Swiss Psalm

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Schweizerpsalm
Cantique suisse
Salmo svizzero
Psalm svizzer
English: Swiss Psalm
Schweizerpsalm.svg

National anthem of   Switzerland
Lyrics Leonhard Widmer (German)
Charles Chatelanat (French)
Camillo Valsangiacomo (Italian)
Flurin Camathias (Romansch)
Music Alberich Zwyssig, 1841
Adopted 1961 (de facto)
1981 (de jure)
Music sample

The Swiss Psalm (German: Schweizerpsalm, French: Cantique suisse, Italian: Salmo svizzero, Romansh: Psalm svizzer) is the national anthem of Switzerland. It was composed in 1841, by Alberich Zwyssig (1808–1854). Since then, it has been frequently sung at patriotic events. The Federal Council declined however on numerous occasions to accept the psalm as the official anthem.[1] This was because the council wanted the people to express their say on what they wanted as a national anthem. From 1961 to 1981 it provisionally replaced Rufst Du, mein Vaterland ("When You Call, My Country", French Ô monts indépendants; Italian Ci chiami o patria, Romansh E clomas, tger paeis), the anthem by Johann Rudolf Wyss (1743–1818) which was set to the melody of God Save the Queen. On April 1, 1981, the Swiss Psalm was declared the official Swiss national anthem. In 2013 it was announced that the Swiss Federal Government was planning to change the national anthem.[2]

History[edit]

Until the end of the 19th century, there was no Swiss national anthem. The German-language patriotic song Rufst du, mein Vaterland (French Ô monts indépendants, Italian Ci chiami o patria, Romansh E clomas, tger paeis), composed in 1811 by Johann Rudolf Wyss (1743–1818), was the first national anthem, used until 1961. The Swiss Psalm was composed in 1841 by Alberich Zwyssig (1808–1854), with lyrics by Leonhard Widmer (1809–1867).[3] Since then it had been frequently suggested it be adopted as the official anthem, but the Swiss Federal Government had refused several times, wishing to let the people decide what they want to sing on political and military occasions. The setting of the hymn to the British tune of God Save the Queen led to confusing situations when both countries' anthems were played. Therefore it was replaced with another tune in 1961. After a trial period of three years the Swiss tune was adopted indefinitely in 1965. The statute could not be challenged until ten years later but did not totally exclude the possibility of an ultimate change. A competition was set up in 1979 to search for a successor to the anthem. Despite many submissions, none of the others seemed to express the Swiss sentiment. The Swiss anthem finally got its definitive statutory status in April 1981, the Federal Council maintaining that it was purely a Swiss song suitably dignified and solemn. The popularity of the song has not been established. At least, it has been shown with several vox pops taken that many people do not know it at all, and only a small percentage can recite it all.

Proposed replacements for the psalm include:[4]

  1. In 1986, Roulez tambours (Roll the drums) by Romand Henri-Frédéric Amiel was proposed by the Swiss National Alliance.
  2. At the end of the 1990s, The Fondation Pro CH 98 equally tried to promote a new anthem composed by the Argovian Christian Daniel Jakob.

Lyrics[edit]

Owing to Switzerland having four official languages, the lyrics of the original German song were translated into the other three national languages: French, Italian and Romansh.

German (original) French Italian Romansh English translation

1. Trittst im Morgenrot daher,
Seh' ich dich im Strahlenmeer,
Dich, du Hocherhabener, Herrlicher!
Wenn der Alpen Firn sich rötet,
Betet, freie Schweizer, betet,
Eure fromme Seele ahnt,
Eure fromme Seele ahnt,
Gott im hehren Vaterland!
Gott, den Herrn, im hehren Vaterland!

2. Kommst im Abendglühn daher,
Find' ich dich im Sternenheer,
Dich, du Menschenfreundlicher, Liebender!
In des Himmels lichten Räumen
Kann ich froh und selig träumen;
Denn die fromme Seele ahnt
Denn die fromme Seele ahnt
Gott im hehren Vaterland!
Gott, den Herrn, im hehren Vaterland!

3. Ziehst im Nebelflor daher,
Such' ich dich im Wolkenmeer,
Dich, du Unergründlicher, Ewiger!
Aus dem grauen Luftgebilde
Bricht die Sonne klar und milde,
Und die fromme Seele ahnt
Und die fromme Seele ahnt
Gott im hehren Vaterland!
Gott, den Herrn, im hehren Vaterland!

4. Fährst im wilden Sturm daher,
Bist du selbst uns Hort und Wehr,
Du, allmächtig Waltender, Rettender!
In Gewitternacht und Grauen
Laßt uns kindlich ihm vertrauen!
Ja, die fromme Seele ahnt
Ja, die fromme Seele ahnt
Gott im hehren Vaterland!
Gott, den Herrn, im hehren Vaterland!

1. Sur nos monts, quand le soleil
Annonce un brillant réveil,
Et prédit d'un plus beau jour Le retour,
Les beautés de la patrie
Parlent à l'âme attendrie;
Au ciel montent plus joyeux
Au ciel montent plus joyeux
Les accents d'un coeur pieux,
Les accents émus d'un coeur pieux.

2. Lorsqu'un doux rayon du soir
Joue encore dans le bois noir,
Le coeur se sent plus heureux près de Dieu
Loin des vain bruits de la plaine
L'âme en paix est plus sereine;
Au ciel montent plus joyeux,
Au ciel montent plus joyeux,
Les accents d'un coeur pieux,
Les accents émus d'un coeur pieux.

3. Lorsque dans la sombre nuit
La foudre éclate avec bruit,
Notre coeur pressent encore le Dieu fort.
Dans l'orage et la détresse,
Il est notre forteresse.
Offrons-Lui de coeurs pieux
Offrons-Lui de coeurs pieux
Dieu nous bénira des cieux,
Dieu nous bénira du hauts des cieux.

4. Des grand monts vient le secours,
Suisse! espère en Dieu toujours!
Garde la foi des aïeux, vis comme eux!
Sur l'autel de la partrie
Met tes biens, ton coeurs, ta vie!
C'est le trésor précieux
C'est le trésor précieux
Que Dieu nous bénira des cieux,
Que Dieu nous bénira du hauts des cieux.

1. Quando bionda aurora
il mattin c'indora
l'alma mia t'adora
re del ciel!
Quando l'alpe già rosseggia
a pregare allor t'atteggia;
in favor del patrio suol,
in favor del patrio suol,
cittadino Iddio lo vuol,
cittadino Dio, si Dio lo vuol.

2. Se di stelle è un giubilo
la celeste sfera
Te ritrovo a sera
o Signor!
Nella notte silenziosa
l'alma mia in Te riposa:
libertà, concordia, amor,
libertà, concordia, amor,
all'Elvezia serba ognor,
all'Elvezia serba ognor.

3. Se di nubi un velo
m'asconde il tuo cielo
pel tuo raggio anelo
Dio d'amore!
Fuga o sole quei vapori
e mi rendi i tuoi favori:
di mia patria deh! Pietà
di mia patria deh! Pietà
brilla, o sol di verità,
brilla sol, o sol di verità!

4. Quando rugge e strepita
impetuoso il nembo
m'è ostel tuo grembo
o Signor!
In te fido Onnipossente
deh, proteggi nostra gente;
Libertà, concordia, amor,
Libertà, concordia, amor,
all'Elvezia serba ognor
all'Elvezia serba ognor.

1. En l'aurora la damaun ta salida il carstgaun,
spiert etern dominatur, Tutpussent!
Cur ch'ils munts straglischan sura,
ura liber Svizzer, ura.
Mia olma senta ferm,
Mia olma senta ferm
Dieu en tschiel, il bab etern.
Dieu en tschiel, il bab etern.

2. Er la saira en splendur da las stailas en l'azur
tai chattain nus, creatur, Tutpussent!
Cur ch'il firmament sclerescha en noss cors
fidanza crescha.
Mia olma senta ferm,
Mia olma senta ferm
Dieu en tschiel,il bab etern.
Dieu en tschiel, il bab etern.

3. Ti a nus es er preschent en il stgir dal firmament,
ti inperscrutabel spiert, Tutpussent!
Tschiel e terra t'obedeschan
vents e nivels secundeschan.
Mia olma senta ferm,
Mia olma senta ferm Dieu en tschiel,
il bab etern, Dieu en tschiel, il bab etern.

4. Cur la furia da l'orcan fa tremblar il cor uman
alur das ti a nus vigur, Tutpussent!
Ed en temporal sgarschaivel
stas ti franc a nus fidaivel.
Mia olma senta ferm,
Mia olma senta ferm,
Dieu en tschiel, Il bab etern.
Dieu en tschiel, il bab etern.

1. When the morning skies grow red
And o'er their radiance shed,
Thou, O Lord, appeareth in their light.
When the Alps glow bright with splendour,
Pray, free Swiss, Pray,
For you feel and understand,
For you feel and understand,
That he dwelleth in this land.
That he dwelleth in this land.

2. In the sunset Thou art nigh
And beyond the starry sky,
Thou, O loving Father, ever near
When to Heaven we are departing,
Joy and bliss Thou'lt be imparting,
For we feel and understand
For we feel and understand
That Thou dwellest in this land.
That Thou dwellest in this land.

3. When dark clouds enshroud the hills
And gray mist the valley fills,
Yet Thou art not hidden from Thy sons.
Pierce the gloom in which we cower
With Thy sunshine's cleansing power
Then we'll feel and understand
Then we'll feel and understand
That God dwelleth in this land.
That God dwelleth in this land.

4. Towards us in the wild storm coming,
You yourself give us resistance and stronghold,
You, almighty ruling, rescuing!
During horror and nights of thunderstorms
Let us childlike trust Him!
Yes, we feel and understand;
Yes, we feel and understand;
That God dwelleth in this land.
That God dwelleth in this land.

Images[edit]

Bust of Zwyssig in Bauen
Fountain memorial for the composer Alberich Zwyssig and the Swiss Psalm's poet Leonhard Widmer in Zürich-Seefeld (Zürichhorn)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Switzerland - Swiss Psalm". NationalAnthems.me. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  2. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23550915
  3. ^ (German) (English) (French) (Italian) How a church hymn tune became a national anthem article at Admin.ch retrieved on 21 June 2009.
  4. ^ Plus de 110 projets pour un nouvel hymne national

External links[edit]