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Favourite national anthem

 
Winston Gutkowski
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What are your faves? In my opinion a national anthem should be one that makes you proud to sing, even if you're not very good at it.
Hang PC; hang internationalism; this is Jingo time. What's your fave?

My top 5:
  • 1. Russia - Even if you can't understand the words, or hate 'Reds', it's a hell of a tune; and I'm glad they didn't chuck out that baby with the bathwater in 1991. Actually, love 'em or hate 'em, the Russkies have had some corkers over the years: check out the 1812 Overture.
  • 2. Scotland - What can you say? Another wonderful tune. Less 'militaristic', but stick in a skein of bagpipes...phwaugh. Better still, a single piper. Sets the hairs on the back of your neck a-tingling.
  • 3. France - Workers of the world unite. The first, and still a contender; even if nobody (even in France) remembers anything but the first verse.
  • 4. United States - Yet another cracker; and a song with a story. Unfortunately, quite difficult to sing; and often attempted by people who shouldn't. Roseanne, you may be a citizen, but what you did is, IMHO, worse than burning the flag.
  • 5. Italy - Eclectic, instantly recognisable, and cool. You also get two tunes for the price of one.

  • My bottom 3:
  • 1. England/Britain - C'mon. Can't anyone write a better tune about our Queen than this funeral dirge? Please.
  • 2. Canada - Oh dear. They changed the flag and not the anthem. Wrong choice guys.
  • 3. Germany - They tossed the "German, german overalls" words, but not the tune. Inexplicable, from a country renowned not only for its success, but for its music.

  • Tunes that shoulda-been:
  • England - Land of Hope and Glory - I understand they tried to 'tone it down' a bit. Hah! Jobsworths. Ah well, we still have the last night of the Proms...and the Six Nations.
  • New Zealand - The Haka - You don't just sing it, you do it. I don't even know the real anthem. Thank God for rugby.

  • Honourable Mention:
  • Wales - and I don't really care if it's 'Sosban Fach', 'Men of Harlech' or 'Land of My Fathers'. Damn, those boys can sing.

  • Enquiring minds want to know your favourites. Special guest star to the most un-PC anthem you've ever heard (words please).

    Winston
     
    Paul Clapham
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    +1 for Russia's anthem. But they must have changed the words, the USSR's version started out something like "Unbreakable union of free republics".

    (And what did you have in mind for Scotland's anthem? I was just there last month and they hadn't had the vote yet.)
     
    Ryan McGuire
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    Winston Gutkowski wrote:Tunes that shoulda-been:
  • New Zealand - The Haka - You don't just sing it, you do it. I don't even know the real anthem. Thank God for rugby.



  • Athletes would fall right off the podium at the Olympics. At the very least they may injure the silver and bronze medal winners.

    http://www.austinservers.com/img/getfuzzy2004305040603.gif
     
    Stephan van Hulst
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    "Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika" without a doubt. I might be biased because I grew up with it, but I think it really sounds a lot nicer than most others I know.



    Also, I love Laibach's album "Volk", which contains anthems that the band made up. I realize it's probably not the first choice of music for most posters here, but maybe there are some that appreciate this particularly haunting song:

     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Paul Clapham wrote:And what did you have in mind for Scotland's anthem?

    Flower of Scotland, of course. Maybe it's the rugby, because I'm not sure if there is an "official" anthem; but it's certainly the one I think of.

    Winston
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Paul Clapham wrote:+1 for Russia's anthem. But they must have changed the words, the USSR's version started out something like "Unbreakable union of free republics".

    All I remember is that there's a line ending "Savyetsky Sayuz".

    I still belt out the Red Army Choir version from time to time. I suspect my neighbours think I'm an old Pinko; but I just think it's a great song.

    Winston

    PS: Since Stephan's posted his (thanks, BTW), you can find the RAC in full voice: here (nice quote in the blog too).
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Stephan van Hulst wrote:"Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika" without a doubt....
    Also, I love Laibach's album "Volk", which contains anthems that the band made up.

    Both excellent. Thanks. I'm not normally a fan of modern 'techno' (old fart jazz nut), but I really liked that Laibach track. Has a real "Eastern Europe" feel to it too.

    Winston
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Actually, having done a little trawl of of some YouTube selections, I have to admit to quite liking the Chinese one, even if the opening does sound like the start of an episode of 'The Big Valley'.
    And yes, the Europeans, they've got one too; and I have to say, I approve. Can't beat a good bit of Beethoven. So the Germans got in after all.

    Winston
     
    Chris Baron
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    My favourites are the http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo_-KoBiBG0]European[/youtube] and the Mexican anthem

    1. Europe
    2. Mexico
    3. Russia
    4. Italy
    5. France
     
    Paul Clapham
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    Winston Gutkowski wrote:Tunes that shoulda-been:
  • England - Land of Hope and Glory - I understand they tried to 'tone it down' a bit. Hah! Jobsworths. Ah well, we still have the last night of the Proms...and the Six Nations.


  • Well, after the Scots and the Welsh pass their referenda and become separate countries, then England is going to need a national anthem. And what better than that?
     
    Maneesh Godbole
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    Winston Gutkowski wrote:
    My bottom 3:...
  • 3. Germany - They tossed the "German, german overalls" words, but not the tune. Inexplicable, from a country renowned not only for its success, but for its music.


  • I am having trouble figuring this out. #3 of bottom 3???
    Everytime I hear it on the formula 1 podium I subconsciously hum it. Definitely a nice tune (I dont know the words)
     
    Chris Baron
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    Maneesh Godbole wrote:
    I am having trouble figuring this out. #3 of bottom 3???
    Everytime I hear it on the formula 1 podium I subconsciously hum it. Definitely a nice tune (I dont know the words)

    Yeah ours is definitely not the worst but then I thought I might be biased and didn't say anything.
    And i also really like "God save the Queen" and "Oben am jungen Rhein", the anthem of Liechtenstein
     
    Matthew Brown
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    My top two are La Marseillaise and Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika.

    And also Chris' suggestion of the European anthem. Though it's not really a national anthem. And you could consider it a bit cheaty to not bother writing an anthem but just adopt one of the greatest pieces of music ever written .

    I'm not a big fan of God Save the Queen (especially as an atheist republican!), but at least it's memorable. The worst would have to be one of the many I've heard loads of times but still wouldn't recognise if I heard them again.
     
    Matthew Brown
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    Winston Gutkowski wrote:
    Tunes that shoulda-been:
  • England - Land of Hope and Glory


  • That is used for the English anthem in the Commonwealth games, where the home nations compete separately. And I must admit I've never quite understood why English teams use God Save the Queen in other sports. That's the British anthem*: it should be used when the UK competes as a whole (like in the Olympics).

    (* Though if you've heard the verse about "crushing rebellious Scots" you can understand why Scotland might prefer something else )
     
    Joanne Neal
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    For people like me who can't sing, the Spanish national anthem is the best one to sing along to.
     
    Kaustubh G Sharma
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    I am getting mails that Indian national anthem won the top prize of best national anthem from last 4-5 years. Initially it made me happy , but don't think such competition exists I think it is because of increasing more awareness and love towards the national anthem. I like my national anthem most however it’s not in options ;)
     
    chris webster
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    Maneesh Godbole wrote:
    Winston Gutkowski wrote:
    My bottom 3:...
  • 3. Germany - They tossed the "German, german overalls" words, but not the tune. Inexplicable, from a country renowned not only for its success, but for its music.


  • I am having trouble figuring this out. #3 of bottom 3???
    Everytime I hear it on the formula 1 podium I subconsciously hum it. Definitely a nice tune (I dont know the words)

    The tune to the German national anthem was written by the famous Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, so you'd expect him to come up with a good tune.

    The words have been, er, controversial at times, although the phrase that English speakers tend to object to - "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, Über alles in der Welt..." ("Germany, Germany above everything, Above everything in the world...") - can be interpreted in terms of Germany's late unification in the 19th century: the idea was that people should be loyal to Germany as a whole, rather than to the emperor or their local prince or duke etc. The other words are perfectly inoffensive, but it's understandable why this bit is less popular since the 1940s!

    EU: Beethoven plus Schiller - what's not to like? Apart from perhaps a certain German dominance...

    Russia: Great stirring music, no idea about the words these days. Plus it gives us middle-aged types a retro-70s feeling of tank parades on Red Square - less alarming from a safe distance of 40 years!

    Scotland: Officially they're expected to sing "God Save The Queen" as their anthem, although if you've ever been to a Scottish rugby match you'll know that they all sing "Flower Of Scotland" instead (all about defeating an invading English king). Not hard to guess which one will be the Scottish anthem after independence!

    Wales: As a Welshman I'm naturally biased, but "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" is quite a nice tune matched to reasonably non-jingoistic words, and it's a good rousing tune to sing before the rugby.

    England: As a sympathetic neighbour, I'd suggest the more inspiring hymn "Jerusalem" (words by the English poet William Blake) instead of the jingoistic "Land Of Hope And Glory".

    Don't know many other anthems, although I agree that "God Save The Queen" is one of the dreariest - you'd scarcely believe the tune may have started out as a dance! The Scottish comedian Billy Connolly once suggested that "God Save The Queen" should be replaced by the theme tune from the long-running BBC Radio 4 soap opera "The Archers". Excellent idea!
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Kaustubh G Sharma wrote:I like my national anthem most however it’s not in options ;)...

    Hey, no options. That was just my list. If India's rocks your boat, then you enjoy it; that's the whole point of a national anthem. I have to admit to not being familiar with it myself.

    Winston
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Chris Baron wrote:
    Maneesh Godbole wrote:
    I am having trouble figuring this out. #3 of bottom 3???
    Everytime I hear it on the formula 1 podium I subconsciously hum it. Definitely a nice tune (I dont know the words)

    Yeah ours is definitely not the worst but then I thought I might be biased and didn't say anything.
    And i also really like "God save the Queen" and "Oben am jungen Rhein", the anthem of Liechtenstein

    Biased? Who cares? That's the whole point; you're supposed to be biased.

    And BTW, #3 is 3rd from bottom. I still reckon God save the Queen is the worst. Never heard the Leichtenstein one; must check it out.

    [Edit] Just did. Arf! Damn, that tune gets around.

    Winston
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    chris webster wrote:EU: Beethoven plus Schiller - what's not to like? Apart from perhaps a certain German dominance...

    Oh yeah, I forgot that Schiller wrote the words. Thanks for the reminder.

    Russia: Great stirring music, no idea about the words these days. Plus it gives us middle-aged types a retro-70s feeling of tank parades on Red Square - less alarming from a safe distance of 40 years!

    I liked the quote in the responses in my link: "Whoever doesn't miss the Soviet Union has no heart. Whoever wants it back has no brain."
    Sounds like it might be a paraphrase of the old Winnie Churchill quotation about Socialism.

    Not hard to guess which one will be the Scottish anthem after independence!

    Alex Salmond, listen up.

    Wales: As a Welshman I'm naturally biased, but "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" is quite a nice tune matched to reasonably non-jingoistic words, and it's a good rousing tune to sing before the rugby.

    Agreed. And as I said above, your boys sure can sing.

    England: As a sympathetic neighbour, I'd suggest the more inspiring hymn "Jerusalem" (words by the English poet William Blake) instead of the jingoistic "Land Of Hope And Glory".

    As Michael Flanders said: "The Scots and the Irish have songs complaining about the English, saying how awful we are; other nations all have anthems saying how marvellous they are - and what have we [the English] got? - Jerusalem".
    I agree it's a great tune, but too many memories of having to sing it in school assembly when I was a kid.
    BTW, you can check out Flanders and Swann's suggestion for an English anthem here.

    Billy Connolly once suggested that "God Save The Queen" should be replaced[/url] by the theme tune [to] "The Archers". Excellent idea!

    Absolutely. Wish I could give you two stars for that.

    Thanks everybody for all the contributions. Keep 'em coming.

    Winston
     
    Paul Clapham
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    chris webster wrote:England: As a sympathetic neighbour, I'd suggest the more inspiring hymn "Jerusalem" (words by the English poet William Blake) instead of the jingoistic "Land Of Hope And Glory".


    If I'm not mistaken "Jerusalem" used to be the anthem of the British Labour Party. This would definitely handicap it if it were in a horse race to be the English anthem.
     
    Praveen Kumar M K
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    England should replace 'God Save the Queen' with 'You'll Never Walk Alone'! :-)
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Praveen Kumar M K wrote:England should replace 'God Save the Queen' with 'You'll Never Walk Alone'! :-)

    Nice one.

    Actually, if we've got to have a funeral dirge, why don't we make it this one?

    Winston
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Paul Clapham wrote:If I'm not mistaken "Jerusalem" used to be the anthem of the British Labour Party. This would definitely handicap it if it were in a horse race to be the English anthem.

    Probably why the Welsh would like it. They were the mainstay of the British Labour Party back in the bad old days of National Governments.

    Winston
     
    Vishal Hegde
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    Silent Indian National Anthem


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk02qPlnS2E
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Vishal Hegde wrote:Silent Indian National Anthem

    Excellent. That's on my bookmarks now.

    Winston
     
    Matthew Brown
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    Paul Clapham wrote:If I'm not mistaken "Jerusalem" used to be the anthem of the British Labour Party. This would definitely handicap it if it were in a horse race to be the English anthem.

    But it's also been sung at Conservative Party conferences as well - it's pretty securely part of "the establishment".
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Matthew Brown wrote:But it's also been sung at Conservative Party conferences as well - it's pretty securely part of "the establishment".

    You must have heard of "Pink" Tories...

    Winston
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    chris webster wrote:The tune to the German national anthem was written by the famous Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, so you'd expect him to come up with a good tune.

    I don't know, seems awfully pedestrian to me (much like GSTQ). Maybe a bad day at the office. Mind you, there were probably fewer trained singers around in those days, so maybe it was an attempt at a 'Volksmelodie'.

    Winston
     
    Jelle Klap
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    Not a fan of national anthems. I somehow always associate them with chauvinism, and that creeps me out.
     
    Chris Baron
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    Winston Gutkowski wrote:
    Never heard the Leichtenstein one; must check it out.

    [Edit] Just did. Arf! Damn, that tune gets around.

    Winston


    Hur hur
    It was also the Kaiser anthem named Heil dir im Siegerkranz. Contains "Heil" but was before the Nazis. The strange personality and opinions of Kaiser Wilhelm II are attributed to be part of the reasons why the Nazis rose after WW1 though.

     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Jelle Klap wrote:Not a fan of national anthems. I somehow always associate them with chauvinism, and that creeps me out.

    Hey, better chauvinism in a tune than on the battlefield; and sometimes we need to remember that we (and I assume you) live in a great country. I'm the son of a Pole who fought for his country, and those sods are the biggest chauvinists on the planet; but they also remember what they lost.

    BTW, your national anthem (I assume it's the Netherlands) isn't so shabby. I'd put it mid-table.

    Winston
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Chris Baron wrote:Hur hur

    Yeah, you got me.

    Contains "Heil" but was before the Nazis.

    Hey, the Americans have 'Hail to the chief'; and I'm pretty sure the Nazis didn't invent "sieg heil".

    The strange personality and opinions of Kaiser Wilhelm II are attributed to be part of the reasons why the Nazis rose after WW1 though.

    Hmm. As a 'tableau' maybe, but I reckon it was pretty much down to the strange personality and opinions of Adolf Hitler. In fact, the Allies (especially in the West) were very careful in their propaganda to make it clear that it was a war against the regime (and against Hitler personally), not against the German people.

    Winston
     
    Seetharaman Venkatasamy
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    Winston Gutkowski
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    Seetharaman Venkatasamy wrote: 

    ???

    Wisnton
     
    Matthew Brown
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    Winston Gutkowski wrote:Hmm. As a 'tableau' maybe, but I reckon it was pretty much down to the strange personality and opinions of Adolf Hitler.

    Not that simple. He wasn't alone, and remember he was elected.

    But also off topic, so I'll stop there .
     
    Chris Baron
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    @Matthew: the Nazis never achieved a majority in free elections and they tried several times. They got empowered by v. Hindenburg who pretty much fulfilled the role of a Ersatz-Kaiser. Wilhelm II was quite a moral arsonist and he f*cked up Germany so royally that he prepared the ground (or tableau) for the nazis.

    @Winston: to call Hitler "strange" is one of the deepest understatements i ever came across
     
    chris webster
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    Winston Gutkowski wrote:
    Hey, the Americans have 'Hail to the chief'; and I'm pretty sure the Nazis didn't invent "sieg heil".

    And Roman Catholics have "Ave, Maria" = "Hail, Mary".
     
    chris webster
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    Chris Baron wrote:
    Winston Gutkowski wrote:
    Never heard the Leichtenstein one; must check it out.

    [Edit] Just did. Arf! Damn, that tune gets around.

    Winston


    Hur hur
    It was also the Kaiser anthem named Heil dir im Siegerkranz. Contains "Heil" but was before the Nazis. The strange personality and opinions of Kaiser Wilhelm II are attributed to be part of the reasons why the Nazis rose after WW1 though.


    Don't forget the American "My Country Tis Of Thee".

    England, believe me, "The Archers" is definitely the way to go!
     
    Chris Baron
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    The Archers video isn't available due to copyright blah...

    Is it the same tune?

    [Edit by WG]: reply on new page


     
    It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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