List of national anthems
Most nation-states have anthems, defined as "a song, as of praise, devotion, or patriotism"; most anthems are either marches or hymns in style. A hymn can become a national anthem by a provision in the state's constitution, by a law enacted by its legislature, or simply by tradition. A royal anthem is a patriotic song similar to a national anthem, but it specifically praises or prays for a monarch or royal dynasty. Such anthems are usually performed at public appearances by the monarch or during other events of royal importance. Some states use the royal anthem as the national anthem, such as the anthem of Jordan.
There are multiple claimants to the position of oldest national anthem. Among the national anthems, the first to be composed was the Dutch national anthem the "Wilhelmus", which was written between 1568 and 1572. The Japanese anthem, "Kimigayo", employs the oldest lyrics of any national anthem, taking its words from the "Kokin Wakashū", which was first published in 905, yet these words were not set to music until 1880. The first anthem to be officially adopted as such was the Spanish anthem "Marcha Real", in 1770; its origins remain unclear, being suggested to have sixteenth century Venetian origins, or even to have been composed by king Frederick the Great himself; it is also one of the few national anthems that has never had official lyrics. Anthems became increasingly popular among European states in the 18th century. For example, the British national anthem "God Save the Queen" was first performed under the title "God Save the King" in 1745. The French anthem "La Marseillaise" was written half a century later in 1792, and adopted in 1795.
National anthems are usually written in the most common language of the state, whether de facto or official. For example, India's anthem "Jana Gana Mana" is written in a Sanskritized version of Bengali, and Sanskrit and Bengali are both official languages of India. States with multiple national languages may offer several versions of their anthem. For instance, Switzerland's national anthem has different lyrics for each of the country's four official languages: French, German, Italian, and Romansh. The New Zealand national anthem is traditionally sung with the first verse in Māori ("Aotearoa") and the second in English ("God Defend New Zealand"). The tune is the same but the lyrics have different meanings. South Africa's national anthem is unique in that five of the eleven official languages are used in the same anthem, in which each language comprises a stanza.
Anthems of United Nations member states
Only United Nations member states are included in this table. Anthems of sovereign states which are not UN members are listed in a separate table below. An English translation of the title is provided in parentheses where appropriate.
Anthems of other states and territories
This table includes anthems of de facto sovereign states which are not members of the United Nations. Many of them have received little or no recognition from the international community; some are widely considered to be part of one of the countries listed above.
- Anthem of Europe
- Anthems of the autonomous communities of Spain
- List of anthems of non-sovereign countries, regions and territories
- List of historical national anthems
- Lupang Hinirang
- List of U.S. state songs
- Olympic Hymn
- Royal anthem
- Earth anthem
- "God Save the Queen" is one of New Zealand's two national anthems and the royal anthem of Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.
- "My Belarusy" was originally adopted by the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.
- "Lijepa naša domovino" was originally adopted by the Socialist Republic of Croatia.
- "Hymn to Liberty" is the national anthem of both Cyprus and Greece.
- By the power of the Constitution of Cyprus, the Turkish national anthem "İstiklâl Marşı" was used when a Turkish Cypriot representative was present. The practice lasted up to 1963.
- Originally adopted by Czechoslovakia as a part of its hymn in 1918 (together with Slovak "Nad Tatrou sa blýska"), and latter in 1993 by the Czech Republic (already without the Slovak part).
- Denmark's royal anthem is "Kong Kristian" ("King Christian").
- This refers to "God Defend New Zealand", not "God Save the Queen".
- Until the early 20th century, "Sønner av Norge" was the most recognised national anthem of Norway. Also "Norges Skaal" and "Mitt lille land" have at times been described as national anthems. Norway's royal anthem is "Kongesangen".
- The song was first performed in 1864, but only gradually came to replace the older national anthem "Sønner av Norge" as de facto national anthem
- Also known by its incipit: "Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła, kiedy my żyjemy" ("Poland Is Not Yet Lost, So long as we still live").
- "Zdravljica" was originally adopted by the Socialist Republic of Slovenia. Only the seventh stanza of the song is used as the national anthem.
- The "National Anthem of South Africa" is a hybrid of "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" ("God Bless Africa") and "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" ("The Call of South Africa").
- Sweden's royal anthem is "Kungssången".
- Thailand's royal anthem is "Phleng Sansoen Phra Barami".
- "National Banner Song" is used as the alternate anthem for Republic of China (Taiwan) at international events such as the Olympic Games.
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