. After his return from abroad in 1947, he wrote a series of articles on music, art and culture of the countries he visited during his travels.

In December 1948 a committee was constituted by the government in selecting a suitable National Anthem and to make recommendations in this regard. In view, however, of the fact that a foreign head of state was to visit Pakistan, the need for a National Anthem became very pressing.

Chagla being a member of the tune subcommittee was therefore asked to produce a musical composition in consultation with another member and assisted by the band of the Pakistan Navy. He produced the tune within a fortnight and played it before the then Prime Minister along with some members. The tune was selected to be played then and later during the Prime Minister's visit to the USA. The recording of the tune was finally played by the National Anthem Committee on August 10 1950, and approved.

The music was officially accepted in December 1953 and the words by another member of the National Anthem Committee ABU-AL-ASAR HAFEEZ JULLANDHURI (1900-1982) officially accepted in August 1954.

PANAMA : Panama National Anthem
Panamanian National Anthem
National Anthem of Panama
Himno Istemño

The National Anthem of Panama was originally a school song which the composer SANTOS JORGEA (1870-1941) arranged for its new functions. Jorea was a native of Spain. He went to Panama City in 1889 and stayed there to the time of his death. He composed the 'Himno Istmeno' ('Isthmus Hymn') which was declared the country's official National Anthem in 1903 after the separation of Panama from Colombia.

The text of the National Anthem is by JERONIMO de la OSSA (1847-1907).

It is expressive of patriotic fervour and shares with other South American National Anthems the division in solo and chorus.

It was provisionally adopted by the country's National Assembly in 1906 and became the official National Anthem in 1925.

PARAGUAY : Paraguay National Anthem
Paraguayan National Anthem
National Anthem of Paraguay
Paraguayos, República o muerte

The National Anthem of Paraguay is variously ascribed to the composers FRANCISCO JOSÉ DEBALI (1791-1859) or FRANCÉS DUPUY (1813-1861) or LOUIS CAVEDAGNI (year of birth unknown but arrived in Paraguay in 1874 and died in 1916). Debali composed the music for the Uruguayan National Anthem. The text is by FRANCISCO ESTEBAN ACUÑA de FIGUERO (1791-1862) - in addition to the Paraguayan National Anthem he wrote the text of the National Anthem of Uruguay.

The first part of the Paraguayan National Anthem, the solo, is solemn and dignified. The second part, the chorus, is rather in the nature of Spanish folklore and exhibits a dancelike quality.

The official edition published mentions only the transcription of Remberto Giménez.

PERU : Peru National Anthem
Peruvian National Anthem
National Anthem of Peru
Marcha Nacional

The National Anthem of Peru is by JOSÉ BERNARDO ALZEDO (1788-1878). He wrote a number of sentimental and patriotic songs and also the first Peruvian theory of music under the title of 'Filosofia Elemental de Musica'. He founded Lima's Music Conservatory. The words of the National Anthem are by the poet and patriot JOSÉ de la TORRE UGARTE (1786-1831). It won the prize in a public competition in 1821 and first sung at the Teatro Segura, Lima, in September 1821. It was revised in 1869 by Claudio Rebagliati and in this version declared unalterable by the Peruvian Congress in 1924.

The suggestive power of 'La marseillaise' has influenced the Peruvian National Anthem like so many other National Anthems of South America. This is particularly evident in the eighth measure. But who would blame him? When the task is to express patriotism in music, it is hard to think of a better model.

PHILIPPINES, THE : Philippines National Anthem (The Philippines National Anthem)
Philippino National Anthem
National Anthem of The Philippines
Lupang Hinirang

The Philippines have a National Anthem which evolved from a patriotic march by the professional composer and musician JULIAN FELIPE (1861-1944). He was a skilled pianist and earned his living as a music teacher. Being a patriot, he took part in the revolutionary activities and was arrested when the revolution erupted, fortunately, he was sick so that he was set free. He joined the revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo (Filipino leader in the rebellion against Spain during the years from 1896 to 1898) and became captain of the army band. The National Anthem was composed in 1898 at the request of the General. It embodies some striking reminiscences of the old order as represented by the Spanish Royal March and again - in what came to be the C major refrain of the National Anthem - it suggests a strong influence of 'La marseillaise'. But these dependencies do not lessen the appeal of its forceful and spirited pace. Under the title of 'Marcha Nacional Filipina' ('Filipino National March'), it was performed for the first time in conjunction with the reading of the Act of Proclamation of Philippine Independence on June 12 1898.

The poem written for it is by JOSÉ PALMA (1876-1903) poet-soldier of the revolution. He studied in Manila, where he distinguished himself in literature. When the revolution broke out in August 1896, he joined the revolutionary troops. Two years later, he joined the staff of the newspaper 'La Independencia' and edited its Tagalog section. When the war for Philippine independence began in February 1899, the Tagalog section was discontinued. He returned to the army, and once more fought as a soldier. In August 1899 tiring of military life, he rejoined the staff of 'La Independencia'. In a railway depot in Bautista, Pangasinan, he wrote the patriotic poem, 'Filipinas', in order to supply the words of the National Anthem. The poem was published (in Spanish) for the first time in 'La Independencia' on September 3 1899 - later a Tagalog translation was made.

After the war, he engaged in journalistic writing to earn his living. He died at the age of 27.

POLAND : Poland National Anthem
Polish National Anthem
National Anthem of Poland
Mazurek Dabrowskiego

From generation to generation the Poles have kept their firm faith in a future rebirth of their country. The Polish National Anthem is a symbol of this faith. After the third partition of Poland, in 1795, when Prussia, Russia and Austria had swallowed up the country which had been weakened by internal troubles, the Polish patriots looked to France as the saviour in their greatest need. It was then that Polish legions were formed within the French revolutionary armies, particularly on Italian soil and through the initiative of General Dabrowski (1755-1818) who had previously made a name for himself by taking part in Kosciuszko's revolt of 1794.

The words (written between July 16 and July 19 1797) are by JÓZEF WYBICKI (1747-1822), when he was serving as a legionary in Reggio di Emilia in Italy, and the National Anthem was sung when General Dabrowski, commander of the Polish legions, entered Poznań in 1806.

The music is ascribed to MICHAL KLEOFAS OGIŃSKI (1765-1833) but this is not certain. The folk tune (from Podlasie) is typically Polish, it is a mazurka whose rhythm, is of course perfect for a march as well.

In 1927, it was authorised as its National Anthem by the new Polish republican government. A new harmonized version by Kazimierz Sikorski was declared obligatory by the Ministry of Culture and Art in 1948.

PORTUGAL : Portugal National Anthem
Portuguese National Anthem
National Anthem of Portugal
A Portugêsa

Since 1910, a patriotic song entitled 'A Portugêsa' ('The Portuguese') has been in use in Portugal. The words (written in about 1890) are by HENRIQUE LOPES de MENDONÇA (1856-1931).

The music is by ALFREDO KEIL (1850-1907), a Portuguese composer and exponent of Portuguese music, who was of German extraction and died in Hamburg after having written the first Portuguese grand opera, 'Serrana'.

ROMANIA : Romania National Anthem
Romanian National Anthem
National Anthem of Romania
Desteaptate, romane

The patriotic song of the 1848 Revolution 'Desteapta-te române!' ('Wake Up Romanians!') was adopted as Romania's National Anthem in April 1990. The lyrics belong to poet ANDREI MURESANU (1816-1863) and the music to folklorist ANTON PANN (1796-1854). It is an interesting fact that the two creators had written the poem and music independently, that for almost ten years when the poem and the melody were brought together they circulated separately, under different titles before the outbreak of the 1848 Revolution, that the song preceded the lyrics, and that the melody and the poem were brought together by psalm singer Gheorghe Ucenescu (1830-1896).

In 1850, Anton Pann published his song in the collection 'Spitalul amorului' ('Love's Hospital') in spite of the fact that the 1848 Revolution made of it a patriotic song. The lyrics had been written in 1842, the eleven stanzas being published for the first time in the June 25 1848 issue of the magazine 'Foaie pentru Minte, Inima si Literatura' of Brasov. Being excessively long only the first stanzas of 'Desteapta-te române!' used to be sung (even the present National Anthem retains only four of Andrei Muresanu's stanzas). The new 'Romanian Marsellaise' (as the 1848 revolutionaries called it) circulated throughout the territories inhabited by Romanians. Although forbidden for several decades after the Second World War, the song has been subsequently reintegrated in the Romanian patriotic repertoire.

Full of historical significance for the Romanian people, 'Desteapta-te române!' has imposed itself as the centuries-old anthem of a nation longing for freedom and social justice.

SOUTH AFRICA : South Africa National Anthem
South African National Anthem
National Anthem of South Africa
'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika/Die Stem

'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika'

The words and music of 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika' ('God Bless Africa') were composed as a hymn by ENOCH MANKAYI SONTONGA (1860-1904) in 1897 along with SAMUEL EDWARD KRUNE MQHAYI (1845-1945) who also contributed to the words. Sontonga was a teacher in one of the Methodist Mission Schools in the township of Nacefield near Johannesburg. He had a gift for sound and constantly composed pieces, words and music for the use of his pupils' entertainment. He hoped to print his collection of compositions but died before his ambition was realised. Since then various teachers and choir conductors came to borrow the manuscripts and 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika' was publicly sung for the first time in 1899. It was sung in all provinces and steadily gained recognition as the people's National Anthem. The first verse has survived as the basis of the popular National Anthem today. The ANC (African National Congress) adopted 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika' as its National Anthem in 1925, and many organisations and churches followed suit.

The song has become the National Anthem also of Tanzania and Zambia. 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika' is closely associated with and symbolises the struggle of the people for a democratic South Africa.

'Die Stem van Suid-Afrika'

After the birth of the Union of South Africa in 1910, the search started for a National Anthem with a South African idiom that could be used in either official languages - 'Die Stem van Suid-Afrika' ('The Call of South Africa') fulfilled these needs.

It was a poem written by CORNELIS JACOB LANGENHOVEN (1873-1932) on May 30 and 31 1918. Originally there were only three verses, by a request a fourth followed a few days later. A national competition was held to get the best possible music, sponsored by 'Die Burger', a Cape newspaper. In April 1919, MARTHINUS LOURENS de VILLIERS (1885-1977) made a first attempt, but it did not satisfy Langenhoven. After he had tried several others, de Villiers finally came forward with an acceptable tune in 1921. For many years the lyrics were accompanied by different melodies. This popular tune contributed greatly to the general adoption of 'Die Stem' as a National Anthem. After his retirement de Villiers made 17 journeys throughout the country, and visited many schools. When the South African Broadcasting Corporation started to close its daily broadcasts from its Cape studio with both 'God Save the King' and 'Die Stem', the general public also became familiar with it. In 1932 the 'Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurverenigings', then a new cultural organisation, announced a competition for the best lyrics and composition to be used as the official National Anthem. Fifty five poems were sent in and forty compositions. It was not surprising, therefore, that in 1936 the poem by Langenhoven and the composition by de Villiers were unanimously accepted by the selection committee of the aforementioned organisation.

In 1938, the then Prime Minister, decided that 'Die Stem' should be played at the opening of Parliament, together with 'God Save the King'. It was not till May 2 1957, however, that another Prime Minister announced in Parliament that the government had accepted 'Die Stem' as the official National Anthem of South Africa.

Official acceptance intensified the search for a suitable English translation. In 1952, a special committee, comprising eminent South Africans, finally recommended a translation made from the best parts of more than 220 translations submitted. The then Prime Minister accepted it for official use, in the same year the National Anthem was sung in English for the first time, the occasion was the Van Riebeeck Festival in Cape Town. The English version was revised in 1959.

With effect from April 27 1994, South Africa adopted two official National Anthems, 'Die Stem' and 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika'. On May 17 1995, with Cabinet approval, the National Anthems were shortened and merged into one version for ceremonial purposes. The new shortened version comprises five of South Africa's official languages; it starts with 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika' in Xhosa and Zulu (both being Nguni languages) and Sotho, and is followed by the opening lines of 'Die Stem' in Afrikaans and ends with an excerpt of 'The Call of South Africa' in English. The five languages referred to above are the only languages used.

SPAIN : Spain National Anthem
Spanish National Anthem
National Anthem of Spain
Marcha Real

The National Anthem of Spain is 'Marcha Real' ('Royal March'). Its origin is disputed. There are those who claim that it was composed by a German and that King Frederick the Great handed it in 1770 as a gift for King Carlos III to Count Aranda who had come to Berlin to study the organization of the Prussian army. By royal decree of September 3 1770, it was officially recognised as a 'March of Honour'.

According to another tradition the tune was originally French and was brought to Spain by King Philip V. It became popular under the name of 'Marcha Grenadere'. Then, under King Carlos III, the court oboist Espinosa reset it for military orchestras after the model of the type of march in vogue under King Frederick the Great. It is rather slow - about sixty paces a minute - and makes a solemn rather than a fiery impression.

It is interesting to note that in 1870 King Amadeo I invited public competition for a Spanish National Anthem. The prize he offered was considerable, but none of the 447 contestants was crowned with success, and the old royal march remained in force. It is strange that it shows no trace of Spanish folklore, but in its simplicity and especially through its somewhat archaic concluding phrases it is the musical symbol of the grandeza of the Spanish people.

In July 1942, General Franco issued a decree declaring it as the National Anthem.

There are no official words, though various writers have written verses at different times, namely EDUARDO MARQUINA (1879-1946) during King Alfonso XIII's reign and JOSÉ MARÍA PEMÁN (1897-1981) during General Franco's dictatorship.

SWEDEN : Sweden National Anthem
Swedish National Anthem
National Anthem of Sweden
Du gamla, du fria

The text of 'Du gamla, du fria' ('Thou ancient, thou freeborn'), was written by folklorist and ballad writer RICHARD DYBECK (1811-1877) and set to a folk melody which he had heard in the middle of the 19th century from the province of Västmanland. It cannot be so very old, for its modern tonality points to a period not earlier than the beginning of that century.

Around 1880-1890 it started to be sung more frequently and in the course of time it has come to be regarded as the National Anthem of Sweden.

SWITZERLAND : Switzerland National Anthem
Swiss National Anthem
National Anthem of Switzerland
Swiss Psalm

ALBERICH ZWYSSIG (1808-1854), who was a monk as well as a musician, adapted the music to the text by LEONHARD WIDMER (1808-1868) in 1841, it was originally contained in one of his Gradual settings. The anthem was printed for the first time in May 1843, and in the same year it was heard at a singing festival in Zürich. In 1961, it was adopted for a trial period of three years as the official anthem for the army and for Swiss representations abroad. In 1965, twelve of the Swiss cantons declared themselves wholeheartedly in favour of the anthem; seven cantons voted to prolong the trial period, and the other six (which included Zürich) found the anthem unsuitable. However it was finally officially adopted in 1981.

TAIWAN (Republic of China) : Taiwan (Republic of China) National Anthem
Taiwanese National Anthem
National Anthem of Taiwan (Republic of China)
San Min Chu-i

The music was composed by CHENG MAO-YUN (1900-1957) and was the winning entry out of 139 contenders in a public competition held for a party song organized by the Kuomintang in 1928, and it became the National Anthem of China when the Kuomintang came into power. The tune is simple and keeps the balance between Western melodies and the native pentatonic system without half tones.

The words were by SUN YAT-SEN (1866-1925) and were taken from a speech which this poet, philosopher and politician had addressed to the students of the Whampoa Military Academy. The opening words, "San Min Chu I," signify the three principles of the people. This is a reference to Dr. Sun's political philosophy which he had formulated as early as 1898 in terms of the three basic ideals of nationalism, democracy and socialism. Sun's revolutionary aims, from 1905 on, were consciously interpreted as the implementation of the three principles in all spheres of government and administration.

When the Chinese Nationalist Government was exiled to the island of Taiwan, it was retained and officially adopted as the National Anthem of Taiwan in 1949.

THAILAND : Thailand National Anthem
Thai National Anthem
National Anthem of Thailand

In 1934, the Government appointed a committee to select music written and arranged by talented Thai composers. Finally the music (composed in 1932) by PHRA CHEN-DURIYANG (1883-1968) won the competition. There was also a competition for the words of the National Anthem - two written by Khun Vichitmatra and Nai Chant Khamvilai respectively were selected and the official announcement of the new National Anthem was made on August 20 1934. In 1935 the National Anthem was modified to another form.

On February 5 1935 the regulations of performing the National Anthem and also the Siamese Royal Anthem of 1871 were introduced.

In 1939 the name of the country was changed from Siam to Thailand, so once again the National Anthem had to be changed to make it compatible with the country's new name. Writers were invited to send their creative works in for the competition. This was a significant event as there were many more competitors taking part and it was left to the Cabinet to make the final judgement. LUANG SARANUPRAPAN (1896-1954) won the first prize.

On December 10 1939, the new National Anthem was officially introduced to the public.

TURKEY : Turkey National Anthem
Turkish National Anthem
National Anthem of Turkey
Istiklâl Marsi

The Turkish National Anthem known as 'Istiklâl Marsi' ('Independence March'), was adopted by the National Assembly on March 12 1921. The text was written by MEHMET AKIF ERSOY (1873-1936). The music was composed by ZEKI ÜNGÖR (1880-1958). It is in G minor in keeping with the character of Oriental music. But otherwise there is little about it that is Oriental. It does suggest Spanish or South American tango tunes.

UNITED KINGDOM : United Kingdom National Anthem
British National Anthem
National Anthem of the United Kingdom
God Save The Queen

The first mention of 'God Save the King' may not refer to the National Anthem at all, but it is worth a note. This seems to date from the reign of King Henry VIII. There was a gathering of the Fleet at Portsmouth in 1545, and the watchword at night was similar to the modern words of the National Anthem. The watchword was "God Save the King" - and the reply was "Long to reign over us".

There is strong evidence that the song was borrowed from the French. A well-known French historian has a passage in one of his books which, when translated, runs "JEAN BAPTISTE LULLY (1632-1687) composed also the music of a song called 'God Save the King', which the English afterwards borrowed and which they made into their National Anthem". This was in the reign of King Louis XIV. William Chappell, who wrote learnedly about music, declared that HENRY CAREY (1690-1743) wrote 'God Save the King'; while another equally learned authority asserted that the authorship of the words was unknowable and that the music was composed by JOHN BULL (1562-1628). The Carey story states that he wrote the National Anthem for a birthday celebration for King George II, writing words and music which were first heard at a banquet at Mercer's Hall, Cheapside in London. Carey died in 1743, but he did not claim authorship of 'God Save the King'. One of the tutors of the famous composer Handel is said to have stated that Carey brought him the words and tune of the National Anthem asking him to correct the bass, but historians of music ridicule the story on the grounds that Carey was too accomplished a musician to need assistance. The great authority for the Carey claim was Carey's son, who wanted the pension (a sufficiently suspicious fact in itself). Some have given the music to GEORGE FREDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759), others to HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695), whilst the opinions of others said that Bull composed the tune and that the words were more or less already in being in other compositions.

Richard Clark, organist of Westminster Abbey, published a book in 1814 in which he declared that Carey was the composer. His statements were doubted, so Clark set himself to find out more about the tune. After eight years he proved, to his own satisfaction at any rate, that the National Anthem was written by BENJAMIN JOHNSON (1574-1637) and the music by JOHN BULL. It was sung for the first time at Merchant Taylor's Hall on July 7 1607, by the gentlemen and children of His Majesty's Chapel Royal when King James I was present at the dinner given by the company on his escape from the Gunpowder Plot.

The earliest official recorded performances of 'God Save the King' took place at the Drury Lane and Covent Garden Theatres, where the National Anthem was sung on several successive nights in September 1745 following the defeat of Sir John Cope's army at Prestonpans. An arrangement by THOMAS AUGUSTINE ARNE (1710-1778) for Drury Lane is in the British Museum, and another version appeared in the 'Gentleman's Magazine' for October 1745 as 'a song for two voices', as sung at both the playhouses'.

During the nineteenth century the music of 'God Save the King' served as the National Anthem for many countries, and several independent German states. It is still used for the National Anthem of Liechtenstein.

The whole question is intricate and the evidence contradictory; yet there is something alluring in the fact that the best-known tune in the world should have no known composer. Let us rather think that it grew out of the national consciousness rather than that any one person was responsible.

Both the words and the music have undergone minor alterations since the 18th century, and no 'official' version has ever been approved. Only the first of the three strophes is now normally sung, and the tendentious second strophe ('Confound their politics/Frustrate their knavish tricks') is avoided altogether. As far as the music is concerned, only the last line is now subject to different renderings, each one of the following versions being frequently encountered:

The first of these three versions is generally preferred, but any movement towards a standardisation of the National Anthem's melody and harmony at this point, would do well to consider a return to Arne's, altogether sturdier version, for Drury Lane in 1745:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA : United States of America National Anthem
American National Anthem
National Anthem of the United States of America
The Star-Spangled Banner

The National Anthem of the United States of America is 'The Star-Spangled Banner'. The words were written on September 14 1814, on board a British frigate in Baltimore harbour, where the author, FRANCIS SCOTT KEY (1779-1843) had been detained after successfully petitioning for the release of a civilian friend. He was inspired to write the poem when he saw in the morning, the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry, which had withstood the British bombardment during the previous night.

Key fashioned his verses to fit the melody of 'To Anacreon in Heaven' by the English composer John Stafford Smith (c1750-1836), which was then very popular in America with its original words by Ralph Tomlinson.

John Stafford Smith published in 1799, in his fifth collection of glees, an arrangement of 'To Anacreon in Heaven'. This has led to his being mistakenly regarded as the composer of the tune, whose actual origin is unknown.

The words and music were officially designated as the National Anthem by Act of Congress, approved by the President, Herbert Hoover on March 3 1931.

URUGUAY : Uruguay National Anthem
Uruguayan National Anthem
National Anthem of Uruguay
Orientales, la Patria o la tumba!

The National Anthem of Uruguay was officially adopted by a Government decree of July 27 1848. The music was composed by FRANCISCO JOSÉ DEBALI (1791-1859), a native of Hungary who came to Uruguay in 1838. He had spent several years in Italy and the influence of Italian opera on his National Anthem is particularly striking, for the tune is very similar to the chorus of the gondoliers in Donizetti's opera, 'Lucrezia Borgia'. But quite apart from this direct link, the National Anthem of Uruguay is really an operatic aria with a bombastic instrumental introduction whose triplets in thirds with basso figures achieve a resounding effect which is further heightened by a baldachin of violin tremolos. Solo and chorus share the dramatic melody which has everything - from coloratura passages to chromatic alterations - that a lover of opera might ask for. In addition to the Uruguayan National Anthem he may have composed the music of the Paraguayan National Anthem.

The text is by FRANCISCO ESTEBAN ACUÑA de FIGUEROA (1791-1862), a native of Montevideo, a poet and Chief of the National Library of Uruguay. He also lived for awhile in Brazil and Argentina. He also wrote the words of the Paraguayan National Anthem.

VENEZUELA : Venezuela National Anthem
Venezuelan National Anthem
National Anthem of Venezuela
Gloria al bravo pueblo

The National Anthem of Venezuela is the oldest of all Latin-American National Anthems. Its text, is by VICENTE SALIAS (1786-1814), the music by JUAN JOSÉ LANDAETA (1780-1814). It was conceived in the wake of the country's early attempts to gain its independence. These were crushed and in due course both the poet and composer were executed in 1814. Their work was given the official status of a National Anthem by a Government decree of May 25 1881.

This National Anthem is musically different from the other Latin-American National Anthems. Going back to the beginning of the nineteenth century, the 'Venezuelan Marseillaise' did not arise under the stars of the Italian opera. Much rather might it be said to show kinship with German folk music. It is not possible to overlook in it a certain lack of organic coherence. But this detail would not seem to have interfered with the strong impact which its patriotic force has been exerting ever since.

NATIONAL ANTHEMS ORGANISATION : National Anthems Organisation Anthem
Anthem of the National Anthems Organisation

The National Anthems Organisation was established on November 12 2002. The anthem of the National Anthems Organisation was officially adopted in 2006. The 'Scandinavian style' flag also adopted in 2006 was designed by Eric Yang Soong (b.1990) of Shanghai in China.

In 2002, it was suggested to me by Christopher Edward Lowe (b.1945) who ran a small family company called Cello Computers in Halkirk Caithness Scotland, that maybe I should have my own national anthems website. I naturally jumped at the suggested opportunity and so during the weeks ahead with Christopher as my newly appointed webmaster we made a start on planning this new website which was eventually launched on November 12 2002; initially for the advertising and sale of my two books 'National Anthems of the World' and 'State Songs of America', but soon after it became obvious that maybe people throughout the world might not want to purchase the whole books, but instead just require one or maybe a few national anthems or state songs.

On April 16 2003, an experimental number of national anthems were made available for downloading @ $3.00 each for a complete national anthem and the first download purchase for the National Anthem of China was made five days later on April 21 2003 from Hawaii in the USA. Nowadays the download catalogue has been extensively increased and now includes National Anthems of the World, State Songs of America, State Anthems of Malaysia and Provincial Songs of Canada plus other categories of anthems.

For the next eighteen months the website grew and expanded but on October 18 2004 progress was halted as I moved from Halkirk in Scotland to Hafslundsøy in Norway. As it was no longer practical to have my webmaster located in Scotland it meant that I had to find a replacement here in Norway who could continue from Christopher's excellent initial setup and consequent work. No further progress was possible until in the Spring of 2005 I found a new replacement Norwegian webmaster by the name of Hallvord Reiar Michaelsen Steen (b.1977), who works for Opera Software ASA in Oslo. Hallvord carried out a number of amendments, corrections and additions that I required to be made to the website. In addition, Hallvord suggested that I should separate my personal data from the national anthems website, and so on September 10 2005 my personal website: www.michaeljamiesonbristow.com was launched.

Early in 2006, it was decided that a new look website applicable to the 21st Century should replace the somewhat dated design as envisaged and launched in 2002, and so I asked Hallvord to make the designs and on May 17 2006 (Norway's National Day) the new makeover website was officially launched.

However. Hallvord suddenly resigned as webmaster to both websites on May 10 2007. On May 14 2007 the third webmaster was appointed, his name is Michael Odden (b.1985) of Sarpsborg.

On September 29 2009 I emigrated from Norway and moved to the village of Zalavár in Hungary. But on September 16 2010 I had a heart attack; in view of this medical condition I am planning to return to England or move to Northern France (Pas de Calais) in 2012.

The National Anthems Organisation will of course continue to function.