Edited by Will Clark (2015)
O Belgique, ô mère chérie,
|The Song of Brabant
O Belgium, dear mother,
Written in 1830 after Belgium claimed independence from the Netherlands, the national anthem, “The Song of Brabant,” champions loyalty to one’s country and inspires a proud fire in the hearts of Belgian citizens. Although it’s name originally belonged to the nation’s capital, the anthem’s title now refers to Brabant, the province where Brussels is located. Positioned between France, The Netherlands, and Germany, Belgium has three national languages: French, German, and Dutch. Therefore, the anthem has an official set of lyrics in each of the three in order to accommodate for the preferences of the players. As in other multilingual countries, the direct translation of the lyrics leads to moderate discrepancies at first glance, however, the energy, passion, and significance remain the same; “The Song of Brabant,” motivates the Belgian national team and evokes a desire to bring the cup home.
قسما بالنازلات الماحقات
We swear by the lightning that destroys,
Previously a French colony, Algeria gained its independence in 1962, after the gruesome Algerian War. A year later, the newly founded nation adopted the poem of writer Moufdi Zakariah’s, entitled “We Pledge,” as a national anthem. The lines, wearily written in 1956 by Zakariah as he withered in a French jail for his nationalist views, speak to the tenacious determination of the Algerian people. It is not surprising, therefore, that the text contains an intense anti-French sentiment, often leading to the omission of the third verse during performances. The energetic musical accompaniment, later composed by Mohamed Fawzi, skillfully captures the emotion of the time. “We Pledge” excites the courageous Algerian national team to battle until the final whistle.
|Государственный гимн Российской Федерации
Россия – священная наша держава,
|National Anthem of the Russian Federation
Russia – our sacred stronghold,
Drafted in 2000, the Russian national anthem is on the younger side of the spectrum. Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, there had been a growing public dissent regarding the absence of lyrics. This dissatisfaction resulted in President Vladimir Putin presenting a bill that would resurrect the melody of the Soviet anthem, while rewriting the lyrics to account for the fact that Russia was no longer a communist country. The bill was approved by the national assembly and lyrics submitted by Sergei Vladimirovich Mikhalkov were chosen to accompany the revitalized harmony. The anthem sparked considerable controversy, with some claiming it discredited the new democracy, while others felt it too representative of the past Stalinist government. Furthermore, although the composition has not undergone a transformation, the existence of past lyrics gives an interesting history of Russia’s political transformation over the past century. Nonetheless, upon hearing the anthem, the Russian national team strives to bring glory to the Motherland.
|애국가동해 물과 백두산이 마르고 닳도록
하느님이 보우하사 우리나라 만세CHORUS:
무궁화 삼천리 화려강산
대한사람 대한으로 길이 보전하세
Until that day when the waters of the Eastern Sea run dry and Mt. Baekdu is worn away,
“Aegukga” paints a vivid picture of the beautiful landscape that fuels South Korean nationalism. The patriotic lyrics were written in the 1890’s and were sung to the tune of “Auld Lang Syne,” an old Scottish folk song. Although it was banned by the Japanese during occupation, it remained popular among the Korean public, who hoped for a reclamation of national freedom. In 1935, composer Ahn Eaktay drafted a new arrangement with a greater connection with Korean identity and it was adopted by the exiled Korean government. Post-liberation, South Korea was founded and the Korean government was established in 1948 and the anthem was adopted officially.  “Aegukga” is one of my personal favorite anthems in this year’s World Cup, whispering a mellow elegance that builds into a final rushing crescendo at the end of the chorus.
How to cite this article: “National Anthems: The Music of the World Cup,” Written by Jordan Pearson (2013), World Cup 2014, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, http://sites.duke.edu/wcwp (accessed on (date)).