European Anthems

“Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity”

Robert Schuman

National anthems rose to prominence in Europe during the 19th century, but some originated much earlier. For better or for worse, national anthems accompanied European countries during the most enlightened moments of their history, as well as the most nationalistic periods of the European history. But national Anthems are full of surprises and learnings. Did you know for instance that the oldest national anthem in the world is the Dutch anthem – the Wilhelmus written between 1568 and 1572? Or that both the Spanish and the Bosnian anthem were among the few national anthems in the world without lyrics? Or that Denmark has two different anthems ? Below the compilation of all European national anthems, their origins and lyrics!

Portugal

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A Portuguesa
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A Portuguesa was written at the end of the 19th century by the Portuguese republicans, upset over the British ultimatum regarding Africa. There were protests everywhere against the monarchy, and, as a result, A Portuguesa could be heard anywhere and became extremely popular. The song still echoes its original intent. In 1956, the emergence of melodic variants of the anthem forced the government to create a committee whose aim was to define an official version. The current version was finally adopted on 16 July 1957.

Heróis do mar, nobre povo,
Nação valente, imortal,
Levantai hoje de novo
O esplendor de Portugal!
Entre as brumas da memória,
Ó Pátria, sente-se a voz
Dos teus egrégios avós,
Que há-de guiar-te à vitória!

Chorus:
Às armas, às armas!
Sobre a terra, sobre o mar,
Às armas, às armas!
Pela Pátria lutar!
Contra os canhões, marchar, marchar!

Desfralda a invicta Bandeira,
À luz viva do teu céu!
Brade a Europa à terra inteira:
Portugal não pereceu
Beija o solo teu jucundo
O Oceano, a rugir d’amor,
E teu braço vencedor
Deu mundos novos ao Mundo!

Chorus

Saudai o Sol que desponta
Sobre um ridente porvir;
Seja o eco de uma afronta
O sinal do ressurgir.
Raios dessa aurora forte
São como beijos de mãe,
Que nos guardam, nos sustêm,
Contra as injúrias da sorte.

Chorus

 

Heroes of the sea, noble people,
Valiant and immortal nation,
Raise once again today
The splendor of Portugal!
Among the haze of memory,
Oh Fatherland, one feels the voice
Of your distinguished forefathers,
That shall lead you on to victory!

Chorus:
To arms, to arms!
Over land, over sea,
To arms, to arms!
For the Fatherland, fight!
Against the cannons, march on, march on!

Hoist the undefeated flag,
In the lively light of your sky!
May Europe cry out to the whole Earth:
Portugal has not perished
Kiss your merry ground
The ocean, roaring with love,
And your victorious arm
Gave new worlds to the world!

Chorus

Salute the Sun that rises
Over a gleeful future;
Let the echo of an offense
Be the sign for a comeback.
Rays of this strong dawn
Are like a mother’s kisses,
That keep us, sustain us,
Against the injuries of fate.

Chorus

 

Spain

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Marcha Real
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The Marcha Real is one of only four national anthems (along with those of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and San Marino) in the world to have no official lyrics. The anthem first appeared in a book of military bugle calls dating from 1761, known as the Marcha Granadera. In 1770 King Carlos III declared it as the official “honour march” becoming the Marcha Real. The origin of the melody is in dispute. Researchers have claimed that it originated in parts of Europe outside Spain (such as France and Germany), and indeed the music is not typical of Spanish music.

France

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La Marseillaise
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La Marseillaisethe French national anthem, was composed in one night during the French Revolution (April 24, 1792) by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle, a captain of the engineers and amateur musician stationed in Strasbourg in 1792. It was played at a patriotic banquet at Marseilles, and printed copies were given to the revolutionary forces then marching on Paris. They entered Paris singing this song, and to it they marched to the Tuileries on August 10th. Ironically, Rouget de Lisle was himself a royalist and refused to take the oath of allegiance to the new constitution.

Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L’étendard sanglant est levé, (bis)
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats ?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes !

Aux armes, citoyens,
Formez vos bataillons,
Marchons, marchons !
Qu’un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons !

Que veut cette horde d’esclaves,
De traîtres, de rois conjurés ?
Pour qui ces ignobles entraves,
Ces fers dès longtemps préparés ? (bis)
Français, pour nous, ah ! quel outrage
Quels transports il doit exciter !
C’est nous qu’on ose méditer
De rendre à l’antique esclavage !

Aux armes, citoyens …

Quoi ! des cohortes étrangères
Feraient la loi dans nos foyers !
Quoi ! Ces phalanges mercenaires
Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers ! (bis)
Grand Dieu ! Par des mains enchaînées
Nos fronts sous le joug se ploieraient
De vils despotes deviendraient
Les maîtres de nos destinées !

Aux armes, citoyens …

Tremblez, tyrans et vous perfides
L’opprobre de tous les partis,
Tremblez ! vos projets parricides
Vont enfin recevoir leurs prix ! (bis)
Tout est soldat pour vous combattre,
S’ils tombent, nos jeunes héros,
La terre en produit de nouveaux,
Contre vous tout prêts à se battre !

Aux armes, citoyens …

Français, en guerriers magnanimes,
Portez ou retenez vos coups !
Épargnez ces tristes victimes,
À regret s’armant contre nous. (bis)
Mais ces despotes sanguinaires,
Mais ces complices de Bouillé,
Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié,
Déchirent le sein de leur mère !

Aux armes, citoyens …

Amour sacré de la Patrie,
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs
Liberté, Liberté chérie,
Combats avec tes défenseurs ! (bis)
Sous nos drapeaux que la victoire
Accoure à tes mâles accents,
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire !

Aux armes, citoyens …

(Couplet des enfants)
Nous entrerons dans la carrière
Quand nos aînés n’y seront plus,
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
Et la trace de leurs vertus (bis)
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil,
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre.

Aux armes, citoyens …

Arise, children of the Fatherland,
The day of glory has arrived!
Against us, tyranny’s
Bloody standard is raised, (repeat)
Do you hear, in the countryside,
The roar of those ferocious soldiers?
They’re coming right into your arms
To cut the throats of your sons, your women!

To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
Let’s march, let’s march!
Let an impure blood
Water our furrows!

What does this horde of slaves,
Of traitors and conspiring kings want?
For whom have these vile chains,
These irons, been long prepared? (repeat)
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What furious action it must arouse!
It is to us they dare plan
A return to the old slavery!

To arms, citizens …

What! Foreign cohorts
Would make the law in our homes!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would strike down our proud warriors! (repeat)
Great God! By chained hands
Our brows would yield under the yoke!
Vile despots would themselves become
The masters of our destinies!

To arms, citizens …

Tremble, tyrants and you traitors
The shame of all parties,
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will finally receive their prize! (repeat)
Everyone is a soldier to combat you,
If they fall, our young heroes,
Will be produced anew from the ground,
Ready to fight against you!

To arms, citizens …

Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors,
Bear or hold back your blows!
Spare those sorry victims,
For regretfully arming against us. (repeat)
But these bloodthirsty despots,
These accomplices of Bouillé,
All these tigers who mercilessly
Tear apart their mother’s breast!

To arms, citizens …

Sacred love of the Fatherland,
Lead, support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished Liberty,
Fight with thy defenders! (repeat)
Under our flags may victory
Hurry to thy manly accents,
So that thy expiring enemies
See thy triumph and our glory!

To arms, citizens …

(Children’s Verse)
We shall enter the (military) career
When our elders are no longer there,
There we shall find their dust
And the trace of their virtues (repeat)
Much less keen to survive them
Than to share their coffins,
We shall have the sublime pride
To avenge or follow them.

To arms, citizens …

Iceland

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Lofsöngur
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Iceland’s national anthem Lofsöngur means “Hymn” in English and is also known as “Ó Guð vors lands” (“O, God of Our Land”). The lyrics are by Matthías Jochumsson and the music by Sveinbjörn Sveinbjörnsson. The anthem contains three stanzas, but only the first one is commonly sung. The lyrics are more like a hymn than a patriotic ode, and due to the wide range of notes, it is difficult for many people to sing. Nevertheless, Icelanders do not regard this as an obstacle, even though there were other patriotic odes which were easier to sing. Icelanders revere Matthías Jochumsson’s work, and the solemn, moving song is dear to their hearts.

Ó, guð vors lands! Ó, lands vors guð!
Vér lofum þitt heilaga, heilaga nafn!
Úr sólkerfum himnanna hnýta þér krans
þínir herskarar, tímanna safn.
Fyrir þér er einn dagur sem þúsund ár
og þúsund ár dagur, ei meir:
eitt eilífðar smáblóm með titrandi tár,
sem tilbiður guð sinn og deyr.
Íslands þúsund ár,
Íslands þúsund ár,
eitt eilífðar smáblóm með titrandi tár,
sem tilbiður guð sinn og deyr.

Ó guð, ó guð! Vér föllum fram
og fórnum þér brennandi, brennandi sál,
guð faðir, vor drottinn frá kyni til kyns,
og vér kvökum vort helgasta mál.
Vér kvökum og þökkum í þúsund ár,
því þú ert vort einasta skjól.
Vér kvökum og þökkum með titrandi tár,
því þú tilbjóst vort forlagahjól.
Íslands þúsund ár,
Íslands þúsund ár!
Voru morgunsins húmköldu, hrynjandi tár,
sem hitna við skínandi sól.

Ó, guð vors lands! Ó, lands vors guð!
Vér lifum sem blaktandi, blaktandi strá.
Vér deyjum, ef þú ert ei ljós það og líf,
sem að lyftir oss duftinu frá.
Ó, vert þú hvern morgun vort ljúfasta líf,
vor leiðtogi í daganna þraut
og á kvöldin vor himneska hvíld og vor hlíf
og vor hertogi á þjóðlífsins braut.
Íslands þúsund ár,
Íslands þúsund ár!
verði gróandi þjóðlíf með þverrandi tár,
sem þroskast á guðsríkis braut.

Our country’s God! Our country’s God!
We worship Thy name in its wonder sublime.
The suns of the heavens are set in Thy crown
By Thy legions, the ages of time!
With Thee is each day as a thousand years,
Each thousand of years, but a day,
Eternity’s flow’r, with its homage of tears,
That reverently passes away.
Iceland’s thousand years,
Iceland’s thousand years!
Eternity’s flow’r, with its homage of tears,
That reverently passes away.

Our God, our God, we bow to Thee,
Our spirits most fervent we place in thy care.
Lord, God of our fathers from age unto age,
We are breathing our holiest prayer.
We pray and we thank Thee a thousand years
For safely protected we stand;
We pray and we bring Thee our homage of tears
Our destiny rest in Thy hand.
Iceland’s thousand years,
Iceland’s thousand years!
The hoarfrost of morning which tinted those years,
Thy sun rising high, shall command!

Our country’s God! Our country’s God!
Our life is a feeble and quivering reed;
We perish, deprived of Thy spirit and light
To redeem and uphold in our need.
Inspire us at morn with Thy courage and love,
And lead through the days of our strife!
At evening send peace from Thy heaven above,
And safeguard our nation through life.
Iceland’s thousand years,
Iceland’s thousand years!
O, prosper our people, diminish our tears
And guide, in Thy wisdom, through life!

Ireland

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Amhrán na bhFiann
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When the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann) was established in 1922 there was no national anthem, and it was not until 1924 that the lack of a national anthem was highlighted. There was concern that the lack of an official anthem was giving Unionists an opportunity to persist with God Save the King. The chorus of Amhrán na bhFiann or in English, A Soldier’s Song was widely if unofficially sung by nationalists, and on 12 July 1926, the Executive Council decided to adopt it as the National Anthem. The first draft, handwritten on copybook paper, was sold at auction in Dublin in 2006 for €760,000.

Sinne Fianna Fáil,
atá faoi gheall ag Éirinn,
Buíon dár slua
thar toinn do ráinig chugainn,
Faoi mhóid bheith saor
Seantír ár sinsear feasta,
Ní fhágfar faoin tíorán ná faoin tráill.
Anocht a théam sa bhearna bhaoil,
Le gean ar Ghaeil, chun báis nó saoil,
Le gunna-scréach faoi lámhach na bpiléar,
Seo libh canaig’ amhrán na bhFiann.

Soldiers are we,
whose lives are pledged to Ireland,
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave,
Sworn to be free,
no more our ancient sireland,
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the “bearna bhaoil”,
In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal,
‘Mid cannons’ roar and rifles’ peal,
We’ll chant a soldier’s song.

United Kingdom

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God Save the Queen/King
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The British National Anthem dates back to the eighteenth century. God Save The King (alternatively God Save The Queenduring the reign of a female sovereign) was a patriotic song first publicly performed in London in 1745, which came to be known as the National Anthem at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In September 1745 the ‘Young Pretender’ to the British Throne, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, defeated the army of King George II at Prestonpans, near Edinburgh. In a fit of patriotic fervour after news of Prestonpans had reached London, the leader of the band at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, arranged ‘God Save The King’ for performance after a play.

God Save the Queen
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen;
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen.
Oh Lord our God arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall
Confound their politics
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix
Oh save us all
Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign;
May she defend our laws
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen
Not in this land alone,
But be God’s mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord, make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world over.
From every latent foe,
From the assassins blow,
God save the Queen!
O’er her Thine arm extend,
For Britain’s sake defend,
Our mother, princess and friend,
God save the Queen
Lord, grant that Marshall Wade
May, by Thy mighty aid,
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush,
And like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush.
God save the Queen

Norway

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Ja, vi elsker dette landet
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Norway does not have an official national anthem, but over the last 200 years, a number of anthems have been commonly regarded as de facto national anthems. At times, multiple anthems have enjoyed this status simultaneously. Today, the anthem Ja, vi elsker dette landet is the most recognised national anthem, but until the early 20th century, Sønner av Norge occupied this position. Ja, vi elsker dette landet was first performed publicly on 17 May 1864 in connection with the 50th anniversary of the constitution. In 2011, the song Mitt lille land featured prominently in all the memorial ceremonies following the 2011 Norway attacks.

Ja, vi elsker dette landet, som det stiger frem, furet, værbitt over vannet, med de tusen hjem, — elsker, elsker det og tenker på vår far og mor 𝄆 og den saganatt som senker drømmer på vår jord. Dette landet Harald berget med sin kjemperad, dette landet Håkon verget, medens Øyvind kvad; Olav på det landet malet korset med sitt blod, fra dets høye Sverre talet Roma midt imot. Bønder sine økser brynte hvor en hær dro frem; Tordenskjold langs kysten lynte, så den lystes hjem. Kvinner selv stod opp og strede som de vare menn; andre kunne bare grede, men det kom igjen! Visstnok var vi ikke mange, men vi strakk dog til, da vi prøvdes noen gange, og det stod på spill; ti vi heller landet brente enn det kom til fall; husker bare hva som hendte ned på Fredrikshald! Hårde tider har vi døyet, ble til sist forstøtt; men i verste nød blåøyet frihet ble oss født. Det gav faderkraft å bære hungersnød og krig, det gav døden selv sin ære — og det gav forlik. Fienden sitt våpen kastet, opp visiret fór, vi med undren mot ham hastet, ti han var vår bror. Drevne frem på stand av skammen, gikk vi søderpå; nå står vi tre brødre sammen, og skal sådan stå! Norske mann i hus og hytte, takk din store Gud! Landet ville han beskytte, skjønt det mørkt så ut. Alt, hva fedrene har kjempet, mødrene har grett, har den Herre stille lempet, så vi vant vår rett. Ja, vi elsker dette landet, som det stiger frem, furet, værbitt over vannet, med de tusen hjem. Og som fedres kamp har hevet det av nød til seir, også vi, når det blir krevet, for dets fred slår leir.

Yes, we love this country
as it rises forth,
rugged, weathered, over the water,
with the thousands of homes, —
love, love it and think
of our father and mother
and the saga-night that lays
dreams upon our earth.

This country Harald united
with his army of heroes,
this country Håkon protected
whilst Øyvind sung;
upon the country Olav painted
with his blood the cross,
from its heights Sverre spoke
up against Rome.

Farmers their axes sharpened
wherever an army advanced,
Tordenskjold along the coastline thundered
so that we could see it back home.
Even women stood up and fought
as if they were men;
others could only cry
but that soon would end!

Sure, we were not many
but we were enough,
when we were tested sometimes,
and it was at stake;
we would rather burn our land
than to declare defeat;
just remember what happened
down at Fredrikshald!

Hard times we have coped with,
were at last disowned;
but in the worst distress, blue-eyed
freedom was to us born.
It gave (us) father’s strength to carry
famine and war,
it gave death itself its honour –
and it gave reconciliation.

The enemy threw away his weapon,
up the visor went,
we, in wonder, to him hastened,
because he was our brother.
Driven forth to a stand by shame
we went to the south;
now we three brothers stand united,
and shall stand like that!

Norwegian man in house and cabin,
thank your great God!
The country he wanted to protect,
although things looked dark.
All the fights fathers have fought,
and the mothers have wept,
the Lord has quietly moved
so we won our rights.

Yes, we love this country
as it rises forth,
rugged, weathered, above the sea,
with those thousand homes.
And as the fathers’ struggle has raised
it from need to victory,
even we, when it is demanded,
for its peace will encamp (for defence).

Sweden

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Du gamla, Du fria
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Du gamla, Du fria (“Thou ancient, Thou free”) is the national anthem of Sweden. It was originally named Sång till Norden(“Song to the North”). Despite a widespread belief that it was adopted as the national anthem in 1866, no such recognition has ever been officially accorded. A kind of official recognition was when the King Oscar II rose in honour when the song was played, the first time in 1893. Patriotic sentiment is notably absent from the text of the original two verses, due to them being written in the spirit of Scandinavism popular at the time. Later, various people wrote additional verses to increase the “Swedishness” of the song.

Du gamla, Du fria, Du fjällhöga nord
Du tysta, Du glädjerika sköna!
Jag hälsar Dig, vänaste land uppå jord,
𝄆 Din sol, Din himmel, Dina ängder gröna. 𝄇

Du tronar på minnen från fornstora da’r,
då ärat Ditt namn flög över jorden.
Jag vet att Du är och Du blir vad Du var.
𝄆 Ja, jag vill leva, jag vill dö i Norden. 𝄇

Jag städs vill dig tjäna, mitt älskade land,
dig trohet till döden vill jag svära.
Din rätt skall jag värna med håg och med hand,
𝄆 din fana, högt den bragderika bära. 𝄇

Med Gud skall jag kämpa för hem och för härd
för Sverige, den kära fosterjorden.
Jag byter Dig ej, mot allt i denna värld
𝄆 Nej, jag vill leva jag vill dö i Norden. 𝄇

You ancient, you free, you mountainous north
You quiet, you joyful beauty!
I greet you, loveliest land upon Earth,
𝄆 Your sun, your sky, your green meadows. 𝄇

You are enthroned on memories of great olden days,
When honoured your name flew across the Earth,
I know that you are and remain what you were,
𝄆 Yes, I want to live, I want to die in the North. 𝄇

I forever want to serve you, my beloved land,
fidelity until death I want to swear to you.
Your right I shall defend with mind and with hand,
𝄆 the glorious ones carry your banner high. 𝄇

With God I shall fight for home and for hearth,
for Sweden, the beloved mother soil.
Exchange you, I won’t for anything in this world
𝄆 No, I want live, I want to die in the North 𝄇

Finland

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Maamme
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There is no law regarding an official national anthem in Finland, but Maamme is firmly established by convention. The music was composed by the German immigrant Fredrik Pacius, with (original Swedish) words by Johan Ludvig Runeberg, and was performed for the first time on 13 May 1848. Over the years “Maamme” has been criticized for various reasons. The critics of the song have noted that the Finnish national anthem was originally written in Swedish and that a German composer set it to music. Purists have suggested that the musical quality of the song is actually quite poor and have pointed out that it is in fact a rearrangement of a German drinking songPapst und Sultan.

Oi maamme, Suomi, synnyinmaa,
soi, sana kultainen!
𝄆 Ei laaksoa, ei kukkulaa,
ei vettä rantaa rakkaampaa,
kuin kotimaa tää pohjoinen,
maa kallis isien! 𝄇

On maamme köyhä, siksi jää,
jos kultaa kaivannet
Sen vieras kyllä hylkäjää,
mut meille kallein maa on tää,
sen salot, saaret, manteret,
ne meist on kultaiset.

Ovatpa meille rakkahat
koskemme kuohuineen,
ikuisten honkain huminat,
täht’yömme, kesät kirkkahat,
kaikk’kuvineen ja lauluineen
mi painui sydämeen.

Täss auroin, miekoin, miettehin
isämme sotivat,
kun päivä piili pilvihin
tai loisti onnen paistehin,
täss Suomen kansan vaikeimmat
he vaivat kokivat.

Tään kansan taistelut ken voi
ne kertoella, ken?
Kun sota laaksoissamme soi,
ja halla näläntuskan toi,
ken mittasi sen hurmehen
ja kärsimykset sen?

Täss on sen veri virrannut
hyväksi meidänkin,
täss iloaan on nauttinut
ja murheitansa huokaillut
se kansa, jolle muinaisin
kuormamme pantihin.

Tääll’ olo meill on verraton
ja kaikki suotuisaa,
vaikk onni mikä tulkohon,
maa isänmaa se meillä on.
Mi maailmass on armaampaa
ja mikä kalliimpaa?

Ja tässä, täss’ on tämä maa,
sen näkee silmämme.
me kättä voimme ojentaa
ja vettä rantaa osoittaa
ja sanoa: kas tuoss’ on se,
maa armas isäimme.

Jos loistoon meitä saatettais
vaikk’ kultapilvihin,
mis itkien ei huoattais,
vaan tärkein riemun sielu sais,
ois tähän köyhään kotihin
halumme kuitenkin.

Totuuden, runon kotimaa
maa tuhatjärvinen
miss’ elämämme suojan saa,
sa muistojen, sa toivon maa,
ain ollos, onnees tyytyen,
vapaa ja iloinen.

Sun kukoistukses kuorestaan
kerrankin puhkeaa,
viel lempemme saa nousemaan
sun toivos, riemus loistossaan,
ja kerran, laulus synnyinmaa
korkeemman kaiun saa.

Our land, our land, our Fatherland!
Ring out, dear word, oh sound!
𝄆 No rising hill, or mountain grand,
No sloping dale, no northern strand,
There is, more loved, to be found,
Than this — our fathers’ ground. 𝄇

Our land is poor, and so shall be
To him who gold will crave.
The strangers proudly pass, but we
Shall ever love this land, we see,
In moor, and fell, and isle and wave,
A golden land, so brave.

We love our rippling brooks, so bright,
Our gushing streams, so strong,
The whisper of dark woods, at night,
Our starry skies, our summer light,
All, all that we, in sight and song,
Have felt and lived among.

Here fought our fathers, without fear,
With sword, and plough, and thought.
And here, in clouded times, and clear,
With fortune in their front or rear,
Their Finnish hearts have beat, and wrought
And borne what bear they ought.

Who tells, of all the fights, the tale,
In which this folk withstood,
When war did rage from dale to dale,
When frost set in, with hunger’s wail?
Who measured all their pouring blood,
And all their patience good?

And it was here their blood was shed,
For us, here, on this shore;
And it was here their joys were bred,
Here, that their sighs were heaved and fled,
That people’s who our burdens bore
Before us, long before.

Here it is sweet and good, we wot,
All, too, is giv’n us here;
However fate may cast our lot,
A land, a fatherland, we’ve got.
Will there a thing on earth appear
More worthy, to hold dear?

And here’s, and here’s this fatherland,
Here every eye it sees;
And we can stretch a pointing hand,
To show, with joy, its sea and strand,
And say, “Behold this country, this,
Our Fatherland it is.”

And if we once were made to rise
To gold clouds, from below,
And if we moved in starry skies,
Where no one weeps, where no one sighs,
To this poor lonely country, though,
Our longing hearts would go.

Oh land, the thousand lakes’ own land,
Of faith, and lay, and glee,
Where life’s main sea gave us a strand,
Our fore-time’s land, our future’s land,
Shy of thy poorness, never be,
Be calm, be glad, be free!

Thy blossom, hidden now from sight,
Shall burst its bud ere long.
Lo! from our love, shall rise aright,
Thy sun, thy hope, thy joy, thy light,
And higher, once, more full and strong,
Shall ring Our Country’s song.

Denmark

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Der er et yndigt land / Kong Christian stod ved højen mast
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Denmark is unique in that it and New Zealand are the only two nations in the world with two official national anthems. Der er et yndigt land (translated into English as “There is a lovely land”) is the civil national anthem of Denmark. When first published in 1819, the anthem had 12 verses but today has been significantly shortened. The lyrics were written in 1819 by Adam Oehlenschläger and bore the motto in Latin: Ille terrarum mihi praeter omnes angulus ridet (Horace: “This corner of the earth smiles for me more than any other”). Officially, Kong Christian stod ved højen mast is both a national and royal anthem; it has equal status with Der er et yndigt land. 

Der er et yndigt land,
det står med brede bøge
 nær salten østerstrand 😐
Det bugter sig i bakke, dal,
det hedder gamle Danmark
 og det er Frejas sal 😐

Der sad i fordums tid
de harniskklædte kæmper,
 udhvilede fra strid 😐
Så drog de frem til fjenders mén,
nu hvile deres bene
 bag højens bautasten 😐

Det land endnu er skønt,
thi blå sig søen bælter,
 og løvet står så grønt 😐
Og ædle kvinder, skønne møer
og mænd og raske svende
 bebo de danskes øer 😐

Hil drot og fædreland!
Hil hver en danneborger,
 som virker, hvad han kan! 😐
Vort gamle Danmark skal bestå,
så længe bøgen spejler
 sin top i bølgen blå 😐

There is a lovely country
it stands with broad beech-trees,
near the salty eastern shore
It bends itself in hill, valley,
its name is old Denmark
and it is the hall of Freya.

There sat in former times,
the armour-suited warriors,
rested from conflict
Then they went forward to the enemies’ injury,
now their bones are resting
behind the mound’s menhir.

That country is still lovely,
because the sea waves so blue frolic,
and the foliage stands so green
And noble women, beautiful maidens,
and men and brisk swains
inhabit the Danes’ islands.

Hail king and fatherland!
Hail every honourable citizen,
who works, what he can
Our old Denmark shall endure,
as long as the beech-tree mirrors
its top in the blue wave!

Netherlands

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Wilhelmus
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The Dutch national anthem is one of the oldest anthems in existence, the melody was known from before 1572 as a French Huguenot melody titled “Charles”, and the song first appeared in 1626 in a collection of songs. Based on older songs, the Wilhelmus takes the form of an acrostic on the name of William of Orange, the leader of the Dutch revolt against Philip II of Spain. The anthem is written in the first person, as if quoting William himself. It has been claimed that during the gruesome torture of Balthasar Gérard (the assassin of William of Orange) in 1584, the song was sung by the guards who sought to overpower Gérard’s screams when boiling pigs’ fat was poured over him.

Wilhelmus van Nassouwe
ben ik, van Duitsen bloed,
den vaderland getrouwe
blijf ik tot in den dood.
Een Prinse van Oranje
ben ik, vrij onverveerd,
den Koning van Hispanje
heb ik altijd geëerd.

In Godes vrees te leven
heb ik altijd betracht,
daarom ben ik verdreven,
om land, om luid gebracht.
Maar God zal mij regeren
als een goed instrument,
dat ik zal wederkeren
in mijnen regiment.

Lijdt u, mijn onderzaten
die oprecht zijt van aard,
God zal u niet verlaten,
al zijt gij nu bezwaard.
Die vroom begeert te leven,
bidt God nacht ende dag,
dat Hij mij kracht zal geven,
dat ik u helpen mag.

Lijf en goed al te samen
heb ik u niet verschoond,
mijn broeders hoog van namen
hebben ‘t u ook vertoond:
Graaf Adolf is gebleven
in Friesland in de slag,
zijn ziel in ‘t eeuwig leven
verwacht de jongste dag.

Edel en hooggeboren,
van keizerlijke stam,
een vorst des rijks verkoren,
als een vroom christenman,
voor Godes woord geprezen,
heb ik, vrij onversaagd,
als een held zonder vreze
mijn edel bloed gewaagd.

Mijn schild ende betrouwen
zijt Gij, o God mijn Heer,
op U zo wil ik bouwen,
verlaat mij nimmermeer.
Dat ik doch vroom mag blijven,
uw dienaar t’aller stond,
de tirannie verdrijven
die mij mijn hart doorwondt.

Van al die mij bezwaren
en mijn vervolgers zijn,
mijn God, wil doch bewaren
de trouwe dienaar dijn,
dat zij mij niet verrassen
in hunne boze moed,
hun handen niet en wassen
in mijn onschuldig bloed.

Als David moeste vluchten
voor Sauel den tiran,
zo heb ik moeten zuchten
als menig edelman.
Maar God heeft hem verheven,
verlost uit alder nood,
een koninkrijk gegeven
in Israël zeer groot.

Na ‘t zuur zal ik ontvangen
van God mijn Heer het zoet,
daarnaar zo doet verlangen
mijn vorstelijk gemoed:
dat is, dat ik mag sterven
met ere in dat veld,
een eeuwig rijk verwerven
als een getrouwe held.

Niets doet mij meer erbarmen
in mijne wederspoed
dan dat men ziet verarmen
des Konings landen goed.
Dat u de Spanjaards krenken,
o edel Neerland zoet,
als ik daaraan gedenke,
mijn edel hart dat bloedt.

Als een prins opgezeten
met mijner heireskracht,
van de tiran vermeten
heb ik de slag verwacht,
die, bij Maastricht begraven,
bevreesden mijn geweld;
mijn ruiters zag men draven
zeer moedig door dat veld.

Zo het de wil des Heren
op die tijd was geweest,
had ik geern willen keren
van u dit zwaar tempeest.
Maar de Heer van hierboven,
die alle ding regeert,
die men altijd moet loven,
Hij heeft het niet begeerd.

Zeer christlijk was gedreven
mijn prinselijk gemoed,
standvastig is gebleven
mijn hart in tegenspoed.
De Heer heb ik gebeden
uit mijnes harten grond,
dat Hij mijn zaak wil redden,
mijn onschuld maken kond.

Oorlof, mijn arme schapen
die zijt in grote nood,
uw herder zal niet slapen,
al zijt gij nu verstrooid.
Tot God wilt u begeven,
zijn heilzaam woord neemt aan,
als vrome christen leven,—
‘t zal hier haast zijn gedaan.

Voor God wil ik belijden
en zijne grote macht,
dat ik tot gene tijden
de Koning heb veracht,
dan dat ik God de Here,
de hoogste Majesteit,
heb moeten obediëren
in de gerechtigheid.

William of Nassau, scion
Of a Dutch and ancient line,
I dedicate undying
Faith to this land of mine.
A prince I am, undaunted,
Of Orange, ever free,
To the king of Spain I’ve granted
A lifelong loyalty.

I ‘ve ever tried to live in
The fear of God’s command
And therefore I’ve been driven,
From people, home, and land,
But God, I trust, will rate me
His willing instrument
And one day reinstate me
Into my government.

Let no despair betray you,
My subjects true and good.
The Lord will surely stay you
Though now you are pursued.
He who would live devoutly
Must pray God day and night
To throw His power about me
As champion of your right.

Life and my all for others
I sacrificed, for you!
And my illustrious brothers
Proved their devotion too.
Count Adolf, more’s the pity,
Fell in the Frisian fray,
And in the eternal city
Awaits the judgement day.

I, nobly born, descended
From an imperial stock.
An empire’s prince, defended
(Braving the battle’s shock
Heroically and fearless
As pious Christian ought)
With my life’s blood the peerless
Gospel of God our Lord.

A shield and my reliance,
O God, Thou ever wert.
I’ll trust unto Thy guidance.
O leave me not ungirt.
That I may stay a pious
Servant of Thine for aye
And drive the plagues that try us
And tyranny away.

My God, I pray thee, save me
From all who do pursue
And threaten to enslave me,
Thy trusted servant true.
O Father, do not sanction
Their wicked, foul design,
Don’t let them wash their hands in
This guiltless blood of mine.

O David, thou soughtest shelter
From King Saul’s tyranny.
Even so I fled this welter
And many a lord with me.
But God the Lord did save me
From exile and its hell
And, in His mercy, gave him
A realm in Israel.

Fear not ‘t will rain sans ceasing
The clouds are bound to part.
I bide that sight so pleasing
Unto my princely heart,
Which is that I with honor
Encounter death in war,
And meet in heaven my Donor,
His faithful warrior.

Nothing so moves my pity
As seeing through these lands,
Field, village, town and city
Pillaged by roving hands.
O that the Spaniards rape thee,
My Netherlands so sweet,
The thought of that does grip me
Causing my heart to bleed.

A stride on steed of mettle
I’ve waited with my host
The tyrant’s call to battle,
Who durst not do his boast.
For, near Maastricht ensconced,
He feared the force I wield.
My horsemen saw one bounce it
Bravely across the field.

Surely, if God had willed it,
When that fierce tempest blew,
My power would have stilled it,
Or turned its blast from you
But He who dwells in heaven,
Whence all our blessings flow,
For which aye praise be given,
Did not desire it so.

Steadfast my heart remaineth
In my adversity
My princely courage straineth
All nerves to live and be.
I’ve prayed the Lord my Master
With fervid heart and tense
To save me from disaster
And prove my innocence.

Alas! my flock. To sever
Is hard on us. Farewell.
Your Shepherd wakes, wherever
Dispersed you may dwell,
Pray God that He may ease you.
His Gospel be your cure.
Walk in the steps of Jesu
This life will not endure.

Unto the Lord His power
I do confession make
That ne’er at any hour
Ill of the King I spake.
But unto God, the greatest
Of Majesties I owe
Obedience first and latest,
For Justice wills it so.

Belgium

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La Brabançonne
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In the originally French language, the term normally refers to Brabant. The untranslated initial name is maintained for the French, Dutch and the German lyrics, that at a later stage ensured reflecting all three official languages of the country. According to legend, the Belgian national anthem was written in September 1830, during the Belgian Revolution, by a young revolutionary called “Jenneval”, who read the lyrics during a meeting at the Aigle d’Or café. The ending, pledging loyalty to “Le Roi, la Loi, la Liberté!” (“The King, and Law, and Liberty!”) is an obvious parallel to the French “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité”…

Noble Belgique, ô mère chérie,
À toi nos cœurs, à toi nos bras,
À toi notre sang, ô Patrie !
Nous le jurons tous, tu vivras !
Tu vivras toujours grande et belle
Et ton invincible unité
Aura pour devise immortelle :
Le Roi, la Loi, la Liberté !

Noble Belgium, o mother dear,
To you we stretch our hearts and arms,
With blood to spill for you, O fatherland!
We swear with one cry, you shall live!
You shall live, so great and beautiful,
And your invincible unity
Shall have for device immortal:
The King, the Law, the Liberty!

Luxembourg

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Ons Heemecht
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Ons Heemecht which means “Our Homeland” is the national anthem of Luxembourg. The text is in Luxembourgish and was written by Michel Lentz in 1859. The first and the last stanza of Ons Heemecht were adopted as Luxembourg’s national anthem in 1895. Whilst Ons Hemeecht is the national anthem, the royal anthem, or more accurately the anthem of the Grand Ducal House of Luxembourg is De Wilhelmus, which is not the same as Het Wilhelmus, the national anthem of the Netherlands. The anthem was recently officially named Ons Heemecht over the old spelling Ons Hémécht.

Wou d’Uelzecht durech d’Wisen zéit,
Duerch d’Fielsen d’Sauer brécht,
Wou d’Rief laanscht d’Musel dofteg bléit,
Den Himmel Wäin ons mécht:
Dat as onst Land, fir dat mer géif
Hei nidden alles won,
Ons Heemechtsland dat mir so déif
An onsen Hierzer dron.

An sengem donkle Bëscherkranz,
Vum Fridde stëll bewaacht,
Sou ouni Pronk an deire Glanz
Gemittlech léif et laacht;
Säi Vollek frou sech soë kann,
An ‘t si keng eidel Dreem:
Wéi wunnt et sech sou heemlech dran,
Wéi as ‘t sou gutt doheem!

Gesank, Gesank vu Bierg an Dall
Der Äärd, déi äis gedron;
D’Léift huet en treie Widderhall
A jidder Broschts gedon;
Fir, d’Hemecht ass keng Weis
ze schéin;
All Wuert, dat vun er klénkt,
Gräift äis an d’ Séil wéi Himmelstéin
An d’A wéi Feier blénkt.

O Du do uewen, deen seng Hand
Duerch d’Welt d’Natioune leet,
Behitt Du d’Lëtzebuerger Land
Vru friemem Joch a Leed;
Du hues ons all als Kanner schon
De fräie Geescht jo ginn,
Looss viru blénken d’Fräiheetssonn,
Déi mir sou laang gesinn!

Where the Alzette flows through the meadows
The Sauer breaks its way through the rocks;
Where the vines amply grow along the Moselle,
the sky makes wine for us
That is our country for which we give
down here we would risk everything;
Our homeland so deeply
we carry in our hearts.

In its crown of dark wood
always guarded by peace,
Without pomp and costly shine
Cozy it cutely smiles.
Its people can claim happiness
There are no hollow dreams:
If you live in such a home,
How good it is to be at Home.

Sing, sing, through mountain and valley
The earth that bore us,
That love loyally echoes
Borne in each breast.
For our homeland, no melody is
too beautiful
Every word that is uttered
Shakes the soul like a thunderclap
And our eyes shine like fire.

O Thou above whose hand is
Leading the nations of the world;
Protect this land of Luxembourg
From foreign yoke and pain
You have given us already in our youth
The sense of liberty.
Let the sunlight of freedom shine
that we have seen for such a long time.

Germany

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Deutschlandlied
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The Deutschlandlied (“Song of Germany”) has been the national anthem of Germany since 1922, except in East Germany, whose anthem was Auferstanden aus Ruinen (“Risen from Ruins”) from 1949 to 1990. Since World War II and the fall of Nazi Germany, only the third stanza has been used as the anthem. The stanza’s incipit, Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit (“Unity and Justice and Freedom”) are considered the unofficial national motto of Germany. The melody of the Deutschlandliedcomes from the old Austrian imperial anthem Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser (“God Save Franz the Emperor”) by Franz Joseph Haydn, which was first played on February 12, 1797.

Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
Für das deutsche Vaterland!
Danach lasst uns alle streben
Brüderlich mit Herz und Hand!
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
Sind des Glückes Unterpfand;
Blüh’ im Glanze dieses Glückes,
Blühe, deutsches Vaterland!

Unity and justice and freedom
For the German fatherland!
Towards these let us all strive
Brotherly with heart and hand!
Unity and justice and freedom
Are the safeguards of fortune;
Flourish in the radiance of this fortune,
Flourish, German fatherland!

Austria

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Land der Berge, Land am Strome
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The national anthem (Bundeshymne) of the Republic of Austria was officially adopted on February 25, 1947, following a contest to find a replacement for the former imperial anthem by Haydn that had been appropriated by Germany in 1922 and now also had Nazi associations. The composer of the melody is not certain, but its origin goes back to 1791, when it was created for the freemason lodge to which both Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Holzer (1753-1818) belonged. Current theory says that either Mozart or Holzer could have composed the melody.

Land der Berge, Land am Strome,
Land der Äcker, Land der Dome,
Land der Hämmer, zukunftsreich!
Heimat großer Töchter und Söhne,
Volk, begnadet für das Schöne,
Vielgerühmtes Österreich! 

Heiß umfehdet, wild umstritten,
Liegst dem Erdteil du inmitten
Einem starken Herzen gleich.
Hast seit frühen Ahnentagen
Hoher Sendung Last getragen,
Vielgeprüftes Österreich.

Mutig in die neuen Zeiten,
Frei und gläubig sieh uns schreiten,
Arbeitsfroh und hoffnungsreich.
Einig lass in Jubelchören,
Vaterland, dir Treue schwören.
Vielgeliebtes Österreich.

Land of mountains, land by the river,
Land of fields, land of cathedrals,
Land of hammers, with a promising future!
Home to great daughters and sons,
People highly gifted for beautiful arts,
Much-praised Austria!

Strongly feuded for, fiercely hard-fought for,
Thou liest in the middle of the continent
Like a strong heart,
Since the early days of the ancestors thou hast
Borne the burden of a high mission,
Much-tried Austria.

Bravely towards the new ages
See us striding, free, and faithful,
Assiduous and full of hope,
Unified, let us in jolly choirs
Pledge allegiance to thee, Fatherland
Much-beloved Austria.

Switzerland

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Schweizerpsalm/Cantique suisse/Salmo svizzero/Psalm svizzer
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On Wednesday 1st August, the Swiss national anthem is sung throughout the land, from the mountain tops of the Grisons to the shores of Lake Geneva and in any of the country’s four official languages. The Swiss national anthem, known as the Schweizerpsalm, calls on the “free Swiss to gather together to pray for God’s protection and blessing on its people and the country”. Its origins go back to before the founding of the current Federation of Switzerland in 1848 and arose from the joint work of two men the Catholic priest Alberik Zwyssig and Leonhard Widmer, a member of the Reformed Church of Zurich, who, on the face of it, were very different.

Trittst im Morgenrot daher,
Seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer,
Dich, du Hocherhabener, Herrlicher!
Wenn der Alpenfirn sich rötet,
Betet, freie Schweizer, betet,
Eure fromme Seele ahnt,
Eure fromme Seele ahnt,
Gott im hehren Vaterland!
Gott, den Herrn, im hehren Vaterland!

Kommst im Abendglühn daher,
Find ich dich im Sternenheer,
Dich, du Menschenfreundlicher, Liebender!
In des Himmels lichten Räumen
Kann ich froh und selig träumen;
Denn die fromme Seele ahnt
Denn die fromme Seele ahnt
Gott im hehren Vaterland!
Gott, den Herrn, im hehren Vaterland!

Ziehst im Nebelflor daher,
Such ich dich im Wolkenmeer,
Dich, du Unergründlicher, Ewiger!
Aus dem grauen Luftgebilde
Bricht die Sonne klar und milde,
Und die fromme Seele ahnt
Und die fromme Seele ahnt
Gott im hehren Vaterland!
Gott, den Herrn, im hehren Vaterland!

Fährst im wilden Sturm daher,
Bist du selbst uns Hort und Wehr,
Du, allmächtig Waltender, Rettender!
In Gewitternacht und Grauen
Lasst uns kindlich ihm vertrauen!
Ja, die fromme Seele ahnt
Ja, die fromme Seele ahnt
Gott im hehren Vaterland!
Gott, den Herrn, im hehren Vaterland!

When the morning skies grow red
And over us their radiance shed
Thou, O Lord, appeareth in their light!
When the alps glow bright with splendor,
Pray to God, to Him surrender!
For you feel and understand
That God dwelleth in this land.
That God, the Lord, dwelleth in this land.

In the sunset Thou art night
And beyond the starry sky
Thou, O loving father, ever near!
When to Heaven we are departing
Joy and bliss Thou’lt be imparting!
For we feel and understand
That God dwelleth in this land.
That God, the Lord, dwelleth in this land.

When dark clouds enshroud the hills
And gray mist the valley fills
Yet Thou art not hidden from thy sons!
Pierce the gloom in which we cower
With Thy sunshine’s cleansing power
Then we’ll feel and understand
That God dwelleth in this land.
That God, the Lord, dwelleth in this land.

Towards us in the wild storm coming,
You yourself give us resistance and stronghold,
You, almighty ruling, rescuing!
During horror and nights of thunderstorms
Let us childlike trust Him!
Yes, we feel and understand,
That God dwelleth in this land.
That God, the Lord, dwelleth in this land.

Italy

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Il Canto degli Italiani (“The Song of the Italians”) is best known among Italians as Inno di Mameli, after the author of the lyrics, or Fratelli d’Italia, from its opening line. The words were written by a young Genoese student called Goffredo Mameli in 1847 and set to music a few months later by a fellow Genoese, Michele Novaro. The other story goes that one evening in 1847, in the house of the American consul, the center of discussion was the uprisings of the day. Urged by many of the consul’s guests, Mameli improvised a few lines on the spot and later wrote the rest. The hymn became popular during the turbulent period of the Risorgimento, leading to Unification in 1861.

Fratelli d’Italia,
l’Italia s’è desta,
dell’elmo di Scipio
s’è cinta la testa.
Dov’è la Vittoria?
Le porga la chioma,
ché schiava di Roma
Iddio la creò.

Stringiamci a coorte,
siam pronti alla morte.
Siam pronti alla morte,
l’Italia chiamò.
Stringiamci a coorte,
siam pronti alla morte.
Siam pronti alla morte,
l’Italia chiamò! Sì!

Noi fummo da secoli,
calpesti, derisi,
perché non siam popolo,
perché siam divisi.
Raccolgaci un’unica
bandiera, una speme:
di fonderci insieme
già l’ora suonò.
Coro

Uniamoci, amiamoci,
l’unione e l’amore
rivelano ai popoli
le vie del Signore.
Giuriamo far libero
il suolo natio:
uniti, per Dio,
chi vincer ci può?
Coro

Dall’Alpi a Sicilia
dovunque è Legnano,
ogn’uom di Ferruccio
ha il core, ha la mano,
i bimbi d’Italia
si chiaman Balilla,
il suon d’ogni squilla
i Vespri suonò.
Coro

Son giunchi che piegano
le spade vendute:
già l’Aquila d’Austria
le penne ha perdute.
Il sangue d’Italia,
il sangue Polacco,
bevé, col cosacco,
ma il cor le bruciò.
Coro

Brothers of Italy,
Italy has woken,
Bound Scipio’s helmet
Upon her head.
Where is Victory?
Let her bow down,
For God created
her Slave of Rome.

Let us join in a cohort,
We are ready to die.
We are ready to die,
Italy has called.

Let us join in a cohort,
We are ready to die.
We are ready to die,
Italy has called! Yes!

We were for centuries
downtrodden, derided,
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.
Let us unite,
let us love one another,
For union and love
Reveal to the people
The ways of the Lord.
Let us swear
to set free
The land of our birth:
United, for God,
Who can overcome us?

From the Alps to Sicily,
Legnano is everywhere;
Every man has the heart
and hand of Ferruccio
The children of Italy
Are all called Balilla;
Every trumpet blast
sounds the Vespers.

Mercenary swords,
they’re feeble reeds.
The Austrian eagle
Has already lost its plumes.
The blood of Italy
and the Polish blood It drank,
along with the Cossack,
But it burned its heart.

 

Malta

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L-Innu Malti
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The Maltese Hymn is written in the form of a prayer to God. From the mid nineteenth century up to the early 1930s, Malta was passing through a national awakening. It was felt by many thinkers that Malta should have its own National Anthem. In 1850 Ġan Anton Vassallo composed Innu Lil Malta, which used to be played during many Maltese political manifestations. In 1922, Professor Mro. Robert Samut composed a short melody. The Anthem is played every day on the media, and also during all the official duties of the President of Malta, of the Prime Minister of Malta, and those of other important governmental personalities. It is played during all important National activities.

Lil din l-art ħelwa, l-Omm li tatna isimha,
Ħares Mulej, kif dejjem Int ħarist:
Ftakar li lilha bl-ohla dawl libbist.

Agħti, kbir Alla, id-dehen lil min jaħkimha,
Rodd il-ħniena lis-sid, saħħa ‘l-haddiem:
Seddaq il-għaqda fil-Maltin u s-sliem.

Guard, Lord, forever, as you’ve done erst and ceasing never, This land whose name we received, our motherly-named Mother. Her you have draped with a light whose grace exceeds all other. On those who govern, sovereign God, bestow understanding, Grant wellness to those who work, largesse to those employing, Make firm, make just all our bonds, the peace we are enjoying.

Czechia

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Kde domov můj?
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“Where is my home?” is the czech national anthem. The music to the anthem was composed by F. Škroup, a main Revivalist composer of Czech music and especially Czech opera. The lyrics were taken from the first stanza of the opera “Fidlovačka”, which was written by Tyl and performed in 1834. The song originally had two verses but when it became the first part of the Czechoslovak state anthem after the country’s liberation in 1918, only one verse was used. Upon dissolution of Czechoslovakia on 1 January 1993, the song became the anthem of the new Czech Republic, but only the first verse remains the official anthem.

Kde domov můj, kde domov můj,
Voda hučí po lučinách,
bory šumí po skalinách,
v sadě skví se jara květ,
zemský ráj to na pohled!
A to je ta krásná země,
země česká domov můj,
země česká domov můj!

Where is my home, where is my home,
Streams are rushing through the meadows,
Midst the rocks sigh fragrant pine groves,
Orchards decked in spring’s array,
Scenes of Paradise portray.
And this land of wondrous beauty,
Is the Czech land, home of mine,
Is the Czech land, home of mine!

Slovakia

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Nad Tatrou sa blýska
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Nad Tatrou sa blýska would be translated in English as “Lightning Over the Tatras”. It is the national anthem of Slovakia and originates from the Central European activism of the 19th century. Its main themes are a storm over the Tatra mountains that symbolized danger to the Slovaks, and a desire for a resolution of the threat. Lightning over the Tatras was written in 1844 during the weeks when the students were agitated about the repeated denials of their and others’ appeals to the school board to reverse Štúr’s dismissal. It used to be particularly popular during the 1848-1849 insurgencies.

Nad Tatrou sa blýska
Hromy divo bijú
Zastavme ich, bratia
Veď sa ony stratia
Slováci ožijú

To Slovensko naše
Posiaľ tvrdo spalo
Ale blesky hromu
Vzbudzujú ho k tomu
Aby sa prebralo

There is lightning over the Tatras
Thunders loudly sound
Let us stop them, brothers
After all they will disappear
The Slovaks will revive

That Slovakia of ours
Had been sleeping by now
But the thunder’s lightnings
Are rousing the land
To wake it up

Poland

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Mazurek Dąbrowskiego
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The text of the Song of the Polish Legions in Italy, later known as Dąbrowski’s Mazurka or “Poland has not perished yet” (and Europe neither), was written between July 16 and July 19, 1797, in Reggio nell’Emilia, in Lombardy. Its author was Józef Rufin Wybicki, scion of the Rogala noble clan, which settled in Pomerania in the 16th century and wrote the song to celebrate the departure of the legionaries from Reggio, and indeed this is where it was sung for the first time. Several weeks later, when Wybicki stayed in Milan and Dąbrowski with his legionaries was in Bologna, the general wrote: “The soldiers have taken to your song and we are often singing it together, with due respect to the author.”

Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła,
Kiedy my żyjemy.
Co nam obca przemoc wzięła,
Szablą odbierzemy.

Chorus
Marsz, marsz, Dąbrowski,
Z ziemi włoskiej do Polski.
Za twoim przewodem
Złączym się z narodem.

Przejdziem Wisłę, przejdziem Wartę,
Będziem Polakami.
Dał nam przykład Bonaparte,
Jak zwyciężać mamy.

Chorus

Jak Czarniecki do Poznania
Po szwedzkim zaborze,
Dla ojczyzny ratowania
Wrócim się przez morze.
 
Chorus

Już tam ojciec do swej Basi
Mówi zapłakany –
Słuchaj jeno, pono nasi
Biją w tarabany.
 
Chorus

Poland has not yet died,
So long as we still live.
What the foreign power has seized from us,
We shall recapture with a sabre.

Chorus
March, march, Dąbrowski,
To Poland from the Italian land.
Under your command
We shall rejoin the nation.

We’ll cross the Vistula, we’ll cross the Warta,
We shall be Polish.
Bonaparte has given us the example
Of how we should prevail.

Chorus

Like Czarniecki to Poznań
Returned across the sea
To save his homeland
After the Swedish partition.

Chorus

A father, in tears,
Says to his Basia
Listen, our boys are said
To be beating the tarabans.

Chorus

Lithuania

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Tautiška giesmė
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The Lithuanian national hymn simply means “The National Hymn”. It has been created in 1898 by Vincas Kudirka, one of the heroes of Lithuanian National Revival (adopted in 1920). It is notable for having each verse to follow a different melody and therefore should never be shortened (trimming the anthem in some sports events triggers discontent). This is also to be noticed that a peculiar tradition calls every Lithuanian to sing the anthem on July 6th, the State Day of Lithuania (the Coronation Day of the King Mindaugas).

Lietuva, Tėvyne mūsų,
Tu didvyrių žeme,
Iš praeities Tavo sūnūs
Te stiprybę semia.

Tegul Tavo vaikai eina
Vien takais dorybės,
Tegul dirba Tavo naudai
Ir žmonių gėrybei.

Tegul saulė Lietuvoj
Tamsumas prašalina,
Ir šviesa, ir tiesa
Mūs žingsnius telydi.

Tegul meilė Lietuvos
Dega mūsų širdyse,
Vardan tos, Lietuvos
Vienybė težydi!

Lithuania, our dear homeland,
Land of worthy heroes!
May your sons draw strength
From your past experiences.

May your children always
Choose the paths of virtue,
May they work towards your good,
And that of all people.

May the sun of Lithuania
Disperse darkness,
And light, and truth,
May guide our steps.

May love of Lithuania
Burn in our hearts,
In the name of Lithuania,
Unity may blossom!

Latvia

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Dievs, svētī Latviju!
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The Latvian national Anthem means “God, Bless Latvia!”. The music and lyrics were written in 1873 by Kārlis Baumanis, a teacher, who was part of the Young Latvian nationalist movement. It has been speculated that Baumanis may have borrowed part of the lyrics from a popular song which was sung to tune of God Save the Queen, modified them and set them to music of his own. Baumanis’s lyrics were different from the modern ones: he used the term “Baltics” synonymously and interchangeably with “Latvia” and “Latvians”, so “Latvia” was actually mentioned only at the beginning of the first verse.

Dievs, svētī Latviju!
Mūs’ dārgo tēviju
Svētī jel Latviju
Ak, svētī jel to!

Kur latvju meitas zied
Kur latvju dēli dzied
Laid mums tur laimē diet
Mūs’ Latvijā!

God, bless Latvia!
Our beloved fatherland,
Bless Latvia,
Oh bless it, yet again!

Where Latvian daughters bloom,
Where Latvian sons sing,
Let us dance for joy there,
In our Latvia!

Estonia

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Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm
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Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm means “My Fatherland, My Happiness and Joy” and was adopted as the national anthem of the Republic of Estonia in 1920, and again in 1990. The lyrics were written by Johann Voldemar Jannsen and are set to a melody composed in 1848 by Fredrik which is also used for the national anthem of Finland: Maamme. Between 1956 and 1990 the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, a part of the Soviet Union, had a different anthem. Although Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm was banned under Soviet rule, Estonians could often hear the melody, as Finland’s state broadcaster YLE played the Finnish national anthem at closedown every night.

Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm,
kui kaunis oled sa!
Ei leia mina iial teal
see suure, laia ilma peal,
mis mul nii armas oleks ka,
kui sa, mu isamaa!

Sa oled mind ju sünnitand
ja üles kasvatand;
sind tänan mina alati
ja jään sull’ truuiks surmani,
mul kõige armsam oled sa,
mu kallis isamaa!

Su üle Jumal valvaku
mu armas isamaa!
Ta olgu sinu kaitseja
ja võtku rohkest õnnista,
mis iial ette võtad sa,
mu kallis isamaa!

My fatherland, my joy and happiness,
How beautiful you are!
I shall not find such ever
In this huge wide world
Which would be so dear to me
As you, my fatherland!

You have given me birth
And raised me up;
I shall thank you always
And remain faithful to you ’til death,
To me most beloved are you,
My precious fatherland!

May God watch over you,
My precious fatherland!
Let Him be your defender
And provide bountiful blessings
For whatever you undertake,
My precious fatherland!

Belarus

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Мы, беларусы
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Мы, беларусы meaning “We Belarusians” is the unofficial title of the national anthem of Belarus and the first line of its lyrics. Officially, “My Belarusy” is titled “the State Anthem of the Republic of Belarus”. The anthem was originally written in 1955 for use in the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the music composed by Sakałoŭski was kept and the lyrics were discarded. New lyrics, which were written by Klimkovich and Uladzimir Karyzny, were adopted by a presidential decree in 2002. The lyrics of the anthem now sing of a friendly Belarus, honoring past military battles and looking forward to the future.

Мы, беларусы – мірныя людзі,
Сэрцам адданыя роднай зямлі,
Шчыра сябруем, сілы гартуем
Мы ў працавітай, вольнай сям’і.

Прыпеў:
Слаўся, зямлі нашай светлае імя,
Слаўся, народаў братэрскі саюз!
𝄆 Наша любімая маці-Радзіма,
Вечна жыві і квітней, Беларусь! 𝄇

Разам з братамі мужна вякамі
Мы баранілі родны парог,
У бітвах за волю, бітвах за долю
Свой здабывалі сцяг перамог!

Прыпеў

Дружба народаў – сіла народаў –
Наш запаветны, сонечны шлях.
Горда ж узвіся ў ясныя высі,
Сцяг пераможны – радасці сцяг!

Прыпеў

We, Belarusians, are peaceful people,
Wholeheartedly devoted to our Motherland.
We are faithful friends, growing up
Living in a hardworking and independent family.

Chorus:
Glory to the blessed name of our land,
Glory to the brotherly union of peoples!
𝄆 Our dearly beloved Motherland,
May you live long and prosper, Belarus! 𝄇

Together with our brothers, we for centuries
Courageously defended our home’s threshold.
In battles for freedom, and battles for our lot
We have won our banners of victory!

Chorus

Friendship of peoples is the strength of peoples
And it is our sacred sunlit path.
Proudly we fly in the clear blue skies,
The banner of victory, the sunshine’s flag!

Chorus

Ukraine

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Ще не вмерла Українa
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Ще не вмерла Українa or Shche ne vmerla Ukraina means in English “Ukraine Has Not Yet Died” (just like Poland… and this website) . The anthem’s music was officially adopted by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada on January 15, 1992. The lyrics constitute a slightly modified original first stanza of the patriotic poem written in 1862 by Pavlo Chubynsky, a prominent ethnographer from the region of Ukraine’s capital, Kiev. The popularity of the Ukrainian anthem has become particularly high in the wake of the Orange Revolution protests of 2004 and Euromaidan of 2013

Ще не вмерла України і слава, і воля,
Ще нам, браття молодії, усміхнеться доля.
Згинуть наші воріженьки, як роса на сонці.
Запануєм і ми, браття, у своїй сторонці.

𝄆 Душу й тіло ми положим за нашу свободу,
І покажем, що ми, браття, козацького роду. 𝄇

Ukraine’s glory, Ukraine’s freedom did not disappear,
Fate will smile on us Ukrainians, our skies will be clear.
Our enemies will vanish like a sun-dried foam,
We will be the only masters in our dear home.

𝄆 We will give our souls and bodies for our freedom
And will show that we are, brothers, in the Cossack breed born! 𝄇

Romania

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Deşteaptă-te, române!
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Deşteaptă-te, române! (“Wake Up, Romanian!”) is the national anthem of Romania. The text was written by Andrei Mureşanu and the music by Anton Pann in 1848 under the name Un răsunet (“An Echo”). It was first sung on in 1848 in Râmnicu Vâlcea, and was immediately accepted as a revolutionary anthem and renamed Deşteaptă-te, române! As the song contains a message of liberty and patriotism, it was sung during all major Romanian conflicts, including the 1989 anti-Communist revolution. In 1990, it became the national anthemJuly 29, the day when the anthem was sung for the first time, is now “National Anthem Day” (Ziua Imnului naţional), a national holiday in Romania.

Deșteaptă-te, române, din somnul cel de moarte,
În care te-adânciră barbarii de tirani!
Acum ori niciodată croiește-ți altă soarte,
La care să se-nchine și cruzii tăi dușmani!
 
Acum ori niciodată să dăm dovezi în lume
Că-n aste mâni mai curge un sânge de roman,
Și că-n a noastre piepturi păstrăm cu fală-un nume
Triumfător în lupte, un nume de Traian!

Priviți, mărețe umbre, Mihai, ștefan, Corvine,
Româna națiune, ai voștri strănepoți,
Cu brațele armate, cu focul vostru-n vine,
“Viață-n libertate ori moarte!” strigă toți.

Preoți, cu crucea-n frunte! căci oastea e creștină,
Deviza-i libertate și scopul ei preasfânt,
Murim mai bine-n luptă, cu glorie deplină,
Decât să fim sclavi iarăși în vechiul nost’ pământ!

Awaken thee, Romanian, shake off the deadly slumber
The scourge of inauspicious barbarian tyrannies
And now or never to a bright horizon clamber
That shall to shame put all your nocuous enemies.
 
It’s now or never to the world we readily proclaim
In our veins throbs and ancestry of Roman
And in our hearts for ever we glorify a name
Resounding of battle, the name of gallant Trajan.
  
Do look imperial shadows, Michael, Stephen, Corvinus
At the Romanian nation, your mighty progeny
With arms like steel and hearts of fire impetuous
It’s either free or dead, that’s what they all decree.
 
Priests, rise the cross, this Christian army’s liberating
The word is freedom, no less sacred is the end
We’d rather die in battle, in elevated glory
Than live again enslaved on our ancestral land.

Moldova

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Limba noastră
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Limba noastră meaning “Our Language” has been since 1994 the national anthem of the Republic of Moldova. For a short period before that, the official anthem of the country was Deşteaptă-te, române!, the national anthem of Romania. The lyrics were written by Alexei Mateevici (1888-1917), who contributed significantly to the national emancipation of Bessarabia. The music for the anthem was composed by Alexandru Cristea (1890-1942). The focus of Limba noastră, written in a romantic style, is the national language. It calls for the people to revive the usage of their native language

Limba noastră-i o comoară
În adîncuri înfundată
Un șirag de piatră rară
Pe moșie revărsată.

Limba noastră-i foc ce arde
Într-un neam, ce fără veste
S-a trezit din somn de moarte
Ca viteazul din poveste.

Limba noastră-i numai cântec,
Doina dorurilor noastre,
Roi de fulgere, ce spintec
Nouri negri, zări albastre.

Limba noastră-i graiul pâinii,
Când de vânt se mișcă vara;
In rostirea ei bătrânii
Cu sudori sfințit-au țara.

Limba noastră-i frunză verde,
Zbuciumul din codrii veșnici,
Nistrul lin, ce-n valuri pierde
Ai luceferilor sfeșnici.

Nu veți plânge-atunci amarnic,
Că vi-i limba prea săracă,
Și-ți vedea, cât îi de darnic
Graiul țării noastre dragă.

Limba noastră-i vechi izvoade.
Povestiri din alte vremuri;
Și citindu-le ‘nșirate,
Te-nfiori adânc și tremuri.

Limba noastră îi aleasă
Să ridice slava-n ceruri,
Să ne spiue-n hram și-acasă
Veșnicele adevăruri.

Limba noastră-i limbă sfântă,
Limba vechilor cazanii,
Care o plâng și care o cântă
Pe la vatra lor țăranii.

Înviați-vă dar graiul,
Ruginit de multă vreme,
Stergeți slinul, mucegaiul
Al uitării ‘n care geme.

Strângeți piatra lucitoare
Ce din soare se aprinde
Și-ți avea în revărsare
Un potop nou de cuvinte.

Răsări-va o comoară
În adâncuri înfundată,
Un șirag de piatră rară
Pe moșie revărsată.

A treasure is our language that surges
From deep shadows of the past,
Chain of precious stones that scattered
All over our ancient land.

A burning flame is our language
Amidst a people waking
From a deathly sleep, no warning,
Like the brave man of the stories.

Our language is made of songs
From our soul’s deepest desires,
Flash of lightning striking swiftly
Through dark clouds and blue horizons.

Our language is the tongue of bread
When the winds blow through the summer,
Uttered by our forefathers who
Blessed the country through their labour.

Our language is the greenest leaf
Of the everlasting codris,
Gentle river Dniester’s ripples
Hiding starlight bright and shining.

Utter no more bitter cries now
That your language is too poor,
And you will see with what abundance
Flow the words of our precious country.

Our language is full of legends,
Stories from the days of old.
Reading one and then another
Makes one shudder, tremble and moan.

Our language is singled out
To lift praises up to heaven,
Uttering with constant fervour
Truths that never cease to beckon.

Our language is more than holy,
Words of homilies of old
Wept and sung perpetually
In the homesteads of our folks.

Resurrect now this our language,
Rusted through the years that have passed,
Wipe off filth and mould that gathered
When forgotten through our land.

Gather now the sparkling stone,
Catching bright light from the sun.
You will see the endless flooding
Of new words that overflow.

A treasure will spring up swiftly
From deep shadows of the past,
Chain of precious stones that scattered
All over our ancient land

Hungary

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Himnusz
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Himnusz simply means in English “Anthem and is a musical poetic prayer beginning with the words Isten, áldd meg a magyart (“God, bless the Hungarians”) that serves as the official national anthem of Hungary. It was adopted in 1844 and the first stanza is sung at official ceremonies. The words of the Hungarian anthem are unusual in expressing a direct plea to God rather than proclaiming national pride, the norm for the genre. This reference to God meant that during the period of strongest communist rule in Hungary (1949–1956), the anthem was played but the words were never sung. The public radio station Kossuth Rádió plays Himnusz at ten minutes past midnight each day.

Isten, áldd meg a magyart
Jó kedvvel, bőséggel,
Nyújts feléje védő kart,
Ha küzd ellenséggel;
Bal sors akit régen tép,
Hozz rá víg esztendőt,
Megbűnhődte már e nép
A múltat s jövendőt!

Őseinket felhozád
Kárpát szent bércére,
Általad nyert szép hazát
Bendegúznak vére.
S merre zúgnak habjai
Tiszának, Dunának,
Árpád hős magzatjai
Felvirágozának.

Értünk Kunság mezein
Ért kalászt lengettél,
Tokaj szőlővesszein
Nektárt csepegtettél.
Zászlónk gyakran plántálád
Vad török sáncára,
S nyögte Mátyás bús hadát
Bécsnek büszke vára.

Hajh, de bűneink miatt
Gyúlt harag kebledben,
S elsújtád villámidat
Dörgő fellegedben,
Most rabló mongol nyilát
Zúgattad felettünk,
Majd töröktől rabigát
Vállainkra vettünk.

Hányszor zengett ajkain
Ozman vad népének
Vert hadunk csonthalmain
Győzedelmi ének!
Hányszor támadt tenfiad
Szép hazám, kebledre,
S lettél magzatod miatt
Magzatod hamvvedre!

Bújt az üldözött, s felé
Kard nyúlt barlangjában,
Szerte nézett s nem lelé
Honját e hazában,
Bércre hág és völgybe száll,
Bú s kétség mellette,
Vérözön lábainál,
S lángtenger fölette.

Vár állott, most kőhalom,
Kedv s öröm röpkedtek,
Halálhörgés, siralom
Zajlik már helyettek.
S ah, szabadság nem virul
A holtnak véréből,
Kínzó rabság könnye hull
Árvák hő szeméből!

Szánd meg Isten a magyart
Kit vészek hányának,
Nyújts feléje védő kart
Tengerén kínjának.
Bal sors akit régen tép,
Hozz rá víg esztendőt,
Megbűnhődte már e nép
A múltat s jövendőt!

O, my God, the Magyar bless
With Thy plenty and good cheer!
With Thine aid his just cause press,
Where his foes to fight appear.
Fate, who for so long did’st frown,
Bring him happy times and ways;
Atoning sorrow hath weighed down
Sins of past and future days.

By Thy help our fathers gained
Kárpát’s proud and sacred height;
Here by Thee a home obtained
Heirs of Bendegúz, the knight.
Where’er Danube’s waters flow
And the streams of Tisza swell
Árpád’s children, Thou dost know,
Flourished and did prosper well.

For us let the golden grain
Grow upon the fields of Kún,
And let Nectar’s silver rain
Ripen grapes of Tokay soon.
Thou our flags hast planted o’er
Forts where once wild Turks held sway;
Proud Vienna suffered sore
From King Mátyás’ dark array.

But, alas! for our misdeed,
Anger rose within Thy breast.
And Thy lightnings Thou did’st speed
From Thy thundering sky with zest.
Now the Mongol arrow flew
Over our devoted heads;
Or the Turkish yoke we knew,
Which a free-born nation dreads.

O, how often has the voice
Sounded of wild Osman’s hordes,
When in songs they did rejoice
O’er our heroes’ captured swords!
Yea, how often rose Thy sons,
My fair land, upon Thy sod,
And Thou gavest to these sons,
Tombs within the breast they trod!

Though in caves pursued he lie,
Even then he fears attacks.
Coming forth the land to spy,
Even a home he finds he lacks.
Mountain, vale—go where he would,
Grief and sorrow all the same—
Underneath a sea of blood,
While above a sea of flame.

‘Neath the fort, a ruin now,
Joy and pleasure erst were found,
Only groans and sighs, I trow,
In its limits now abound.
But no freedom’s flowers return
From the spilt blood of the dead,
And the tears of slavery burn,
Which the eyes of orphans shed.

Pity, God, the Magyar, then,
Long by waves of danger tossed;
Help him by Thy strong hand when
He on grief’s sea may be lost.
Fate, who for so long did’st frown,
Bring him happy times and ways;
Atoning sorrow hath weighed down
All the sins of all his days.

Slovenia

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Zdravljica
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The current national anthem of Slovenia consists of a part of Zdravljica poem (which mean “A Toast”), written by the 19th century Slovene poet France Prešeren, and the music written by the Slovene composer Stanko Premrl in 1905. Emphasising internationalism, it was defined in 1994 as the anthem with the Act on the national symbols of Slovenia. However, even before the breakup of Yugoslavia, the lyrics and music were together adopted as the anthem by the Socialist Republic on 27 September 1989. Therefore, it was the anthem of the  Republic of Slovenia as a constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from  March 1990 to June 1991.

Žive naj vsi narodi
Ki hrepene dočakat’ dan
Da koder sonce hodi
Prepir iz sveta bo pregnan
Da rojak
Prost bo vsak
Ne vrag, le sosed bo mejak!

May all peoples thrive
That yearn (desiderium) to see the day
When wheresoever the Sun walks,
strife shall be banished from the world.
When every kinsman
shall be free
And not a devil but a neighbor shall the adjoining-land’s dweller be!

Croatia

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Lijepa naša domovino
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The Croatian national anthem was written by Antun Mihanovic, in 1835 it was first printed in the “Danica” newspaper under the name “Horvatska domovina”. Subsequently in 1891 it was first sung as the Croatian national anthem under the name of “Lijepa nasa” by the Croatian-Slavonian Economic Association in Zagreb. Between 1918 and 1941, segments of the Croatian national anthem were part of the national anthem of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and it was unofficial hymn of Croats. The anthem was confirmed by constitutions of 1974 and 1990, when its lyrics were slightly modified, and by the Coat of Arms, the Flag and the National Anthem of the Republic of Croatia Act

Lijepa naša domovino,
Oj, junačka zemljo mila,
Stare slave djedovino,
Da bi vazda sretna bila!

Mila kano si nam slavna,
Mila si nam ti jedina,
Mila kuda si nam ravna,
Mila kuda si planina!

Teci, Dravo, Savo, teci,
Nit’ ti, Dunav, silu gubi,
Sinje more, svijetu reci
Da svoj narod Hrvat ljubi

Dok mu njive sunce grije,
Dok mu hrašće bura vije,
Dok mu mrtve grobak krije,
Dok mu živo srce bije

Our beautiful homeland,
Oh so fearless and gracious,
Our fathers’ ancient glory,
May you be happy forever.

Dear, you are our only glory,
Dear, you are our only one,
Dear, we love your plains,
Dear, we love your mountains.

Drava, Sava, keep on flowing,
Danube, do not lose your vigour,
Deep blue sea, tell the world,
That the Croat loves his people.

Whilst his fields are kissed by sunshine,
Whilst his oaks are whipped by bura winds,
Whilst his ancestors lie buried,
Whilst his living heart beats

Serbia

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Bože pravde
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The national anthem of Serbia is a 19th century ceremonial song “Boze Pravde” (God of Justice), composed by Davorin Jenko and with lyrics by Jovan Djordjevic. While being the anthem of the Kingdom of Serbia, it occasionally was referred to as ‘Serbian National Prayer’ and the original lyrics contained a petition for the Serbian king. Various rulers of Serbia changed the words of the anthem to suit them. During the rule of Prince Milan I of Serbia, the words were “God, save Prince Milan” (knez Milana Bože spasi), which changed to King Milan when Serbia became a kingdom. The current anthem uses slightly modified original lyrics, asserting that Serbia is no longer a monarchy.

Боже правде, ти што спасе
од пропасти досад нас,
чуј и од сад наше гласе
и од сад нам буди спас.

Моћном руком води, брани
будућности српске брод,
𝄆 Боже спаси, Боже xрани, 𝄇
𝄆 српске земље, српски род! 𝄇

Сложи српску браћу драгу
на свак дичан славан рад,
слога биће пораз врагу
а најјачи српству град.

Нек на српској блиста грани
братске слоге златан плод,
𝄆 Боже спаси, Боже xрани 𝄇
𝄆 српске земље, српски род! 𝄇

Нек на српско ведро чело
твог не падне гнева гром
Благослови Србу село
поље, њиву, град и дом!

Кад наступе борбе дани
к победи му води ход
𝄆 Боже спаси, Боже xрани 𝄇
𝄆 српске земље, српски род! 𝄇

Из мрачнога сину гроба
српске славе нови сјај
настало је ново доба
Нову срећу, Боже дај!

Отаџбину српску брани
пет вековне борбе плод
𝄆 Боже спаси, Боже брани 𝄇
𝄆 моли ти се српски род! 𝄇

God of Justice; Thou who saved us
when in deepest bondage cast,
Hear Thy Serbian children’s voices,
Be our help as in the past.

With Thy mighty hand sustain us,
Still our rugged pathway trace;
𝄆 God, our hope; protect and cherish,𝄆
𝄆 Serbian lands and Serbian race!𝄆

Bind in closest links our kindred
Teach the love that will not fail,
May the loathed fiend of discord
Never in our ranks prevail.

Let the golden fruits of union
Our young tree of freedom grace;
𝄆 God, our Master! Guide and prosper, 𝄇
𝄆 Serbian lands and Serbian race! 𝄇

Lord! Avert from us Thy vengeance,
Thunder of Thy dreaded ire;
Bless each Serbian town and hamlet,
Mountain, meadow, heart and spire!

When our host goes forth to battle
Death or victory to embrace-
𝄆 God of armies! Be our leader, 𝄇
𝄆 Strengthen then the Serbian race! 𝄇

On our sepulchre of ages
Breaks the resurrection morn,
From the slough of direst slavery
Serbia anew is born.

Through five hundred years of durance
We have knelt before Thy face,
𝄆 All our kin, O God! Deliver, 𝄇
𝄆 Thus entreats the Serbian race! 𝄇

Montenegro

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Oj, svijetla majska zoro
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The official National anthem of Montenegro is “Oj, svijetla majska zoro” (or „Ој, свијетла мајска зоро”) which means in English “Oh, Bright Dawn of May”. It is  adopted in 2004. Before becoming the anthem, it was a popular folk song of the Montenegrins, with many variations of its text. The oldest one is dated to the 2nd half of the 19th century, known as “Oh, Bright Dawn of Heroism, oh!”, a popular Montenegrin folk song. The lyrics start with “Oh, bright dawn of May, Our mother Montenegro, We are sons of your rocks, and keepers of your honesty”

𝄆 Ој свијетла мајска зоро. 𝄇
𝄆 Мајко наша Црна Горо. 𝄇
𝄆 Синови смо твог стијења 𝄇
𝄆 И чувари твог поштења 𝄇
Волимо вас, брда тврда
И стравичне ваше кланце
Који никад не познаше
Срамотнога ропства ланце,
𝄆 Мајко наша Црна Горо! 𝄇

𝄆 Ој свијетла мајска зоро. 𝄇
𝄆 Мајко наша Црна Горо. 𝄇
Док ловћенској нашој мисли
Наша слога даје крила,
Биће горда, биће славна
Домовина наша мила.
Ријека ће наших вала
Ускачући у два мора
Глас носити океану,
Да је вјечна Црна Гора.
Глас носити океану,
𝄆 Да је вјечна Црна Гора! 𝄇

𝄆 Oh, bright dawn of May. 𝄇
𝄆 Our mother Montenegro. 𝄇
𝄆 We are sons of your rocks 𝄇
𝄆 And keepers of your honesty 𝄇
We love you, the rocky hills
And your awesome gorges
That never came to know
The chains of shameful slavery.
𝄆 Our mother Montenegro! 𝄇

𝄆 Oh, bright dawn of May. 𝄇
𝄆 Our mother Montenegro. 𝄇
While our unity gives wings
to our Lovćen cause,
Proud shall be, celebrated will be
Our dear homeland.
A river of our waves,
Jumping into two seas,
Will bear voice to the ocean,
May eternal be our Montenegro!
Will bear voice to the ocean,
𝄆 May eternal be our Montenegro! 𝄇

Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Државна химна Босне и Херцеговине, “the National Anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina” is one of the four national anthems along with that of Spain, San Marino, and Kosovo in the world to have no official lyrics. The anthem was adopted on 25 June 1999, by the promulgation of the Law on the National Anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina, replacing the previous anthem, “Jedna si jedina“, which excluded the country’s Serb and Croat communities. Lyrics written by Dušan Šestić, the original composer, and Benjamin Isović were accepted by a parliamentary commission in February 2009. The decision still requires approval of the Bosnian authorities.

Ти си свјетлост душе
Вјечне ватре плам
Мајко наша земљо Босно
Теби припадам

Дивно плаво небо
Херцеговине
У срцу су твоје ријеке
Твоје планине

поносна и славна
Крајина предака
Живјећеш у срцу нашем
Дов’јека

Покољења твоја
Казују једно
𝄆 Ми идемо у будућност
Заједно! 𝄇

You’re the light of the soul
Eternal fire’s flame
Mother of ours, o land of Bosnia
I belong to you
The beautiful blue sky
Of Herzegovina
In the heart are your rivers
Your mountains
Proud and famous
Land of ancestors
You shall live in our hearts
Ever more
Generations of yours
Show up as one
We go into the future
Together!

Albania

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Himni i Flamurit
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Back when Albania first gained independence as a monarchy in 1912 from Italy, Hymni i Flamurit was adopted, and has been kept as the anthem through its period as a Communist/Marxist state and now as a democratic nation. The original title of the hymn was Betimi mi flamur, or “Pledge to the Flag.” The hymn was first published as a poem in Liri e Shqipërisë (Freedom of Albania), an Albanian newspaper in Sofia, Bulgaria, in its issue of 21 April 1912. Later that year it appeared in a volume of collected poems by Drenova, under the title Ëndra e lot (Dreams and Tears), which was published in Bucharest. The official anthem uses only the first two stanzas of the original poem

Rreth flamurit të përbashkuar
Me një dëshirë e një qëllim,
Të gjith’ atij duke u betuar
Të lidhim besën për shpëtim.
𝄆 Prej lufte veç ay largohet
Që është lindur tradhëtor,
Kush është burrë nuk frikohet,
Por vdes, por vdes si një dëshmor! 𝄇

Në dorë armët do t’i mbajmë,
Të mbrojmë atdheun në çdo kënd,
Të drejtat tona ne s’i ndajmë;
Këtu armiqtë s’kanë vënd!
𝄆 Se Zoti vetë e tha me gojë
Që kombe shuhen përmbi dhe,
Po Shqipëria do të rrojë;
Për të, për të luftojmë ne! 𝄇

O Flamur, flamur, shenj’ e shenjtë
Tek ti betohemi këtu
Për Shqipërinë, atdheun e shtrenjtë,
Për nder’ edhe lavdimn e tu.
𝄆 Trim burrë quhet dhe nderohet
Atdheut kush iu bë therror.
Përjetë ai do të kujtohet
Mbi dhe, nën dhe si një shenjtor! 𝄇

Around our flag we stand united,
With one wish and one goal,
A sacred oath we bestow upon it
Proclaiming loyalty for our salvation.
𝄆 From war abstains only he,
Who a traitor is born,
He who is a true man is not frightened,
But dies a warrior to the cause. 𝄇

With weapons in our hands a-brandished,
We will defend our fatherland,
Our sacred rights we’ll not relinquish,
The foe has no place in our land.
𝄆 For God himself proclaimed:
The nations of the earth shall wane,
And yet will live, will thrive Albania.
For you, for you we fight. 𝄇

O Flag, flag, you sacred symbol
Upon you we now swear
For Albania, our dear fatherland
For honour and your glory.
𝄆 Brave man is named and honoured
The one who sacrificed himself for the fatherland
Forever he will be remembered
On earth and under as a saint! 𝄇

Bulgaria

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Мила Родино
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Мила Родино (Mila Rodino) or in English “Dear Motherland” was formally adopted by Bulgaria only in 1964, although the origins go back way before then. This first sentence says : “Proud Balkan Mountains, next to it the Danube sparkles, the sun shines over Thrace, and blazes over Pirin”. The anthem is based on Tsvetan Radoslavov’s Gorda Stara Planina, the music he wrote shortly before going to fight in the Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885. Bulgaria has had three previous national anthems and the lyrics to Mila Rodino have been changed around quite a bit too. Now it seems the Bulgarians are finally satisfied.

I
Горда Стара планина,
до ней Дунава синей,
слънце Тракия огрява,
над Пирина пламеней.

Припев:
Мила Родино,
ти си земен рай,
твойта хубост, твойта прелест, 
ах, те нямат край.

II
Паднаха борци безчет,
за народа наш любим,
майко, дай ни мъжка сила,
пътя им да продължим.*

Припев

III
Дружно, братя българи!
С нас Москва е в мир и в бой!
Партия велика води
нашия победен строй.*

Припев

I
Proud Balkan Mountains,
next to it the Danube sparkles,
the sun shines over Thrace,
and blazes over Pirin.

Refrain:
Dear Motherland,
you are heaven on earth,
your beauty, your loveliness,
ah, they are boundless.

II
Countless fighters died,
for our beloved people,
mother, give us manly strength
to continue their path.*

Refrain

III
Together, Bulgarian brothers!
Moscow is with us in peace and war!
A great party leads
Our victorious society.*

Refrain

North Macedonia

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Денес над Македонија
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Denes and Makedonija is the national anthem of the Republic of North Macedonia and stands for “Today Over Macedonia” It was composed by Todor Skalovski and the lyrics were written by Vlado Maleski in 1941. It was performed as a popular song of the Macedonians during the time of Socialist Republic of Macedonia, a part of Yugoslavia. Later the song was officially adopted to be the anthem of the independent Macedonia. The anthem has four stanzas, but the fourth stanza is mainly omitted from the national anthem.

Прва строфа:
Денес над Македонија се раѓа,
ново сонце на слободата!
𝄆 Македонците се борат,
за своите правдини! 𝄇

Втора строфа:
Не плачи Македонијо мајко мила,
Крени глава гордо, високо,
𝄆 Старо, младо, машко и женско,
На нозе се кренало! 𝄇

Трета строфа:
Одново сега знамето се вее,
на Крушевската Република!
𝄆 Гоце Делчев, Питу Гули,
Даме Груев, Сандански! 𝄇

Четврта строфа:
Горите македонски шумно пеат,
нови песни, нови весници!
𝄆 Македонија слободна,
слободно живее! 𝄇

I
Today over Macedonia is born
the new sun of liberty.
𝄆 The Macedonians fight
for their own rights! 𝄇

II
Do not cry, dear mother Macedonia,
Raise your head proudly high,
𝄆 Old, young, men, and women,
have risen to their feet! 𝄇

III
Now once again the flag flutters,
(that) of the Kruševo Republic
𝄆 Gotse Delchev, Pitu Guli
Dame Gruev, Sandanski! 𝄇

IV
The Macedonian woods resoundly sing
new songs and news!
𝄆 Macedonia liberated
lives in liberty! 𝄇

Greece/Cyprus

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Ὕμνος εἰς τὴν Ἐλευθερίαν is the longest national anthem in the world by length of text and is used as the national anthem of Greece and Cyprus. It means the Hymn to Liberty and is originally a poem written by Dionýsios Solomós in 1823 consisting of 158 stanzas. In 1865, the first three stanzas and later the first two officially became the national anthem of Greece and later also that of the Republic of Cyprus. Inspired by the Greek War of Independence, Solomos wrote the hymn to honour the struggle of Greeks for independence after centuries of Ottoman rule.

Σε γνωρίζω από την κόψη
Του σπαθιού την τρομερή,
Σε γνωρίζω από την όψη,
Που με βιά μετράει τη γη.

Απ’ τα κόκκαλα βγαλμένη
Των Ελλήνων τα ιερά,
𝄆 Και σαν πρώτα ανδρειωμένη,
Χαίρε, ω χαίρε, ελευθεριά! 𝄇

I recognize you by the fearsome sharpness,
of your sword,
I recognize you by your face
that hastefully defines the land (i.e. the land’s borders).

From the sacred bones,
of the Hellenes arisen,
𝄆 and valiant again as you once were,
Hail, o hail, Liberty! 𝄇

Turkey/Cyprus

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The İstiklâl Marşı translated as “Independence March” in English is the national anthem of Turkey, officially adopted on 12 March 1921 – two and a half years before the 29 October 1923 establishment of the Republic of Turkey, both as a motivational musical saga for the troops fighting in the Turkish War of Independence, and as an anthem for a Republic that was yet to be established. Penned by Mehmet Âkif Ersoy, ultimately composed by Osman Zeki Üngör, the theme is one of affection for the Turkish homeland, freedom, and faith, of sacrifice for liberty, and of hope and devotionIt is also the anthem of Northern Cyprus.

Korkma! Sönmez bu şafaklarda yüzen al sancak,
Sönmeden yurdumun üstünde tüten en son ocak.
O benim milletimin yıldızıdır, parlayacak;
O benimdir, o benim milletimindir ancak.
Çatma, kurban olayım, çehreni ey nazlı hilal!
Kahraman ırkıma bir gül; ne bu şiddet, bu celal?
Sana olmaz dökülen kanlarımız sonra helal…
Hakkıdır, Hakk’a tapan milletimin istiklal.
Ben ezelden beridir hür yaşadım, hür yaşarım,
Hangi çılgın bana zincir vuracakmış? Şaşarım.
Kükremiş sel gibiyim, bendimi çiğner, aşarım,
Yırtarım dağları, enginlere sığmam, taşarım.
Garbın afakını sarmışsa çelik zırhlı duvar,
Benim iman dolu göğsüm gibi serhaddim var.
Ulusun, korkma! Nasıl böyle bir imanı boğar,
“Medeniyet” dediğin tek dişi kalmış canavar?
Arkadaş! Yurduma alçakları uğratma sakın,
Siper et gövdeni, dursun bu hayâsızca akın.
Doğacaktır sana vadettiği günler Hakk’ın,
Kim bilir, belki yarın belki yarından da yakın.
Bastığın yerleri “toprak” diyerek geçme, tanı,
Düşün altındaki binlerce kefensiz yatanı.
Sen şehit oğlusun, incitme, yazıktır atanı,
Verme, dünyaları alsan da bu cennet vatanı.
Kim bu cennet vatanın uğruna olmaz ki feda?
Şüheda fışkıracak, toprağı sıksan şüheda.
Canı, cananı, bütün varımı alsın da Hüda,
Etmesin tek vatanımdan beni dünyada cüda.
Ruhumun senden İlahî, şudur ancak emeli:
Değmesin mabedimin göğsüne namahrem eli.
Bu ezanlar, ki şehadetleri dinin temeli,
Ebedî, yurdumun üstünde benim inlemeli.
O zaman vecdile bin secde eder, varsa taşım,
Her cerihamdan, İlahî, boşanıp kanlı yaşım,
Fışkırır ruhumücerret gibi yerden naaşım,
O zaman yükselerek arşa değer belki başım.
Dalgalan sen de şafaklar gibi ey şanlı hilal!
Olsun artık dökülen kanlarımın hepsi helal.
Ebediyen sana yok, ırkıma yok izmihlal.
Hakkıdır, hür yaşamış bayrağımın hürriyet;
Hakkıdır, Hakk’a tapan milletimin istiklal.

Fear not! For the crimson flag that proudly ripples in this glorious twilight, shall not fade,

Before the last fiery hearth that is ablaze within my nation is extinguished.

For That is the star of my nation, and it will forever shine;

It is mine; and solely belongs to my valiant nation.

Frown not, I beseech you, oh thou coy crescent,

But smile upon my heroic race! Why the anger, why the rage?

This blood of ours which we shed for you shall not be blessed otherwise;

For Freedom is the absolute right of my God-worshiping nation.

I have been free since the beginning and forever shall be so.

What madman shall put me in chains! I defy the very idea!

I’m like the roaring flood; powerful and independent,

I’ll tear apart mountains, exceed the heavensand still gush out!

The lands of the West may be surrounded with walls of steel,

But I have borders guarded by the mighty chest of a believer.

Recognize your innate strength,  my friend! And think: how can this fiery faith ever be killed,

By that battered, single-fanged monster you call “civilization”?

My friend! Leave not my homeland to the hands of villainous men!

Render your chest as armor and your body as trench! Stop this disgraceful rush!

For soon shall come the joyous days of divine promise…

Who knows? Perhaps tomorrow? Perhaps even sooner!

View not the soil you tread on as mere earth – recognize it!

And think about the shroudless thousands who lie so nobly beneath you.

You’re the noble son of a martyr, take shame, hurt not your ancestor!

Unhand not, even when you’re promised worlds, this paradise of a homeland.

What man would not die for this heavenly piece of land?

Martyrs would gush out should one simply squeeze the soil! Martyrs!

May God take all my loved ones and possessions from me if He will,

But may He not deprive me of my one true homeland for the world.

Oh glorious God, the sole wish of my pain-stricken heart is that,

No heathen’s hand should ever touch the bosom of my sacred Temples.

These adhans, whose shahadahs are the foundations of my religion,

May their noble sound last loud and wide over my eternal homeland.

For only then, shall my fatigued tombstone, if there is one, prostrate a thousand times in ecstasy,

And tears of fiery blood shall flow out of my every wound,

And my lifeless body shall gush out from the earth like an eternal spirit,

Perhaps only then, shall I peacefully ascend and at long last reach the heavens.

So ripple and wave like the bright dawning sky, oh thou glorious crescent,

So that our every last drop of blood may finally be blessed and worthy!

Neither you nor my race shall ever be extinguished!

For freedom is the absolute right of my ever-free flag;

For freedom is the absolute right of my God-worshiping nation!

Bonus: Europe

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An die Freude
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The melody used to symbolize the EU comes from the Ninth Symphony composed in 1823 by Ludwig Van Beethoven, when he set music to the “Ode to Joy”, Friedrich von Schiller’s lyrical verse from 1785. The anthem symbolises not only the European Union but also Europe in a wider sense. The poem “Ode to Joy” expresses Schiller’s idealistic vision of the human race becoming brothers – a vision Beethoven shared. Due to the large number of languages used in the European Union, the adopted anthem is only the instrumental version without words, in the universal language of music. This actually did not prevent a group of enthusiastic Europeans  to translate the lyrics of the hymn into latin, encompassing all main elements of the European unification process (“united in diversity”, justice, freedom…)! Discover it here.

Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder
Was die Mode streng geteilt*;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder*
Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

Wem der große Wurf gelungen
Eines Freundes Freund zu sein;
Wer ein holdes Weib errungen
Mische seinen Jubel ein!
Ja, wer auch nur eine Seele
Sein nennt auf dem Erdenrund!
Und wer’s nie gekonnt, der stehle
Weinend sich aus diesem Bund!

Joy, beautiful spark of Divinity [or: of gods],
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly One, thy sanctuary!
Thy magic binds again
What custom strictly divided;*
All people become brothers,*
Where thy gentle wing abides.

Who has succeeded in the great attempt,
To be a friend’s friend,
Whoever has won a lovely woman,
Add his to the jubilation!
Indeed, who even just has one soul
To call his own in this world!
And who never managed it should slink
Weeping from this union!

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