Monday, March 29, 2010

Anthems

We were sitting around the table tonight, the last night with our guests, and got chatting about national anthems.  This was the moment when I pointed out that the Catalans have what may indeed be, the most warlike national anthem of them all.  Based on a historical event when the Catalans picked up their scythes and mowed down the enemy of the day.  Certainly by far the most violent that I know of, here it is:




Catalunya triomfant,      Triumphant Catalonia
tornarà a ser rica i plena.   Will become, once again rich and full.
Endarrera aquesta gent   Behind these people
tan ufana i tan superba.    so proud and so superb

Bon colp de falç,    A good blow with the scythe
Bon colp de falç,    A good blow with the scythe
Defensors de la terra!      Defend our land
Bon colp de falç!    A good blow with the scythe.

Ara és hora, segadors.   Now is the time, reapers
Ara és hora d'estar alerta.   Now is the time to be alert
Per quan vingui un altre juny   Because when the next June comes
esmolem ben bé les eines.     we will sharpen our tools well.

Bon colp de falç,   A good blow with the scythe
Bon colp de falç,   A good blow with the scythe
Defensors de la terra!  Defend out land!
Bon colp de falç!   A good blow with the scythe

Que tremoli l'enemic   How the enemy will tremble
en veient la nostra ensenya.    when they see what we can do.
Com fem caure espigues d'or,     Like we fell the golden wheat
quan convé seguem cadenes.   when the time is right, we shall reap chains

Bon colp de falç,     A good blow with the scythe
Bon colp de falç,    A good blow with the scythe
Defensors de la terra!   Defend out land
Bon colp de falç!     A good blow with the scythe

Here you can here it,   Catalunya triomfant,      Triumphant Catalonia
tornarà a ser rica i plena.   Will become, once again rich and full.
Endarrera aquesta gent   Behind these people
tan ufana i tan superba.    so proud and so superb

Bon colp de falç,    A good blow with the scythe
Bon colp de falç,    A good blow with the scythe
Defensors de la terra!      Defend our land
Bon colp de falç!    A good blow with the scythe.

Ara és hora, segadors.   Now is the time, reapers
Ara és hora d'estar alerta.   Now is the time to be alert
Per quan vingui un altre juny   Because when the next June comes
esmolem ben bé les eines.     we will sharpen our tools well.

Bon colp de falç,   A good blow with the scythe
Bon colp de falç,   A good blow with the scythe
Defensors de la terra!  Defend out land!
Bon colp de falç!   A good blow with the scythe

Que tremoli l'enemic   How the enemy will tremble
en veient la nostra ensenya.    when they see what we can do.
Com fem caure espigues d'or,     Like we fell the golden wheat
quan convé seguem cadenes.   when the time is right, we shall reap chains

Bon colp de falç,     A good blow with the scythe
Bon colp de falç,    A good blow with the scythe
Defensors de la terra!   Defend out land
Bon colp de falç!     A good blow with the scythe

You can hear it here. 

A little different than the Canadian anthem,

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Though that is still a little militaristic.  

The Spanish don't have any words, though there is music.  They couldn't agree on words after the fall of Franco, and still have none.

Our friends sang the Welsh one for us, which is all about pride and love in the home land.

You can certainly see why anarchism could get such a strong hold in the 30s.

7 comments:

elpadawan said...

French anthem is pretty warlike as well. I'll let you look up some translation online and see for yourself.

J.G. said...

I've always liked Canada's anthem because it is defensive, not offensive. The U.S. anthem I am unable to be objective about. But I do like the tone of endurance, at least in the first verse. (Is it still there? It sure is!)

Beth said...

The Catalan national anthem reminds me of certain biblical passages – Old Testament ones, of course.

oreneta said...

ElP, Yeah, but the French Anthem is possibly the best tune of them all for an anthem. Honestly.

JG, I am fairly partial to Canada's as well.....I'll have to go and read that first verse.

Beth, I agree with you...most OT biblical indeed.

lulusbay said...

I know that I posted a comment here yesterday - it is gone!
It went something like this (I suspect I was feeling witty yesterday.. today I am not)
************
Funny you should post this topic. I had occasion to ring the doorbell of my neighbour recently. Needed a cup of sugar (or perhaps a corkscrew...) lo and behold - I hear the Australian National Anthem chiming away in their foyer.. she didn't even know what it was! Didn't seem right to use our national anthem as a doorbell.

oreneta said...

That does seem very strange to use an anthem for a doorbell. Did you tell her? Now I have to go and play it, though I am sure I've heard it a million times.

swenglishexpat said...

Very aggressive! And how to chop them down as well. Many anthems are about allegiance I guess, and the Swedish one is also very nature-focused. The English always want to save the Queen from somebody, and in another song they want to rule the waves. It's all a bit too traditional and old fashion for my liking.