|English: Swiss Psalm|
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)
The Swiss Psalm (German: Schweizerpsalm [ʃvaɪtsərˈpsalm], French: Cantique suisse [kɑ̃tik sɥis], Italian: Salmo svizzero [salˈmo zviˈtsero], Romansh: Psalm Svizzer [ˈpsalm ˈʒviːtser]) 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. 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 1 April 1981, the Swiss Psalm was declared the official Swiss national anthem.
In 2014-2015, the Société suisse d’utilité publique has organized a public competition and unofficial vote to change the national anthem.
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 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.
The Swiss Psalm was composed in 1841 by Alberich Zwyssig (1808–1854), with lyrics by Leonhard Widmer (1809–1867). 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 Swiss Psalm temporarily became the national anthem 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.
Idea of a new anthem
Proposed replacements for the psalm include:
- In 1986, Roulez tambours (Roll the drums) by Romand Henri-Frédéric Amiel was proposed by the Swiss National Alliance.
- 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.
2014-2015 public competition and unofficial vote
In 2014, the Société suisse d’utilité publique started a public competition for a new national anthem. The instruction was to take inspiration from the preamble of the Federal Constitution of Switzerland. The jury received 208 proposals; it selected six of them and translated them in the four national languages of Switzerland. In March 2015, the six selected proposals were released on-line (with videos in four languages) and opened to public vote (until May 2015). The best three was selected for a second on-line ballot between June and August. In September 2015, a televised final has selected one song. Finally, the Société suisse d’utilité publique will propose the winning anthem to the federal authorities.
Weisses Kreuz auf rotem Grund,
unser Zeichen für den Bund:
Vielfalt, Unabhängigkeit, Frieden.
Soyons forts et solidaires,
que l'entente nous éclaire.
Per mintgin la libertad
e per tuts l'egualitad.
La bandiera svizzera,
simbolo di pace ed unità.
|German (original)||French||Italian||Romansh||English translation|
1. Trittst im Morgenrot daher,
1. Sur nos monts, quand le soleil
1. Quando bionda aurora
1. En l'aurora la damaun
1. When the morning skies grow red
The Swiss Psalm's poet Leonhard Widmer.
Notes and references
- "Switzerland - Swiss Psalm". NationalAnthems.me. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
- (German) (English) (French) (Italian) How a church hymn tune became a national anthem article at Admin.ch retrieved on 21 June 2009.
- Plus de 110 projets pour un nouvel hymne national
- https://www.chymne.ch/fr/projet (page visited on 30 March 2015).
- La proposition gagnante est connue !, /www.chymne.ch (page visited on 10 January 2016).
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