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Author Topic: Best National Anthems
folker
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posted 31 August 2004 07:33 PM      Profile for folker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
While watching the Olympics I had a chance to compare a lot of national anthems with one another. Here are my favourites:

1. The Russian anthem (I find myself humming it to work every morning--I'm not familiar with the lyrics, but the melody and harmony are soul-stirring. I'd give it a slight edge over the American anthem, as it's more singable, staying as it does within one octave.)

2. "The Star-Spangled Banner"(Despite my anti-American streak I can't deny the song's power, although apparently a lot of Americans find it unsingable and prefer "America the Beautiful.")

3. "La Marsellaise"

As for "O, Canada"--all in all it's pretty good, but it lacks some fire.

Edited to add a great website where you can listen to all the national anthems:

http://www.thenationalanthems.com

What are your favourites?

[ 31 August 2004: Message edited by: folker ]


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globetrotter
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posted 31 August 2004 07:36 PM      Profile for globetrotter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What did they do to O Canada?! The chords were all wrong in some places.

La Marsellaise always makes me sing "Love love love" after the opening bit.

The Russian anthem is one of my favourites. Very strong and powerful.


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folker
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posted 31 August 2004 07:52 PM      Profile for folker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"God Save the Queen" I find very moving as well, even though some might argue that it's a bit bland. It has the weight of history behind it.

"Advance Australia Fair"--I like the part when the melody moves to a high register.

[ 01 September 2004: Message edited by: folker ]


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Malek
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posted 31 August 2004 08:21 PM      Profile for Malek     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The German anthem can stirring depending on the way the score is played. Although I'm partial to the Newfoundland anthem, although it's not a national one.

[ 31 August 2004: Message edited by: Malek ]


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Tommy_Paine
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posted 31 August 2004 08:41 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm partial to le Marsellaise. I can positevely hear the wheels on the timbrels creak as they deliver their overburden of aristocrats to the blade of justice.

Brings a tear to my little left wing eye. Not for what was, or could have been, but what may be.

..........*ahem* anyway, I also liked the drama of the old Soviet Anthem. Overblown, epic and mellodramatic-- quintesentially Russian.

Best Anthem that never was: "The Maple Leaf Forever".

Stupidest de-antheming ever: Getting rid of "Waltzing Matilda". If you understand the song, it's amazing how it's power increases the quieter it is performed. Truly unique, and the the Auzzies muffed it by ditching it.


Best Anthem ever? "Teenage Wasteland".

Of course.

[ 31 August 2004: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]


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'lance
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posted 31 August 2004 09:30 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"God Save the Queen" I find very moving as well, even though some might argue that it's a bit bland. There just seems to be so much history behind it.

I confess to a bit of a weakness for "God Save the Queen" ("confess" because otherwise I dislike anthems almost as much as flags).

But if Scotland and Wales were ever to become independent, and there was a need for an English national anthem, they could do worse than "Land of Hope and Glory," though I don't know if there are any words to it.

It needn't be as jingoistic as you'd think from the title. If you've seen "Brassed Off," about a colliery band made up of laid-off miners, with that wonderful final scene where the players, sitting on the open upper deck of a London night bus, play "Land of Hope and Glory" as the bus passes the Houses of Parliament -- well, it gets me every time, and it suggests another possible meaning to the piece, practically the opposite to what latter-day Colonel Blimps imagine it to be.

quote:
Best Anthem ever? "Teenage Wasteland".

Dude. You've mispledded "Smells Like Teen Spirit," there. HTH, HAND.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
folker
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posted 01 September 2004 12:06 AM      Profile for folker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just heard Israel's national anthem (I've actually heard the melody before, but I assumed it was just a traditional Hebrew melody--had no idea it was the national anthem). It's hauntingly beautiful.

Here's the link:

http://tinyurl.com/4b2jw

After listening to a whole bunch of them now the majority are, from a purely musical point of view, abysmal (and the lyrics are full of killing and blood). Then again, that might be my Western-centric ear talking! The Canadian anthem does hold up pretty well: it has an accessible, singable melody, the lyrics aren't violent, and it's not too long.

[ 01 September 2004: Message edited by: folker ]


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chimo
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posted 01 September 2004 02:22 AM      Profile for chimo        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Germany's is good, it's kind of happy & sad at the same time. The following get honourable mentions (of the ones I listened to):
- The Netherlands
- God Save the Queen.
- the 'minimalist' version of the Star-Spangled Banner on that site
- Cuba
- Chile
- Australia
- Iran (surprise! double honourable mention for this one!)

The best by far though is.... THE MAPLE LEAF FOREVER!!! I've got what I think is the definitive version, played by the 48th Highlanders before a Toronto Maple Leafs game. (get it off Kazaa)


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Shane
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posted 01 September 2004 11:50 AM      Profile for Shane     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
1. The Hope (Israel) (This one is really good)
2. O Canada
3. God Save the Queen
4. La Marseillaise
5. Du Gamla, Du Fria (Sweden)
6. Star-spangled Banner
7. Russia's "New Anthem"
8. Deutschlandlied (Germany)
9. Kimigayo (Japan)
10. Xhosa and Zulu (South Africa)

The very best however, is "Ode to Newfoundland".

[ 01 September 2004: Message edited by: Shane ]


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runner
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posted 01 September 2004 01:11 PM      Profile for runner     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Although not an anthem

Jerusalem


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Willowdale Wizard
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posted 01 September 2004 01:19 PM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
romania's is nice.
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mighty brutus
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posted 01 September 2004 01:24 PM      Profile for mighty brutus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How about unofficial anthems?, eg. "Waltzing Matilda" for Oz.

I would like to nominate "Snowbird" as Canada's unofficial anthem. There's something I just love about that song.......


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Shane
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posted 01 September 2004 03:50 PM      Profile for Shane     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mighty brutus:
How about unofficial anthems?, eg. "Waltzing Matilda" for Oz.

I would like to nominate "Snowbird" as Canada's unofficial anthem. There's something I just love about that song.......


Canadian Railroad Trilogy


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1st Person
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posted 01 September 2004 07:25 PM      Profile for 1st Person        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree with the U.S., British, German, & Russian anthems as some of the best.

Oh Canada is an embarassment compared to them - but as someone else mentioned, most anthems are horrible.


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oldgoat
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posted 01 September 2004 07:53 PM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
La Marseillaise gives me goosebumps.

The most stirring rendition I've ever heard was during the bicentennial celebrations of the French Revolution. The festivities were capped by the American contralto Jessey Norman singing the anthem under the Arc de Triomphe. There were fireworks, and a gigantic French flag behind her being blown by a fan. She was dressed in flowing robes. Jessey is over 6' tall, and built like a linebacker, (a sweet and delicate linebacker albeit, but still...) and her voice is considered one of the most powerful instruments in the operatic world. She upstaged the whole Champs Elysees. Ya hadta see it.


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Reality. Bites.
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posted 08 September 2004 03:13 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Everyone knows the unofficial Canadian anthem is the Hockey Night in Canada theme song.
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'lance
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posted 08 September 2004 03:19 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
On CBC Radio they asked people to phone in with suggestions for a Canadian equivalent to "Hail to the Chief," to play when the PM arrives.

My favourite was the NRC time signal: "the beginning of the long dash indicates that the Prime Minister has entered the room..."


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Hinterland
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posted 08 September 2004 03:26 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Shoot, I missed that. I would have suggested the theme song from Laurel and Hardy.
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beverly
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posted 08 September 2004 03:35 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How about Pop Goes the Weasel.
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vickyinottawa
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posted 08 September 2004 05:51 PM      Profile for vickyinottawa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by runner:
Although not an anthem

Jerusalem


I was going to mention this as well.


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Tuppence
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posted 10 September 2004 03:15 AM      Profile for Tuppence     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think I've mentioned this before, but I like Radiohead's The National Anthem the best (it sort of counts, I think). Musically it's awesome, and I think it sums up the current political climate quite well [/wank]. It's true, though.
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al-Qa'bong
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posted 10 September 2004 03:42 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The most stirring rendition I've ever heard was during the bicentennial celebrations of the French Revolution. The festivities were capped by the American contralto Jessey Norman singing the anthem under the Arc de Triomphe...Ya hadta see it.

I saw it on TV, although what really got to me about the performance was that I had been to the Arc de Triomphe a couple of months earlier.

It was my first time overseas...Spring in Paris...Mme. Bong and I were in the springtime budding stage of knowing each other...

But I like La Carmagnole better.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
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posted 10 September 2004 07:33 AM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
France, Russia, and (much as I hate to admit it) the US have great anthems, but perhaps the best of all is the European Union (hint- we've all heard this one before).
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sgm
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posted 10 September 2004 01:47 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I like this for an unofficial Canadian anthem, from the Arrogant worms: Canada's Really Big!

quote:

The USA has tanks, and Switzerland has banks
they can keep them thanks, they just don't amount
cause when you get down to it, you find out what the truth is, it isn't what you do with it, it's the size that counts

most people will tell you that France is pretty large
but you can put fourteen Frances into this land of ours!


Full lyrics here.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Section 49
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posted 10 September 2004 03:03 PM      Profile for Section 49     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I can't help it...everytime I hear Isreal's anthem, I start singing the words to "I'm a Little Teapot". I have a very unrefined ear.
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skdadl
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posted 10 September 2004 03:15 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

Both Scottish anthems -- although both are still only semi-official, and the Burns was outlawed for a long time.

Robbie Burns, Scots Wha Hae

And now, playing off the history of Scots Wha Hae,

quote:

Oh Flower of Scotland
When will we see
Your like again
That fought and died for
Your wee bit hill and glen
And stood against him
Proud Edward's army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again.


It's a waltz. It makes me cry. I know a Flower of Scotland.

Waltzing Mathilda is not a waltz, although it is a brilliant song. Even better is "And the Band Played Waltzing Mathilda," which is a waltz, a blistering commentary on war and on Britain's exploitation of soldiers from the colonies in war. It makes me cry too.

And then there's Men of Harlech!


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windymustang
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posted 10 September 2004 11:09 PM      Profile for windymustang     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by Section 49:
quote:
I can't help it...everytime I hear Isreal's anthem, I start singing the words to "I'm a Little Teapot". I have a very unrefined ear.

Your ear is perfect in this instance. It sounds just like "I'm a Little Teapot" played in a minor key. I was giggling away when I was listening to it thinking of your observation and putting the words in.

I agree with posters who like the anthems of Isreal and Romania, but from my cultural perspective, I would find it hard to be enthused by an anthem in a minor key...the key signifies sadness or sorrow in Western culture.

Edited to add: Personally, I think the O' Canada sucks. Musically it is far too simplistic and the lyrics are so poor.

Favorites: US (good thing I'm allowed to like it without liking their politics). It has a great melody and lyrics, but there is a drawback in that you must have a very good range to sing it without jumping from register to register.

Russia: Great stirring anthem for national pride.

France: Although a simple melody, it is quite nice. Again the Beatle association is strong - a good thing for me.

[ 10 September 2004: Message edited by: windymustang ]


From: from the locker of Mad Mary Flint | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Global Intifada
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posted 23 September 2004 03:08 AM      Profile for Global Intifada     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Internationale (although not currently a national anthem, but it was.) and the ol' Soviet National Anthem (I know the lyrics in English and Russian by heart ).
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kukuchai
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posted 23 September 2004 05:18 AM      Profile for kukuchai        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My 81-year old mother (who has dementia) will occasionally, and quite randomly, sing the old Soviet anthem, in Russian. It could be 2 o'clock in the morning!

Funny how half the time she doesn't remember who I am but she remembers all the lyrics of the anthem.


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Cueball
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posted 23 September 2004 06:29 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Its a great tune. That is the bottom line on that one. Its just a great piece of music, no matter how you feel about "Partei Leniska."
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Briguy
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posted 23 September 2004 08:11 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My favourites?

1. NorthWest Passage, (you know I can't let an anthem thread go by without injecting some Stan)
2. Waltzing Matilda
3. God Save the Queen (Sex Pistols version, of course)


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged

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