A national anthem is essentially a song that is adopted by a country as a musical gesture to the nation’s traditions, culture and government. Most natives can sing their national anthems word-for-word, as it is a symbol of pride and patriotism. But what makes a national anthem famous you might ask? Why would a national anthem from a foreign country be remembered by people who live in other countries around the world? There are many factors that weigh into determining the most famous national anthems. These factors can include the fame of the country itself, the longevity of the anthem, its meaning and the nation’s success in worldwide events such as the Olympics or the World Cup.
Let’s take a look at some of the most famous national anthems.
United States of America – The Star Spangled Banner
United Kingdom – God Save the King (or Queen)
The United Kingdom national anthem surely makes the list of most famous national anthems because of its longevity and the presence of Great Britain throughout world history. Sports fans also recognize this anthem, as England is one of the best soccer nations in the world. The author of the song is unknown, and the lyrics can be altered to King or Queen based on who is currently sitting at the throne.
Click here to listen to the United Kingdom national anthem.
The Mexican national anthem was written by Francisco Gonzalex Boncanegra, who actually won a contest in 1853 which granted him the rights to author the song. Francisco wanted to create a national anthem that was based on beautiful notes and musical rhythm, instead of meaningful lyrics. This is not to say that the Mexican national anthem is not meaningful, however. The song was unanimously voted to become the official anthem and has since become one of the most famous national anthems in the world.
Click here to listen to the Mexico national anthem.
France – La Marseillaise
The French national anthem was written by a French soldier during the French revolution in 1792. The author, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, wrote it as a marching song to gain support of a war with Austria. What makes it one of the most famous national anthems is that it has some of the most violent lyrics among all anthems. The song makes clear references to fields of blood, killing enemies and violent battlefield encounters.
Click here to listen to the France national anthem.
Russia’s national anthem shares the same music as the Soviet national anthem once did, but the lyrics are now different. Because the music is still the same, many citizens from around the world will still recognize it as one of the most famous national anthems. Russia and the Soviet Union’s Olympic success have also had much to do with the fame of its national anthem.
Click here to listen to the Russia national anthem.