National Anthems of the World
September 22, 2008 4:38 PM   Subscribe

Have you ever wondered what the national anthem of Bolivia, Nepal or The Republic of Seychelles sounded like? Well wonder no more because has got you covered! It claims to have the national anthem for every country in the world in MIDI format, along with downloadable lyrics and sheet music so you can sing and play along. But if the MIDI format isn't doing it for you, there's also other sites that you can visit that have downloadable MP3s of pretty much every national anthem this planet and its inhabitants have to offer, such as this one or this one, which is notable in that the anthems featured there were performed by the US Navy Band. And finally, for your further reading and listening pleasure, check out this forum which contains background information on and even more links to downloadable national anthems.
posted by Effigy2000 (14 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Oceania, 'Tis For Thee, fictional anthem for the superstate from Nineteen Eighty-Four.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:00 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

(And on a lighter note...)
posted by Rhaomi at 5:02 PM on September 22, 2008

A few months back, the Spanish national anthem was in the news, what with its new lyrics finally having been chosen and all. There was a fair amount of controversy surrounding the whole thing, and I thought I'd do an FPP on it. Then I thought I'd use the Spain story as a jumping-off point for a bigger FPP, encompassing anthems from all around the world.

Never got around to it, though...

So here's a few links I had bookmarked, concerning the Spanish anthem:

Marcha Real wiki page.
Int'l Herald Trib article on the new lyrics.
English translation of anthem lyrics.
US Navy band plays Spain Nat'l Anthem (mp3).
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:21 PM on September 22, 2008

Handy reference, especially the Navy Band recordings. I do wonder, though, if any of them are not Western-style marches. Japan's anthem comes close.

Also, Azerbaijan has an awesome anthem.
posted by jedicus at 5:27 PM on September 22, 2008

Morocco's anthem is neat, too.
posted by jedicus at 5:33 PM on September 22, 2008

Advance Australia Fair in MIDI format just gave me a new ring-tone.
posted by mattoxic at 5:38 PM on September 22, 2008

Japan's anthem comes close.

Japan's anthem (the "Kimigayo") is a rather somber piece of music, and unlike probably every other anthem on the planet, it doesn't "resolve", that is, end on the tonic. It's a fairly difficult melody to remember, actually. I've always rather liked it, as a piece of music.

The lyrics are another matter. They've been a bone of contention here for years now, what with their reference to the Emperor, and many, many school teachers have, for a long time, refused to sing it, with many of their students following suit. In the last few years legislation has been enacted (or at least school rules, not sure which) that make it mandatory to sing the Kimigayo at school assemblies, graduation ceremonies, etc. Teachers who refuse to sing it are now very likely to be fired, apparently.

Here's an English translation of the lyrics:

May the reign of the Emperor
continue for a thousand, nay, eight thousand generations
and for the eternity that it takes
for small pebbles to grow into a great rock
and become covered with moss.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:46 PM on September 22, 2008

Thanks for the links flapjax. It's an interesting story (I was having to explain to friends during Euro 2008 why the Spanish team didn't open their mouths when the anthem was played) and I've always quite liked the Marcha Real.
posted by ob at 7:14 PM on September 22, 2008

very good reference website. thanks for the link.
posted by leybman at 7:34 PM on September 22, 2008

Admit it, we all learned our national anthems playing Summer Games.
posted by furtive at 8:16 PM on September 22, 2008

The original version of Advance Australia Fair was quite jaunty in an music-hall kind of way. Good post.
posted by tellurian at 8:21 PM on September 22, 2008

Heh! Here are some ukulele versions.
posted by tellurian at 9:16 PM on September 22, 2008

You've really killed a couple of hours for me here Effigy2000. I've got 14 different versions of Advance Australia Fair now.

Now I think I'm about to lose another couple of hours. I just came across the Russian Anthems Museum.
“As you can clearly see, Russian anthem technology is vastly superior to that of any other country.”

Listening to Molitva russkikh (The Prayer of Russians) (1815).
"Any canonical instrumental performance of the United Kingdom national anthem would fit here, because this is what Russia adopted for the anthem, just as 20+ other countries did in that century."
posted by tellurian at 10:10 PM on September 22, 2008

i think the israeli national anthem is beautiful, and manages to capture the country's terrible history as well as its resolve. one of the few anthems in a minor key. choral, streisand, and soccer match version that i think i like best cos of the horns.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 12:15 AM on September 23, 2008

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