National anthems are generally the eulogy to nationalism. Sometimes they are the poetic expression of one’s devotion and dedication and used to rekindle patriotism. They are often written in the most common language of the country. National Anthem are often perform before any event which has a national importance; it can be a presidential or prime minister’s national address, a sporting event and/or high-level of diplomatic meetings. It was much recent when they have started playing before theatres and in cinemas before movies.
National anthems are often the reflection of nation’s past and sometimes it’s present. They are a melodious expression of a country’s motto and have an equal importance as of a country’s flag. It was late 18th century and early 19th century when national anthems started being used in Central Europe and South America as awareness of nationalism. It was at the end of World War II when anthems become a symbol of national importance. Their poetry often comprises of prayers and the forms and images used often reflect upon the character of a nation.
World rankings of national anthems often vary on the basis of tune, lyrics, composition and at times on the basis of numbers of listeners. But here is our list which has been compiled after a thorough research on the basis of tune and lyrics.
10. Costa Rica
Noble patria, tu hermosa bandera
Translation: Noble homeland, your beautiful flag
Hail, oh land of our birth!
Hail, oh gracious land we love!
If an enemy seeking to slander you or
Harms your name, then we will abandon our farms
And arise with fervor to take up our arms.
Incredible, magnificent and stirring are few adjectives which can describe the anthem of Costa Rica so well. The anthem does not only have grandeur in its tune but in its lyrics as well. It’s a big anthem for a small country. It was originally adopted in 1853 but in 1900 few words have been added to it and have been fine-tuned. This meaningful national anthem of Costa Rica definitely has words which can leave many teary eyed and has a tendency to leave its nation a proud one.
Translation: Brothers of Italy
It is also often referred as ‘The Song of the Italians’ and ‘Mameli Hymn’. This national anthem was written by a 20-year old, Goffredo Mameli in 1847 but was adopted as de facto after the birth of Italian Republic on October 12, 1946 yet not as de jure until recently. It was made official in law on November 23, 2012.
We were for centuries
because we are not one people,
because we are divided.
Let one flag, one hope
gather us all.
The hour has struck
for us to unite.
Mameli hymn was much appreciated among the Italian people and it was widely sung during parades, protests and uprisings as a symbol of the Italian Unification in most parts of Italy and it continued to play an important role during the period of ‘Fascism’
8. South Africa
Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
In South Africa our land!
The National Anthem of South Africa was adopted in 1997. The lyrics are the composite of five most widely spoken languages in the country, Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English. This anthem is derived from 2 national anthems which were initially played at the inaugural of Nelson Mandela in 1994. The last stanza of the anthem which is in English is added to reflect hope in post-apartheid South African society. The anthem is widely acclaimed for its transition from bleakness and weakness to valor and pride.
Translation: Independence March
Frown not, I beseech you, oh thou coy crescent!
Smile upon my heroic nation! Why the anger, why the rage?
Our blood which we shed for you shall not be worthy otherwise;
For freedom is the absolute right of my God-worshipping nation!
The forty-one verses long Turkish national anthem is full of symbolism of faith, devotion, freedom and sacrifice. It was written in 1921 as an aspirational anthem during the Turkish War of Independence but later adapted as a national anthem for the Republic of Turkey. Out of forty-one, only the first eight are performed today in the official ceremonies.
Translation: The Marching Song
Ceaselessly for the People’s cause let us struggle,
Let us hasten to the battlefield!
Onward! All together advancing!
For one eternal Vietnam
It was officially adopted by The Unified Republic of Vietnam in 1976 while written in 1944. The national anthem of Vietnam is all about war and valor reflects upon, how serious they take war as pride.
Jana Gana Mana
The national anthem of India often also referred as ‘Vande Mataram’ is considered as one of the finest for its use of noun as verbs and vice versa. It was written and composed by the Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore in Bengali. The anthem is known for its pluralistic scripture and use words from all major languages of India.
4. United States of America
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
The Star-Spangled Banner is a national anthem of United States of America which was derived from a poem originally written in September, 1814 by Francis Scott Key who was an amateur poet. He wrote it after witnessing the Battle of Fort McHenry, 1812 and his inspiration was the large US flag flying gloriously over the fort.
The song was recognized for an official use in 1916 by the President Woodrow Wilson and was made into a national anthem in March 03, 1931 through a congressional resolution. Prior to that, Secretary of the Navy, Benjamin F. Tracy made The Star-Spangled Banner the official tune to be played at the flag hoisting. However, the national anthem of the United States of America is notorious for its lyrics as it’s widely considered to be hard to remember. Therefore, it’s often pre-recorded and lip-synced.
The critics often label as one of the strongest for its dramatics and music. They say that it makes you thrive through the experience of freedom and liberty.
La Marseillaise Is the world’s most contested anthem of for its strong and revolutionary verses promoting defiance and unity among its nation. For centuries the national anthem of France has been a rallying cry for rebuilding the country whenever in need. It was written by an army engineer Claude Joseph Rouget as a song of revolution in 1792. Rouget was later sent to prison for revolting against the then regime. The song was given the status of national anthem of France in 1879.
Even today ‘To arms, to arms, ye brave!…’ is an out loud cry for revolution and resistance. The anthem has 8 known stanzas, out of which 2-3 are sung in the contemporary setting.
To arms, to arms, ye brave!
The avenging sword unsheath,
March on, march on!
All hearts resolv’d
On victory or death!
The powerful lyrics of the national anthem are epitome to the valor and glory.
Translation: National Anthem
The flag of the crescent and star,
Leads the way to progress and perfection,
Interpreter of our past, glory of our present
inspiration for our future!
Shade of God, the Glorious and Mighty
The history of Pakistan’s National Anthem is as interesting as the creation of Pakistan. The music was composed before the lyrics could shape place. Ahmad G. Chagla composed the music of the national anthem in 1949 for the state visit of Shah of Iran to the newly formed Pakistan. It was later played in the same way for Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan during his official visit to United States of America. However, in 1952, the famous poet of Pakistan Hafeez Jullundhri wrote the lyrics of the National Anthem which was broadcast publically on national radio station on the eve of 7th Independence Day of Pakistan.
The national anthem of Pakistan has Persian lyrics which is not just a tribute to the land but also known for restoring nationalism. The melodious rendering of the anthem is known to be composed by using 21 musical instruments and 38 musical notes. It is based on 3 stanzas and the total composition is of 80 seconds.
The national Anthem of the Russian Federation had no lyrics until the year 2000 because of its references to the former leader of Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin. Russia was the only nation of USSR devoid of its own anthem; new librettos were take on in late 2000 and come to be the second national anthem of the country used by Russia after disbanding of Soviet Union. The Russian administration sustains that the anthem is the representation of unity between publics and its compliments the past. The voting of 2009, displays that the 56% of plaintiff feel honored when listening it and the 25% likes the lyrics.