When the Olympics come on the television one does get exposed to different national anthems.  Now, not knowing what the words say or worrying about their politics I’m going to post some of my favorite anthems based on how much I like the “tunes” (for lack of a better word).

Several Countries in Africa – Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika

Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika was composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a teacher at a Methodist mission school in Johannesburg. It was one of many songs he composed, and he was apparently a keen singer who composed the songs for his pupils.

The words of the first stanza were originally written in Xhosa as a hymn. In 1927 seven additional Xhosa stanzas were later added by Samuel Mqhayi, a poet.  Click here for more information about the anthem.

The harmony in this version of this national anthem is simply beautiful.


Italy – Il Canto Degli Italiani

When the Italian Republic emerged from the turmoil following the Second World War, it had no official National Anthem. Unofficially the ‘Inno di Mameli’ came to be used. It gets its name from the author of the text, the poet and patriot Goffredo Mameli (1827-1849).  Click here for more information.

I like Andre Rieu and his version of Italy’s anthem.