Readers of Commonplace know about the world’s shortest national anthem, and the longest national anthem. When it comes to learning the official lyrics for national anthems, there are four countries that make it really easy, because there are no words to remember.
The national anthem of Spain is the “Marcha Real” (“Royal March”). Written by Manual de Espinosa de los Monteros in 1761, the song had lyrics, but they were never made official. It has been played since 1978 sans lyrics for all official occasions. Listen to “Marcha Real” here.
The national anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina is called, unoriginally, “The National Anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina.” It was written by Bosnian Serb composer Dušan Šestić in 1998. Šestić wrote lyrics ten years after writing the melody and proposed they be adopted as official. For this to happen, the nation’s Council of Ministers the Parliamentary Assembly would need to take action. As of this writing, that has not happened. Listen to “The National Anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina” here.
“Europe” is the national anthem of Kosovo. It was composed in 2008 by Mendi Mengjiqi. The Assembly of Kosovo chose the song as its official anthem after holding a competition to encourage original works. The Assembly required that any proposed song be unique and not less than 30 seconds or more than 60 seconds in length. There was no requirement about lyrics, however. Mengjiqi was awarded €10,000 when his composition was selected. Listen to “Europe” here.
The Republic of San Marino adopted “Inno Nazionale” (“National Anthem”) as its national anthem in 1894. Although the Frederico Consolo composition has gained some unofficial lyrics over the years, the original, sans lyrics, is the official version. Listen to “Inno Nazionale” here.
Read more fun facts about national anthems.
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