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Off topic: Nation lost for words in bid to fix anthem
Thread poster: Elizabeth Sumner
Elizabeth Sumner
Local time: 22:22
Russian to English
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Apr 25, 2007

I'm astounded by this article in The Times today: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/article1701238.ece

I've never heard of a wordless anthem before - still it can't be as bad as the British one!


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Deschant
Local time: 22:22
Reply Apr 25, 2007

Before actually opening the link, I had thought "Well, that cannot be so strange, my country's hymn doesn't have words either" (needless to say I'm from Spain!).

Another curiosity: the hymn of the region I'm from in Spain, Galicia, is said to be the only hymn which starts with a question and not with an assertion. I don't know if that's true though.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:22
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Second verse - never sung !! Apr 25, 2007

Elizabeth Sumner wrote:

I'm astounded by this article in The Times today: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/article1701238.ece

I've never heard of a wordless anthem before - still it can't be as bad as the British one!


Ah, but do you know the second verse of Britain's national anthem? It's hilariously un-PC and I've never heard it sung.
I hesitate to quote it here for fear of upsetting people's ultra-sensitive sensibilities, but will if there's strong demand ...
Regards,
Jenny.


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Maria Karra  Identity Verified
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Eva... Apr 25, 2007

emoreda wrote:
Another curiosity: the hymn of the region I'm from in Spain, Galicia, is said to be the only hymn which starts with a question and not with an assertion.


Eva, what is the question? I'm curious!


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Maria Karra  Identity Verified
United States
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Come on, Jenny! Do tell! Apr 25, 2007

Jenny Forbes wrote:
Ah, but do you know the second verse of Britain's national anthem? It's hilariously un-PC and I've never heard it sung.
I hesitate to quote it here for fear of upsetting people's ultra-sensitive sensibilities


I think it's perfectly fine to quote a verse from an anthem, as long as we don't criticize it. Please, tell us.


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Elizabeth Sumner
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TOPIC STARTER
Frustrate their knavish tricks! Apr 25, 2007

Hi Jenny,

I always thought verse 2 was a little more fun than the dirge of a first verse. Having said that, verse 6 is a bit impolite to our friends in the north as well! Somehow I doubt anyone sang it when celebrating (or not as the case may be) 200 years of the Act of the Union recently.


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Deschant
Local time: 22:22
Maria Apr 25, 2007

Never thought it would exist, but I found a translation into English so that you can go and read it yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Os_Pinos

In fact it's not a question but two, and they are rhetorical questions rather than actual ones. The poet (it was originally a poem, with no music) asks himself what do the pines say by moonlight, and then he conveys the message of the pines.


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Nicole Johnson  Identity Verified
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Actually, the U.S. National Anthem also starts with a question... Apr 25, 2007

emoreda wrote:

Another curiosity: the hymn of the region I'm from in Spain, Galicia, is said to be the only hymn which starts with a question and not with an assertion. I don't know if that's true though.


The first line of the Star Spangled Banner is as follows:

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?

And Jenny, the second verse of Britain's anthem is quite interesting, if it is indeed the version I found here:

http://hjem.get2net.dk/niels_quist/gbnatant.htm

Nicole


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Maria Karra  Identity Verified
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Galician anthem Apr 25, 2007

emoreda wrote:
Never thought it would exist, but I found a translation into English so that you can go and read it yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Os_Pinos


This is a really beautiful poem. Even more beautiful in Galician (I was able to understand most of it). Thanks for the link, Eva.

Maria


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
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OK - here it is ... Apr 25, 2007

Maria Karra wrote:

Jenny Forbes wrote:
Ah, but do you know the second verse of Britain's national anthem? It's hilariously un-PC and I've never heard it sung.
I hesitate to quote it here for fear of upsetting people's ultra-sensitive sensibilities


I think it's perfectly fine to quote a verse from an anthem, as long as we don't criticize it. Please, tell us.


The unsung second verse of the British national anthem is:

Oh, our Lord God, arise,
Scatter her enemies
And let them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks.
On Thee our hopes we fix.
God save us all!

Yes, the entire first verse of the American national anthem is also a question - "Oh say, can you see by the dawn's early light (something about a banner yet waving)? Well, can you? Is the question answered in a later verse?

I think the French have the most stirring anthem - extremely bloody, but stirring! It brings tears to my eyes, even though I'm not French.

Regards,
Jenny.


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Maria Karra  Identity Verified
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:) Apr 25, 2007

Jenny Forbes wrote:
The unsung second verse of the British national anthem is:

Thanks. As promised, I will not comment or criticize.

I agree with you about the French anthem. The Greek one has the same effect on me as the French. Like several other anthems it is a hymn to the flag (as opposed to a royal personage).

I had no idea the Spanish anthem had no words, so thanks for this thread, Elizabeth!


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:22
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Anthem to a flag? Apr 25, 2007

Don't quite go along with that. Nothing wrong with saluting a flag when the occasion requires it, but I find the idea of singing to/about a flag a little odd. Too much like places where flagging requires reading the manual first: http://www.usa-flag-site.org/etiquette-display.shtml although I respect the fact that others may have different views, to which they are fully entitled.

If anything, I prefer the idea of an an anthem to your country, although I should add that my doorbell plays the European anthem.

Musically, I really find the Russian anthem stirring.

But much more so the Southern African anthem "Nkosi Sikele' I Afrika", used by several countries and sung in the local variety of Zulu.

Sung here http://www.amazon.fr/Hamba-Ekhaya-Montreal-Jubilation-Gospel/dp/B00000B8KL by a Canadian choir.

Enjoy


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
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Just wondering... Apr 25, 2007

Are there any national anthems that don't mention God or religion?

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Maria Karra  Identity Verified
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Viktoria... Apr 25, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
Are there any national anthems that don't mention God or religion?


The Greek one doesn't. It is about feedom (well, the flag, which represents freedom. The Greek flag has 9 lines, one for each letter of the Greek word for freedom). The title of the poem it's based on is "Hymn to freedom". It's a very long poem and at some point it does mention religion and the word "cross", but that part is not included in the anthem.

Maria


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Deschant
Local time: 22:22
More on hymns Apr 25, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

Are there any national anthems that don't mention God or religion?


The Galician one doesn't, although I don't know if it qualifies as a "national" anthem to this regards. Oh, and of course it mentions Breogan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breogán), who maybe qualifies as a demi-God or something...

Nicole:

My comment on the questioning beginning was due that it is often said that, in the case of the Galician hymn, it reflects perfectly the "undecisive" and "questioning" nature of us Galicians... it's funny to know that Americans share with us this features too!


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