Mental Floss

15 Colorful Lyrics from National Anthems Around the World

Lucas Reilly
iStock
iStock / iStock
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The world's national anthems are a delightful mixed bag of patriotism, poetry, and the peculiar. While some of these verses rarely receive airtime—and there’s always risk that something is lost in translation—each lyric is like a postcard, rich with details about a country's history and culture. Enjoy!

1. AUSTRIA: WE HAVE HAMMERS

Land of mountains, land by the river, Land of fields, land of cathedrals, Land of hammers, with a promising future!

Land of Mountains, Land by the River (Hammers are a symbol of industry.)

2. ARGENTINA: ALERT THE ZOMBIE REVOLUTIONARIES 

The Inca is roused in his tomb and fire is rekindled in his bones, on seeing his sons renewing his homeland’s former splendor

Himno Nacional Argentino (Canción Patriótica)

3. GABON: NO SORCERERS ALLOWED

Yes, may the happy days dreamed by our ancestors Come for us at last, rejoice our hearts, And banish the sorcerers, those perfidious deceivers Who were sowing poison and were spreading fear.

The Concord

4. COLOMBIA: METAL BAND NAME #1, "A CONSTELLATION OF CYCLOPS"

Thus the motherland is formed, Thermopylaes are bursting forth; a constellation of cyclops its night brightened. The trembling flower finding the wind mortal, underneath the laurels safety sought.

Himno nacional de Colombia

5. SENEGAL: METAL BAND NAME #2, "LION'S FROTH"

Senegal, you the son of the lion's froth, Sprung from the night to the gallop of horses.

Pluck Your Koras, Strike the Balafons/The Red Lion

6. PARAGUAY: WE ARE ROME!

A new Rome, the Fatherland shall proudly display Two leaders of name and valor Who, rivals, like Romulus and Remus Divided government and power.

Paraguayans, The Republic or Death

7. ROMANIA: NO YOU'RE NOT, WE'RE ROME!

It's now or never that we prove to the world That in these veins still flows Roman blood And in our hearts for ever we glorify a name Triumphant in battles, the name of Trajan.

Wake Up, Romanian!

8. BANGLADESH: LET'S PLAY IN THE DIRT

O mother! The fragrance from your mango groves makes me wild with joy, Ah, what a thrill!

My Golden Bengal

9. HONDURAS: SHOUT OUT TO FRANCE

It was France, the free, the heroic, Which in its dreams of centuries slept, Awoke irate to life At the virile protest of Danton: It was France, who sent to the death The head of the consecrated King, And which built up proudly at its side, The altar of the goddess of Reason.

National Anthem of Honduras

10. ANDORRA: WE <3 FRANCE (OR AT LEAST THE FRANKS), TOO

The great Charlemagne, my father, liberated me from the Saracens And from heaven he gave me life ... I am the only remaining daughter, of the Carolingian empire

The Great Charlemagne

11. ALGERIA: SCREW YOU, FRANCE!

O France, Past is the time of palavers We closed it as we close a book O France! The day to settle the accounts has come!

The Pledge

12. FRANCE: DON'T MESS WITH US

Tremble, tyrants and you traitors The shame of all parties, Tremble! Your parricidal schemes Will finally receive their reward! Everyone is a soldier to combat you If they fall, our young heroes, The earth will produce new ones, Ready to fight against you!

The Song of Marseille

13. CABO VERDE: MOTIVATE YOURSELF WITH THIS BEAUTIFUL TRUTH

Hope is as big as the sea Which embraces us

Song of Freedom

14. ARMENIA: DEMOTIVATE YOURSELF WITH THIS DEPRESSING TRUTH 

Death is the same everywhere, A man dies but once, Blessed is the one that dies For the freedom of his nation.

Our Fatherland

15. KIRIBATI: LET'S MAKE THIS THE ANTHEM FOR THE PLANET, PLEASE? 

Stand up, People of Kiribati! Sing with jubilation! Prepare to accept responsibility And to help each other! Be steadfastly righteous! Love all our people! Be steadfastly righteous! Love all our people! The attainment of contentment And peace by our people Will be achieved when all our hearts beat as one, Love one another! Promote happiness and unity! Love one another! Promote happiness and unity! We beseech You, O God, To protect and lead us In the days to come. Help us with Your loving hand. Bless our Government and all our people! Bless our Government and all our people!

Stand Up, Kiribati

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