Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pam's National Anthems Quest!

Dear Folk of the Interweb,

Since finishing my Master of Music degree in November and commencing FT work, my musical spirit has been a little sad. My lovely Joseph theorises that it's because I'm not doing any singing (except in the car), and he could well be right. Paying the bills is all well and good, but my heart needs to SING! So I've got two projects on the go.

The first is Karaoke Secret Santa, a project dreamed up by Joseph Restubog in 2009. Details can be found at the Karaoke Secret Blog. We're a small pool of enthusiastic karaoke singers who are intent on spreading good Christmas cheer to each other! So, on December 11, the Elfster Secret Santa Gift Exchange will assign me a Secret Santa recipient, and, after perusing their musical wishlist, I shall choose a song to learn, and then video myself performing it! Upload it to YouTube by Christmas Eve, and Bob's your uncle. Merry Christmas!

The second project I'm going to be working on is a personal project that I've been thinking about doing for awhile. I enjoyed learning the first verse of the Welsh National Anthem so much this year that I've decided to make it a goal of mine to learn ALL national anthems of the world. Now, the Wikipedia page has informed me that there are MANY national anthems, and not all of them are referred to as national anthems, either. That's perfectly okay. What I want to do is learn each patriotic song from each country, which is going to involve a lot of brainpower on my end to get all the pronunciations and translations right! I'm so excited. It's going to be a great project for me! So many different languages and cultures... Just the thing to keep my mind occupied while I dwell on the fact that I'm no longer studying singing full-time, and figure out what to do next.

I will be recording all of these songs, just on my little digital camera, and upload them to YouTube, as a way of keeping track of the songs and letting you all hear what each different anthem sounds like! I'm trying to find non-naff karaoke versions on iTunes to download and sing to. Here's hoping I can avoid the really obvious MIDI-sounding tracks.

I'm going to start off easy, and the first anthems that I hope to learn/record are:

AUSTRALIA - "Advance Australia Fair" | score

UNITED KINGDOM - "God Save The Queen" | score

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - "The Star-Spangled Banner" | score

WALES - "My Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" | score

With each post and recording, I hope to give a brief background of the piece and teach myself a little of the history of that particular country, especially with regard to their patriotism and national song. I welcome suggestions on which national anthems/songs to embark upon learning after I've completed this first four! I will also welcome feedback and updates on my pronunciation of unfamiliar languages and the histories of various songs.

I'm excited! I hope you are, too.



  1. Terre Roche has an album of National Anthems including the Esperanto anthem. You should check it out.

    Your countryman Fred Smith says the Australian anthem should be Waltzing Matilda and it is a better song so you should do that too.

  2. Oh really? Thanks, Gordon! Will check it out.

    Yes, Fred Smith may have a point... However, according to a website I was reading earlier today, there was an Australia-wide vote cast on what should be the national anthem a couple of decades ago, and "Advance Australia Fair" got 51% of the vote, whilst "Waltzing Matilda" got about 19%. The public has spoken!

  3. I agree with the public. Waltzing matilda is a good campfire song but in no way shape or form does it make a national anthem!