10. Der er et yndigt land – 1835
Der er et yndigt land, translated into English as There is a lovely country, is one of the national anthems of Denmark. The lyrics were written in 1819 by Adam Oehlenschläger and bore the motto “This corner of the earth smiles for me more than any other”. The music was composed in 1835 by Hans Ernst Krøyer. Later, Thomas Laub and Carl Nielsen each composed alternative melodies, but neither of them has gained widespread adoption, and today they are mostly unknown to the general population.
9. La Brabançonne – 1830
According to legend, the Belgian national anthem was written in September 1830, during the Belgian Revolution, by a young revolutionary called “Jenneval”, who read the lyrics during a meeting at the Aigle d’Or café. Jenneval, a Frenchman whose real name was Alexandre Dechet, did in fact write the Brabançonne. At the time, he was an actor at the theatre where, in August 1830, the revolution started which led to independence from the Netherlands.
8. Himno Nacional de Chile – 1828
The first Chilean National Anthem dates back to 1819, when the government called for, on the 19th of July, the creation of music and lyrics for this purpose. The composer Manuel Robles and the poet Bernardo de Vera y Pintado fulfilled this mandate and their “National Song” debuted on 20 August 1820 in the Domingo Arteaga theater, although other historians claim that it was played and sung during the festivities of September 1819. In the beginning, everyone would stand for the song. O’Higgins and Freire listened to it with respect and full of emotion, for they had marched to victory to its tune more than once. The custom of always singing it at the theater slowly disappeared, until it was ordered that it only be sung at the anniversary of the country. The doctor Bernardo Vera, known in the history of the independence, was the author of the verses that were sung to Robles’ music. This first hymn was sung until 1828, when it was replaced with what is sung today. The second Chilean National Anthem was composed by the Spanish composer Ramón Carnicer, when he was exiled in England because of his liberal ideas. Mariano Egaña, Chilean Minister in London, acting on the criticism that Robles’ song was receiving, asked Carnicer to compose a new hymn with Bernardo de Vera’s original text. The Spanish musician probably wrote the work by 1827, the date he returned to Barcelona, and his hymn debuted in Santiago, in the Arteaga theater, 23 December 1828.
7. Hino Nacional Brasileiro – 1822
From the proclamation of the independence of Brazil in 1822 until the 1831 abdication, an anthem that had been composed by Pedro I himself, celebrating the country’s independence, was used as the national anthem. In the immediate aftermath of the abdication of Pedro I, the anthem composed by him fell in popularity. Francisco Manuel da Silva then seized this opportunity to present his composition, and the anthem written by him was played in public for the first time on April 13, 1831. On that same day, the ship carrying the former Emperor left the port of Rio de Janeiro. The date of April 13 now appears in official calendars as the Day of the Brazilian National Anthem. As to the actual date of composition of the music presented in April 1831, there is controversy among historians. Some hold that Francisco Manuel da Silva composed the music in the last four months of 1822 to commemorate Brazil’s independence (declared on 7 September 1822), others hold that the hymn was written in early 1823 and others consider the evidence of composition dating back to 1822 or 1823 unreliable, and hold that the Anthem presented on 13 April 1831 was written in 1831, and not before. In any event, the Anthem remained in obscurity until it was played in public on 13 April 1831.
6. Himno Nacional del Perú – 1821
After Peru declared its independence, the general José de San Martín began a public contest to select the National March, which was published on 7 August 1821 in the ministerial gazette. The contest called upon professors of poetry, composers and general aficionados, to send their signed productions to the Ministry of the State before 18 September, the day in which a designated commission would decide which of them would be adopted as the “National March”.
5. Himno Nacional Argentino 1813
The original Argentine National Anthem was named Patriotic March, later renamed National Patriotic Song, and then Patriotic Song. It has been called Himno Nacional Argentino since it was published with that name in 1847. Its lyrics were written by the Buenos Aires-born politician Vicente López y Planes and the music was composed by the Spanish musician Blas Parera. The work was adopted as the sole official song on May 11, 1813, three years after the May Revolution; May 11 is therefore Anthem Day in Argentina.
4. La Marseillaise – 1795
La Marseillaise is the national anthem of France. The song was written in 1792 by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in Strasbourg after the declaration of war by France against Austria, and was originally titled ”War Song for the Rhine Army”. The Marseillaise was a revolutionary song, an anthem to freedom, a patriotic call to mobilize all the citizens and an exhortation to fight against tyranny and foreign invasion. The French National Convention adopted it as the Republic’s anthem in 1795. It acquired its nickname after being sung in Paris by volunteers from Marseille marching to the capital.
3. La Marcha Real – 1770
The Marcha Real is the national anthem of Spain. It is one of only four national anthems in the world to have no official lyrics. One of the oldest in the world, the anthem was first printed in a document dated 1761 and entitled Book of the Ordenance of Newly Played Military Drum and Fife Calls by The Spanish Infantry, by Manuel de Espinosa. There, it is entitled “March of the Grenadiers”. According to the document, Manuel de Espinosa de los Monteros is the composer.
2. God Save the Queen – 1745
“God Save the Queen” is the national or royal anthem in a number of Commonwealth realms, their territories, and the British Crown Dependencies. The first published version of what is almost the present tune appeared in 1744 in Thesaurus Musicus.
1. Wilhelmus – 1568
Wilhelmus van Nassouwe, usually known just as the Wilhelmus, is the national anthem of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It dates back to at least 1572, making it the oldest known national anthem in the world. Although the Wilhelmus was not recognised as the official national anthem until 1932, it has always been popular with parts of the Dutch population and resurfaced on several occasions in the course of Dutch history before gaining its present status. It was also the anthem of the Netherlands Antilles from 1954 to 1964.