Sunday, August 17, 2008

The National Anthems we Don't Get to Hear

Except at this website.

Journalist Joe Blundo, inspired by the Olympics, has visited the site and has a few comments on anthems:

• Most fun title to say: Yumi, Yumi, Yumi is the anthem of Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific. The title means We, We, We, which is also fun to say.

I also like the lyrics, which contain this frank assessment of the place: "We know there is much work to be done on all our islands."

Alas, the melody isn't nearly as endearing.

As for the least fun title, that would have to be Uruguayans, the Fatherland or Death!

• Scariest lyrics: Algeria's We Pledge contains this vengeful sentiment:

"When we spoke, nobody listened to us, / So we have taken the noise of gunpowder as our rhythm / And the sound of machine guns as our melody."

The melody is suitably grim and militaristic.

• Most popular body part: Bosoms. Anthem lyricists love them. Hence: "Thailand embraces in its bosom all people of Thai blood"; "In your bosom, O Freedom, we are ready to die" (Brazil); and "Your bosom has become a battlefield" (Azerbaijan).

Read the rest.

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