National Anthems

by Anonymous on 8/19/2004 · 10 comments

Download national_anthems.doc

Although all National Anthems are, in general, quite similar to one another, it seems there are some subtle differences in style, in the choice of particular words and expressions, which could, in my opinion, tell a lot about national culture, traditions and mentality.

In the attached Word-Document you can find the English text for all central Asian national anthems. In addition, for comparison, there are also American and Russian National Anthems.

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– author of 49 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Education 2003–2004 Master Degree in Developmental Studies (DESS “Gestion et dynamisation du développement”), The University of Pierre Mendès France of Grenoble, France 1998-2003 Bachelor Degree in International Economics, The University of World Economy and Diplomacy of Tashkent, Uzbekistan Work Experience 05/2004-08/2004 Researcher, The Economic Mission of France in Istanbul, Turkey 04/2003-09/2003 Research assistant and Translator in the UNDP project UZB 01/04 on institutional reinforcement of the Higher School of Business under the President of Uzbekistan 01/2003-04/2003 Interpreter, International Department, The Higher School of Business, Tashkent, Uzbekistan 09/2002-01/2003 English Language Junior Editor at the Journal “International Relations, Law and Economy” of the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Tashkent, Uzbekistan 06/2002-09/2002 Intern, CIS countries Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan

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Nathan August 19, 2004 at 1:54 pm

What’s going on? I usually expect to see only the first stanza of the US anthem or all four. However, here we have verses 1, 2, and 4, leaving out a piece:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Of course, we stole the music from a classic drinking song. What’s that say about us?

Alisher August 20, 2004 at 2:43 am

Ah, sorry..
I just copied it from a website, and as I dont know the words, so I must have made an unintended mistake..
Sorry again!

Alisher August 20, 2004 at 4:30 am

Nathan, thank you for your comment, I have corrected my mistake and added the 3rd verse as well in the download document.

As for what it might mean. Well, maybe I am wrong, or maybe I don’t know the right context for the words of the Anthem, but when I read the US National Anthem, personally, I have the following impressions:

The general subject of the Anthem is a war, a battle, and a confrontation. I guess it reflects the American character; which is not violent, but has this confrontational spirit at its base. It doesn’t necessarily mean a war, as it is also, I guess, reflected in the nature of American economy, strongly based on competition. You can tell that competition now is the base of all economy, but still I guess that it is only due to leading role of Anglo-Saxon economies in the world. In France, Italy and Uzbekistan (and maybe in some other countries), there are some industrial districts, (like Chust in Namangan which is specialised in the production of handmade knives and duppis), or shoe-manufacturing districts in Italy, whose basic idea is not competition, but cooperation, not talking about command economy…

There is also a dichotomic nature in the Anthem; it tends to divide into us and them, free and slave, brave and hireling, mists of the deep and morning’s first gleam, war and peace, good and evil, etc. I don’t think that all this discourse about Free World and Evil Empire, or famous “you are with us, or with the terrorists” are accidental. When you watch a usual American film, it is the American Anthem explained. Good guy beats the bad guy, with “the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air”.

Well, you know there are a lot of things like this, but now I found myself thinking, if I am getting these impressions from the words of the Anthem, or I am just attaching my already formed ideas to them… 🙂

Even with this, I think anyone who doesn’t know the US at all, will get similar impressions from the Anthem…

What do you think about this?

Alisher August 20, 2004 at 4:50 am

Well if you want I can share my impressions about the Uzbek anthem, English translation looses half of the meaning, because the same words dont have the same connotations, for example, serquyosh is translated as sunny, but my impressions from sunny is not the same as from serquyosh.

Sunny gives the impression of good time, good mood, picknick, or other SSS ideas…

Serquyosh, first of all, it is a composite word 🙂 ser is a Persian prefix which means “a lot”, quyosh is uzbek, which stands for sun.

Quyosh is not associated with what I mentioned for sunny, but two things come to my mind.
First, it is connected with agriculture, the more sunny days, the better it is for agriculture, and not only for cotton.
Second, which goes much deeper into Uzbek mentality, is the historical links with Zaroastrism and Avesto, where sun-fire was deified.
Well, I guess someone who doesnt know uzbek history wouldnt get the link to zaroastrism, or wouldnt interprate it like this, but still it is surprising how these concepts reemerged in the national Anthem.

Alisher August 20, 2004 at 4:57 am

Ah, also..
Quyosh-Sun is also linked with Father and Fatherland idea.

Alisher Navoi, in his poem compares a person to the Earth, his Father to the Sun, and his Mother to the Moon.

By the way, Alisher Navoi is so great, because just with this comparison he described the traditional Uzbek family relations of his time, and maybe gave some ideas about the contemporary uzbek family and society.

Nathan August 20, 2004 at 7:42 am

Actually Alisher, most Americans are unaware of all four verses to our anthem. We typically only use the first.

It was written by Francis Scott Key about the defense of Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. If I remember correctly he was (a prisoner?) on a ship in the harbor. Despite the massive British attack, the Fort stood, as Key could see by the flag still waving. It didn’t become the national anthem until 1931 though.

Laurence August 20, 2004 at 8:34 am

Alisher, here’s more on the author of the American national anthem, Francis Scott Key from the National Park Service (there is a park in Baltimore where he was inspired to write the anthem):

Francis Scott Key was born on August 1, 1779, in western Maryland. His family was very wealthy and owned an estate called “Terra Rubra.”

When Francis was 10 years old, his parents sent him to grammar school in Annapolis. After graduating at the age of 17, he began to study law in Annapolis while working with his uncle’s law firm. By 1805, he had a well-established law practice of his own in Georgetown, a suburb of Washington, D.C. By 1814, he had appeared many times before the Supreme Court and had been appointed the United States District Attorney.

Francis Scott Key was a deeply religious man. At one time in his life, he almost gave up his law practice to enter the ministry. Instead, he resolved to become involved in the Episcopal Church. Because of his religious beliefs, Key was strongly opposed to the War of 1812. However, due to his deep love for his country, he did serve for a brief time in the Georgetown field artillery in 1813.

During the War of 1812, Dr. William Beanes, a close friend of Key’s was taken prisoner by the British. Since Key was a well-known lawyer, he was asked to assist in efforts to get Dr. Beanes released. Knowing that the British were in the Chesapeake Bay, Key left for Baltimore. There Key met with Colonel John Skinner, a government agent who arranged for prisoner exchanges. Together, they set out on a small boat to meet the Royal Navy

On board the British flagship, the officers were very kind to Key and Skinner. They agreed to release Dr. Beanes. However, the three men were not permitted to return to Baltimore until after the bombardment of Fort McHenry. The three Americans were placed aboard the American ship and waited behind the British fleet. From a distance of approximately eight miles, Key and his friends watched the British bombard Fort McHenry.

After 25 hours of continuous bombing, the British decided to leave since they were unable to destroy the fort as they had hoped. Realizing that the British had ceased the attack, Key looked toward the fort to see if the flag was still there. To his relief, the flag was still flying! Quickly, he wrote down the words to a poem which was soon handed out as a handbill under the title “Defence of Fort McHenry.” It was renamed “The Star- Spangled Banner” by an adoring public. It became a popular patriotic song. It was not until 1931, however, that it became our national anthem.

After the war, Francis Scott Key continued to live a very religious life. He was well-liked by his friends and was active in society. On January 11, 1843, while visiting his daughter in Baltimore, Key died of pleurisy.

To honor the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” there are monuments at: Fort McHenry; on Eutaw Street in Baltimore; at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland; and at the Presidio in San Francisco, California.

Mark Hamm August 20, 2004 at 4:30 pm


Good post during the Olympics. Interesting to hear the different anthems and the reaction of the athletes to theirs. Normally Americans don’t react too much when they hear their anthem here at home, except as a reason to yell real loud before sporting events. I was lucky enough to hear the American anthem in Pilzen Cech Rep. in 1995, the 50 th anniversary of their liberation from the Germans by the Belgian and US armies. As the US Army color guard came marching by with the band marching behind it was very emotional. I definitely don’t see the it as confrontational. I see it more as when things are really bad the spirit of freedom will triumph over tyranny, ultimately people will be more motivated and braver in doing what needs to be done to right the wrongs inflicted by the bullies of the world. Of course I’m getting that from a US citizens point of view and a longer look at history than others.

As far as the economy, our trade deficit says we aren’t competing too good.

jheka August 20, 2004 at 10:31 pm

Announcements everyone…

The wonderful Kristinn of FreeRepublic D.C. Chapter ( is the newest member of the Axis of Poetry and will be taking over Wednesdays. Our good friend The Grand Vizier, who formerly had Wednesdays, has been on a blogging hiatus since his painful slip and fall while on recon at the Dem Convention for the ProtestWarriors . As for Kristinn, he was voted FReeper of the Year 2002, which is truly special. He writes about porn, firearms, and video games, which is also truly special. Additionally, he’s a Toby Keith fan, which is excellent!! We’ll have plenty of fantastic TK CD’s to play at our next LGF meetup in September.

Welcome aboard Kristinn!!


Tim Newman August 21, 2004 at 1:28 am

None will ever match the mighty Welsh national anthem!!

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