Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The perfect anthem...

I've been cheated.

I've lived in two countries with completely rubbish national anthems - one about a war, one about a current ruler. Neither is really a paean to the land or the people who make a nation what it is. Each land has better options, but opted for the ones they have now.

Lately, of course, I've been singing this one constantly. I'll write more about why in another entry, but suffice it to say that the anthem is in four languages and ends with "Let us live and strive for freedom..." Absolutely. Those are the sentiments that a national anthem should have: love of country, representation of her peoples and a sense of moving forward together.

This weekend, I was messing around on youtube, and I thought, "Oh, I need to hear that national anthem so I can take the piss out of it." Found it easily enough...

and discovered an anthem that moved me to tears - a perfect blend of music and words. Watch it - the harmony on the first verse is incredible.

Rach will smirk, but I can take it, so here goes:

Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free
We've golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea:
Our land abounds in nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare,
In history's page let every stage
Advance Australia fair:
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross,
We'll toil with hearts and hands,
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands,
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share,
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.

It brims with love and gratitude to the land, her beauty and the wealth she brings them through their own hard work; a joy in living and sharing that prosperity with those "who've come across the seas"; and a resolve to move forward together to advance Australia fair.

I know no land is perfect, and that in reality, Aus has the toughest immigration rules of them all. But anthems are about ideals: what we're living and striving towards.

And this one should be adapted for and taken up by all humanity - to advance our Terra fair.

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