« Previous | Main | Next »

Does your national anthem inspire you?

Nyambura Wambugu | 13:16 UK time, Tuesday, 22 June 2010

During the World Cup and before every match we have listened to 32 national anthems from all the countries participating and some of the players have been in tears. So what really is in a national anthem that evokes such emotion?


saflag.jpgDo national anthems reflect the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the people or are they just meaningless words stuck in the dreams of days gone by?

What does your national anthem mean to you? Does it inspire you? Does it make you patriotic or does it leave you cold?

If you would like to tell us what you think of your national anthem LIVE on air on Wednesday 23 June at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.


  • Comment number 1.

    The National Anthem of my country makes me feel like belonging to Liberia. It gives me great inspirations and makes me patriotic. It tells me that God provided it and that I should appreciate God's gift and be thankful to Him.
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 2.

    The Nigerian National Anthem do inspire me most especially the second verse. However I wonder why the second verse is often not sung.

  • Comment number 3.

    If you love your country, hearing the anthem being sung by many not a few, you will be proud and lifted. I think the anthem for a country has to be one that is wanted by the majority of people - and that causes no offence to minority peoples. When footballers are in strange stadium, nervous and feeling the tension because success / failure depends on their effort..I think hearing their fans chant and the anthem gives inspiration for players to play their game with heart and passion...something that some teams have been lacking recently at this world cup. Maybe because some of them don't do football for love but only for money / fame game, they don't get inspired by their national anthem...and so don't play with the gusto they should do. Winning is important but playing a decent performance and losing is something fans will not ignore either. But lose and play badly with no desire, with no passion inspired by the anthem...well, wait till the players get home, the fans' hairdryer treatment will be ready and waiting for them the minute they come off the plane.

  • Comment number 4.

    I think national anthems remind us of the essence of our countries, they instill in us a sense of pride, with lyrics filled with pride and nationalism. Despite what countries may be going through, from poverty, disease and war to famine and so forth, when you are united with your fellow countrymen, singing your anthem, all your issues seem so far away, and you are reminded what your country represents.

  • Comment number 5.

    Oh, I love my country's national anthem. Yeah, dont laugh i'm Somali and we do have a national anthemm. Actually our anthem could be out a lot of other countries national anthem in the deep poetic meaning it contains. In Somali it goes like this "Somaaliyeey toosoo, toosoo isku tiirsadayee, marba kiina taag daranee...", in translation it says " Somalis stand proud and firm, wake up , wake up, always come to the aide of your most vernable citizen among you ready to assist..". This is strange but the national anthem of another country besides Somalia that i'm in love with is the South African anthem, it should be africa's national anthem.

  • Comment number 6.

    It depends on what the National Anthem says and the reality to what obtains in the concerned country. For Nigeria it says “the labour of our heros past will never be in vain ” but taking a good look from where we are today back to even pre independent days I see no worthy labour or even anybody lived or living that worked for the positive interest of Nigeria as to be singing about.
    It has been from eras of ethnic politice vagaboundry to te present era of loothing of public resources without remorse or fear. It has been years of successive degeneration of and presently disappearance of infrastructures, denial of the youths of everything that can make them beat their chest and say “I have a country” anywhere.
    It is presently era of celebrating public wealth thieves as “successful men”.
    The National Anthem only provoks the youths who are seeing the riches of the country being shared by few people most of whom got all their education on scholarship made available by the same country they are milking dry. What a league of heros , what a pain to future, what a country to have, what a national anthem to sing.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    Absolutely, I'm Malawian and our anthem is like a prayer and if you draw strength from prayer the anthem definitely inspires you. Here are the words of the Malawian National Anthem:

    "O God bless our land of Malawi, Keep it a land of peace.
    Put down each and every enemy, Hunger, disease, envy.

    Join together all our hearts as one, That we be free from fear.

    Bless our leader, each and every one, And Mother Malawi.

    Our own Malawi, this land so fair, Fertile and brave and free.

    With its lakes, refreshing mountain air,

    How greatly blest are we.

    Hills and valleys, soil so rich and rare,

    Give us a bounty free.

    Wood and forest, plains so broad and fair,

    All-beauteous Malawi.

    Freedom forever, let us all unite

    To build up Malawi.

    With our love, our zeal and loyalty,

    Bringing our best to her.

    In time of war, or in time of peace,

    One purpose and one goal.

    Men and women serving selflessly

    In building Malawi.

    Similarly, the British national anthem words:

    1. God save our gracious Queen,
    Long live our noble Queen,
    God save the Queen!
    Send her victorious,
    Happy and glorious,
    Long to reign over us;
    God save the Queen!

    2. O Lord our God arise,
    Scatter her enemies
    And make them fall;
    Confound their politics,
    Frustrate their knavish tricks,
    On Thee our hopes we fix,
    God save us all!

    3. Thy choicest gifts in store
    On her be pleased to pour;
    Long may she reign;
    May she defend our laws,
    And ever give us cause
    To sing with heart and voice,
    God save the Queen!

    4. Not in this land alone,
    But be God's mercies known,
    From shore to shore!
    Lord make the nations see,
    That men should brothers be,
    And form one family,
    The wide world over.

    5. From every latent foe,
    From the assassins blow,
    God save the Queen!
    O'er her thine arm extend,
    For Britain's sake defend,
    Our mother, prince, and friend,
    God save the Queen!

    If the national anthem is not inspiring people, perhaps it can be changed slightly to adopt some lines like, for example: Let us unite to defend our land and perhaps list out the beautiful gifts the British have given the world or how lovely and green it's land is?

  • Comment number 9.

    I love my own South African anthem. I attended the Netherlands v Japan WC match in Durban last Saturday and i was quite moved with the flowing music of the Japanese anthem. This was followed by the Netherlands anthem and there was a Dutch chap sitting behind me who played a trumpet in lieu of a vuvuzela. He played his trumpet along with the piped music of the Netherlands anthem and it was beautiful. So much so that everyone around our seated area clapped him at the end of the anthem. We also enjoyed his sporadic playing of the 'Galloping Major/Trumpet Voluntary' type music whenever the Dutch team did something good. The vuvuzela's could not keep up with him.
    Although not at the world cup, my third favourite national anthem behind South Africa and England is the Russian national anthem 'the song/hymn of the fatherland'. It was previously the anthem of the Soviet Union and it was composed during WW2. At a time when the territories of the Soviet Union had their backs to the wall against the German forces. It is absolutely beautiful and has perfect timing. No wonder the Russians have claimed it as their own anthem.

  • Comment number 10.

    National Anthem is the root of indentfying oneself as belonging to a specific Nation and makes one patriotic to up keep the values of the Nation

  • Comment number 11.

    We have a great national anthem. Every time I listen to it, it reminds me of how far we have strayed from our original goals. Justice is no longer our shield and defender, we no longer live in peace and unity, little liberty and plenty is not found within our borders. Kenya needs a serious rethink of where it is headed.

  • Comment number 12.

    I am a Nigerian,i love my country,but my country do not love,and other people also.The country is rich with blessed natural resources,but we are making use of it,in the rightway,that is why i do believe in our national anthem.If you look at the way our national team players played in SA 2010,you cannot blame them,because the country is not worth dieing for,why do you want to give best or lay your life for the country that do not care about you.
    Lastly,our national anthem do not reflect hope,dreams,and aspiration of Nigerians.

  • Comment number 13.

    My country's national anthem hasn't been inspiring. Please,expand the BBC services throughout Cameroon because we want democracy in that country. There's no freedom of speech and press whatsoever. We;re tired of being ruled by a tyrant,corrupt ministers and the so-called MDs of state enterprises. We need a change and believe in it. God bless Cameroon,God bless Africa.

  • Comment number 14.

    The South African anthem is a combination from different cultures and languages so it is the ultimate inspiration of all the citizens. Any anthem must have lively music and not drag along. March along-music usually is inspirational.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    I am a FIERCLY PROUD SCOTSMAN and can feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand with GREAT PRIDE when I hear FLOWER OF SCOTLAND being sung ,
    I do NOT think of myself as british ( I AM SCOTTISH ).

  • Comment number 17.

    My favorite national anthem is the South African - I think it has the nicest tune. It makes me want to along.

  • Comment number 18.

    I am moved by our SA anthem, but instead of tacking 'Die Stem' and a 'The Call of SA' onto it, I think that it should be limited to 'God Bless Africa' and it should be translated into all official languages. At most rugby games, it would be sung in Afrikaans, Cricket would be english and football would depend on the region where the game was taking place. At overseas matches, English would rule so that the hosts can follow the words.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.