Time for a new National Anthem?

I've just been watching the scenes from St. Peter's Square.

How happy and joyous the Italian crowd seemed, singing their National Anthem. It's a rousing song, and I'm really envious that people can take pleasure in singing it. Ours, by contrast seems a dirge. Don't get me wrong, I'm as patriotic as the next man, but, singing it, quite honestly I'm waiting for it to end.
Sure, it's the oldest national anthem of all, and musical if not national tastes have advanced since it was written; it's not even "British" (see verse six, the one about rebellious Scots!).
I don't want to be thrown off SFN for being a rabble-rouser - but don't you all just feel a hint of envy when our hosts reach the refrain with

"Aux armes, citoyens,
Formez vos bataillons,"

? Not talking about the lyrical content, just the "singability". French rugby matches come to life, English footy supporters just sound moronic.
No doubt the Oracle will put me right on this subject.

What other national anthems do we find "inspring"?

Well, I've got that off my snowy chest now!

You bet, the words are gruesome. It ends with:

Son giunchi che piegano
Le spade vendute;
Già l'Aquila d'Austria
Le penne ha perdute.
Il sangue d'Italia
E il sangue Polacco
Bevé col Cosacco,
Ma il cor le bruciò.

Stringiamci a coorte!
Siam pronti alle morte;
Italia chiamò

Something like:

They are branches that bend the sold swords; already the eagle of Austria has lost its feathers.The blood of Italy and the Polish blood drank with Cossacks. But its heart was burnt. Let us unite! We are ready to die; Italy called us.

It needs to be lively to lift up that bloodlusty verse and refrain.

You are right, the Italian one is by far the best, especially when it pauses and goes badarump, badarump, badarum pum pum pum pum pum and then takes off again - it is just so full of life.


Was it not the the official song of the Anacreontic Society, an 18th century gentlemen's club for hobby musicians in London originally called The Anacreontic Song although it had no lyrics?

Ditto that, Andrew, also blood lust. Being a yank I was always disconcerted by the fact that our anthem was penned during, and a paean to victory in combat... with a stolen melody line. The French national anthem, although being musically moving, is lyrically bloody as hell. Its a shame that nationalistic fervor is cemented through anthems which glorify the basest of human qualities.

agree 100% and let's have one that doesn't mention the queen/king or god!!!

The original 1745 version which is still part of the long version includes this:

Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
May by thy mighty aid,
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush,
and like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush,
God save the King.

The melody Grand Dieu Sauve Le Roi was probably written by Jean-Baptiste Lully for Louis XIV after he survived surgery, something not so many did in those times, although attributed to George Frideric Handel who used it is a his main theme in the variation piece Sarabande of his Suite No.4 in E minor which was composed sometime before 1720. Musicologists believe it is a plagiarism, but then it also appears to be an older quite common plainsong theme that is similar to compositions by John Bull and Henry Purcell. For all of that, the actual melody was first popular in Scotland in 1744 but was more or less sequestered by England in 1745 when Charles Edward Stuart lead the uprising that penetrated England as far as Swarkestone Bridge in Derbyshire before turning back and leading to the defeat of the Jacobite army at Culloden in 1746. The anthem was then adopted, imposed on Ireland, Scotland, Wales and all colonies.

The only time I liked it myself was when Jimi Hendrix played his impromptu version at the beginning of his his set at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. It was played with the same sort of distortion and improvisation as he had played the The Star-Spangled Banner at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 as a war protest.

Sheila explains where Ireland stands now below. Scotland is officially still subject to this dirge although Flower o' Scotland tends to be favoured and Scotland the Brave sometimes. In 2004, lawyers to the Scottish Parliament advised that it was within the legal competence of the Scottish Parliament to choose a national anthem for Scotland. That goes against Westminster's objection that it is a matter reserved for the parliament of the UK to decide and legislate. In other words, Scotland now has no de facto national anthem and has to put up with the appalling verse above if some joker decides the long version has to be sung. Wales has Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, Land of My Fathers in English, which has not been established as such by law, although defiantly sung at all gatherings in Wales since the 1870s, usually before a foreshortened version of the UK anthem.

Arguably, God Save the Queen/King is actually only the anthem of England, one of the Northern Ireland's two and used by a few commonwealth countries such as New Zealand although there are popular movements to change and introduce their own.

Whatever, England and Scotland seem to have both dirges that do not lift the spirits and inspire. For many years I have supported a move to Hamish Henderson's Freedom Come-All-Ye or even The Thistle o' Scotland which was written in Gaelic but translated into lowland Scots, thus has the spirit the Welsh have captured with their Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.

The most stirring and truly patriotic one I know is the Himno Nacional del Peru which is lively, gets everybody going and is inevitably accompanied by an out of tune brass band with a bass drum thumping away with nothing to do with anything.

Somos libres
seámoslo siempre,
seámoslo siempre
y antes niegue sus
luces sus luces,
sus luces el Sol!
Que faltemos al voto
solemneque la patria
al Eterno elevó,
Que faltemos al voto
solemneque la patria
al Eterno elevó.
Que faltemos al voto solemne
que la patria al Eterno elevo.

I don't remember any more of the umpteen verses and choruses, but they get in the the sun, el Sol, which was and to some extent remains the figurehead of pre-Christian Incaic culture and inspires them.

I have been a member of the movement for a Scots anthem for roughly 30 years, have always been fascinated by anthems and can actually sing Deutschland, Deutschland über alles right through but wish the heck they had changed this irritatingly nationalistic text with too many shadows of the past.

Now that was fun....

This extract from Wikipedia explains it more succinctly than I could. I don't much care for it personally and can only say that the alleged banality seems to have followed our team onto the field!

"For most sports, a team representing Ireland may include team members from any part of the island, even though the island is divided into two separate political areas. In the north-east, Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, while the rest of the island forms the Republic of Ireland.

While "Amhrán na bhFiann" ("The Soldier's Song") is the national anthem of the Republic of Ireland, its use arouses sensitivities among those with Unionist sympathies in Northern Ireland.[1] Equally, the national anthem of Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom, is "God Save The Queen", which is sensitive among those with Nationalist sympathies.

At matches played in the Republic, both "Amhrán na bhFiann" (as the anthem of the Republic of Ireland) and "Ireland's Call" (as the anthem of the home (Irish) team) are sung. Elsewhere, "Ireland's Call" is the only anthem used in recognition of the need for a unifying anthem."

English footy supporters are moronic. Love the Italian anthem but find the way it stops and restarts vaguely irritating. The old Soviet anthem was rather good and I believe Putin had to bring back the tune if not the words. The Irish is good it's just a pity they have to bellow that "Ireland's Call' banality to keep the Prods on side. The French is great but that bit about the blood being pure is a little disconcerting.