Heil dir im Siegerkranz

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"Heil dir im Siegerkranz"
Flag of the German Empire.svg

Imperial anthem of the German Empire
LyricsHeinrich Harries, 1790
MusicUnknown composer (uses the melody of "God Save the King")
Audio sample
"Heil dir im Siegerkranz"

"Heil dir im Siegerkranz" (German for "Hail to Thee in the Victor's Crown", literally: "Hail to You in a Victor's Wreath") was the unofficial national anthem of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918.[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 King". 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]

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).[5]

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 the victor's Crown,
Ruler of the fatherland!
Hail to thee, emperor!
|: Feel the splendor of the throne
Filled with the greatest joy
To be the favorite of the 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 the knight
Can secure the towering height,
Where prince stand:
|:The Love of the fatherland,
The Love of the free man,
Founds the sovereigns throne
Like a rock in the 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 never extinct
For the fatherland!
|:We will all stand together
Courageous for one man
Fight and bleed with joy
For throne and empire! :|

4.

Handel und Wissenschaft
Hebe mit Mut und Kraft
Ihr Haupt empor!
|: Krieger und Heldenthat
Finde ihr Lorbeerblatt
Treu aufgehoben dort,
An deinem Thron! :|

Trade and sciences
Improving with courage and strength
All for you!
|: Warriors' and heroes' deeds
May find their laurels of fame
Faithfully preserved
Your 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 Volks zu sein!
Heil, Kaiser, dir! :|
[6]

Our emperor Wilhelm is here
You are our people's glory
The pride of mankind!
|: Feel the splendor of the throne
Filled with the greatest joy
You are the favorite of the 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.

Other hymns[edit]

"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.[7]

In the Kingdom of Bavaria, the official hymn was "Bayerische Königshymne" ("Heil unserm König, Heil!"), also sung to the melody of "God Save the King". Likewise, Liechtenstein has "Oben am jungen Rhein" (1920), sung to the same melody. In the Kingdom of Hanover, which was in personal union with the United Kingdom until 1837, the hymn "Heil dir, Hannover" was sung to the same melody. "Heil dir, Hannover" was replaced by "Heil dir im Siegerkranz" when Prussia annexed Hanover in 1866.

The Hawaiian anthem Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī composed by the Prussian Kapellmeister Henri Berger is a variation of the melody.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Fischer & Senkel 2010, p. 90.
  2. ^ Fischer & Senkel 2010, p. 91.
  3. ^ Fehrenbach, Elisabeth. Politischer Umbruch und gesellschaftliche Bewegung: ausgewählte Aufsätze zur Geschichte Frankreichs und Deutschlands im 19. Jahrhundert. Oldenburg, 1997. p. 312.
  4. ^ Sternburg, Wilhelm von [de]. Die Geschichte der Deutschen. p. 131.
  5. ^ Fischer & Senkel 2010, p. 93.
  6. ^ Song No. 50 in Allgemeines Deutsches Kommersbuch, p. 47
  7. ^ Reichel, Peter. Schwarz-Rot-Gold: kleine Geschichte deutscher Nationalsymbole nach 1945. C. H. Beck: München, 2005. p. 35.
  8. ^ The melody was based on the Prussian hymn originally titled "Heil Dir Im Siegerkranz". "Hawaiʻi ponoʻī". Archived from the original on 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2018-06-02.

Sources

  • Fischer, Michael; Senkel, Christian (2010). Klaus Tanner, ed. Reichsgründung 1871: Ereignis, Beschreibung, Inszenierung. Münster: Waxmann Verlag.

External links[edit]

No anthem before
First German nation state
Imperial anthem of the German Empire
1871–1918
Succeeded by
"Deutschlandlied"
as national anthem