Heil dir im Siegerkranz

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"Heil dir im Siegerkranz"

Imperial anthem of  German Empire
Lyrics Heinrich Harries, 1790
Music Melody to God Save the Queen

"Heil dir im Siegerkranz" (German for "Hail to Thee in Victor's Crown") was from 1871 to 1918 the unofficial national anthem of the German Empire.[1] Before the foundation of the Empire, it had been the royal anthem of Prussia since 1795 and remained it after 1871.[2] The melody of the hymn derived from the British anthem "God Save the Queen". For these reasons, the song failed to become popular within all of Germany. Not only did it fail to win the support of most German nationalists, it was never recognized by the southern German states, such as Bavaria or Württemberg.[3] After World War I, the German Empire came to an end and "Das Lied der Deutschen" became the national anthem of the Weimar Republic.[4]

"Die Wacht am Rhein" ("The Watch on the Rhine") was also a patriotic hymn so popular that it was often regarded as an unofficial national anthem.[5]

Lyrics[edit]

Heinrich Harries wrote the lyrics in 1790 in honour of King Christian VII of Denmark, and the line "Heil, Kaiser, dir" originally read "Heil, Christian, dir". In 1793, Harries' text was adapted by Balthasar Gerhard Schumacher for use in Prussia. Schumacher shortened Harries' text and replaced the word Christian with the word König (king). After the proclamation of the German Empire, the word König was replaced by Kaiser (emperor).[6]

Heil dir im Siegerkranz
Verse German English
1. Heil dir im Siegerkranz,
Herrscher des Vaterlands!
Heil, Kaiser, dir!
Fühl in des Thrones Glanz
Die hohe Wonne ganz,
Liebling des Volks zu sein!
Heil Kaiser, dir!
Hail to thee in victor's crown,
Ruler of the fatherland!
Hail to thee, emperor!
Feel in the throne's splendor
The high ecstasy in full
To be darling of thy people!
Hail to thee, emperor!
2. Nicht Roß nicht Reisige
Sichern die steile Höh',
Wo Fürsten steh'n:
Liebe des Vaterlands,
Liebe des freien Manns
Gründen den Herrscher Thron
Wie Fels im Meer.
Neither steed nor mounted knight
Secure the towering height,
Where princes stand:
Love of the fatherland,
Love of the free man,
Create the ruler's throne
Like crags at sea.
3. Heilige Flamme, glüh',
Glüh' und erlösche nie
Fürs Vaterland!
Wir alle stehen dann
Mutig für einen Mann,
Kämpfen und bluten gern
Für Thron und Reich!
Holy flame, glow,
Glow and expire not
For the fatherland!
Then we all stand
Valiant for one man
Gladly fighting and bleeding
For throne and empire!
4. Handel und Wissenschaft
Heben mit Mut und Kraft
Ihr Haupt empor!
Krieger- und Heldentat
Finden ihr Lorbeerblatt
Treu aufgehoben dort,
An deinem Thron!
Commerce and science
Hoist with courage and strength
Their chief aloft.
Warriors' and heroes' deeds
Find their laurel leaves
Faithfully preserved
Upon thy throne!
5. Dauernder stets zu blüh'n
Weh' unsre Flagge kühn
Auf hoher See!
Ha, wie so stolz und hehr
Wirft über Land und Meer
Weithin der deutsche Aar
Flammenden Blick.
Forever continuing to bloom
Our flag may wave boldly
On the high seas!
Ha, how proud and majestic
Casts over land and sea
Widely the German eagle
Its flaming gaze.
6. Sei, Kaiser Wilhelm, hier
Lang' deines Volkes Zier,
Der Menschheit Stolz!
Fühl' in des Thrones Glanz,
Die hohe Wonne ganz,
Liebling des Volkes zu sein!
Heil, Kaiser, dir!
Be, emperor Wilhelm, here
Thy people's ornament for many a year
Humanity's pride!
Feel in the throne's splendor,
The high ecstasy in full
To be darling of thy people!
Hail to thee, emperor!

These lyrics were used for the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II, German Emperor and King of Prussia. One of the jokes at the time was that the song's title be changed to "Heil Dir im Sonderzug" ("Hail to Thee in Thy Royal Train"), owing to the Kaiser's frequent travels.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fischer, Michael. Christian Senkel. Klaus Tanner (ed.) Reichsgründung 1871: Ereignis, Beschreibung, Inszenierung. Waxmann Verlag GmbH: Münster, 2010. Page 90.
  2. ^ Fischer, Michael. Christian Senkel. Klaus Tanner (ed.) Reichsgründung 1871: Ereignis, Beschreibung, Inszenierung. Waxmann Verlag GmbH: Münster, 2010. Page 91.
  3. ^ Fehrenbach, Elisabeth. Politischer Umbruch und gesellschaftliche Bewegung: ausgewählte Aufsätze zur Geschichte Frankreichs und Deutschlands im 19. Jahrhundert. Oldenburg, 1997. Page 312.
  4. ^ Sternburg, Wilhelm von. Die Geschichte der Deutschen. Page 131.
  5. ^ Reichel, Peter. Schwarz-Rot-Gold: kleine Geschichte deutscher Nationalsymbole nach 1945. C. H. Beck: München, 2005. Page 35.
  6. ^ Fischer, Michael. Christian Senkel. Klaus Tanner (ed.) Reichsgründung 1871: Ereignis, Beschreibung, Inszenierung. Waxmann Verlag GmbH: Münster, 2010. Page 93.

External links[edit]

No anthem before
Imperial anthem of Germany
1871-1918
Succeeded by
Deutschlandlied
as national anthem