Friday, July 03, 2009

Oh Shut Up and Light the Damn Firecrackers Already

Keeping perspective and considering context is both very, very important and a potentially giant buzzkill.


It's always fun to check out the national anthems of other countries. Here's the Philippines, from a Wiki page:

Beloved country,
Pearl of the Orient,
The burning [fervour] of the heart,
In thy chest is ever alive.

Chosen Land,
Thou art the cradle of the brave.
To the conquerors,
Thou shall never surrender.

In the seas and mountains,
In the air and in thy sky of blue,
There is splendour in the poem
And [in the] song for freedom beloved.

The sparkle of thy flag
Is victory that shines.
Its stars and sun
Forever shall never dim.

Land of the sun,
of glory and our love,
Life is heaven in thy embrace;
It is our joy, when there are oppressors,
To die because of thee.

Joy "to die because of thee" huh? That's hardcore, and reminds one that some Filipinos are big on nailing themselves to crosses and stuff around Easter every year.

As "Declarations of Independence" go, I like the Hungarian one (sorry for the length, but I think it's worth it...and besides, this is just a small part of the whole, hyper-specific, thing):


WE, the legally constituted representatives of the Hungarian nation, assembled in Diet, do by these presents solemnly proclaim, in maintenance of the inalienable natural rights of Hungary, with all its dependencies, to occupy the position of an independent European State -- that the house of Hapsburg-Lorraine, as perjured in the sight of God and man, has forfeited its right to the Hungarian throne.

At the same time we feel ourselves bound in duty to make known the motives and reasons which have impelled us to this decision, that the civilized world may learn we have taken this step not out of overweening confidence in our own wisdom, or out of revolutionary excitement, but that it is an act of the last necessity, adopted to preserve from utter destruction a nation persecuted to the limit of the most enduring patience.

Three hundred years have passed since the Hungarian nation, by free election, placed the house of Austria upon its throne, in accordance with stipulations made on both sides, and ratified by treaty. These three hundred years have been, for the country, a period of uninterrupted suffering.

The Creator has blessed this country with all the elements of wealth and happiness. Its area of 100,000 square miles presents in varied profusion innumerable sources of prosperity. Its population, numbering nearly fifteen millions, feels the glow of youthful strength within its veins, and has shown temper and docility which warrant its proving at once the main organ of civilization in eastern Europe, and the guardian of that civilization when attacked. Never was a more grateful task appointed to a reigning dynasty by the dispensation of Providence, than that which devolved upon the house of Hapsburg-Lorraine. It would have sufficed to do nothing that could impede the development of the country. Had this been the rule observed Hungary would now rank among the most prosperous nations. It was only necessary that it should not envy the Hungarians the moderate share of constitution liberty which they timidly maintained during the difficulties of a thousand years with rare fidelity to their sovereigns, and the house of Hapsburg might long have counted this nation among the most faithful adherents of the throne.

This dynasty, however, which can at no epoch point to a ruler who based his power on the freedom of the people, adopted a course toward this nation from father to son, which deserves the appellation of perjury.

Now that's some good stuff. I quite like the "youthful strength within its veins". It's a shame we're in a bit of a lull when it comes to nation/state creation these days. We're rusty on the old Declarations of this and Anthems of that.

Nevertheless, I do have proposed "evergreen" lyrics for a national anthem that I offer, no copyright/no royalties required, to any new nation/states popping up anytime soon.

Ode To A Pretty Darn Great Geographic Conurbation and/or Idyllic Contiguity

O (insert country name here),
We might not be the greatest,
but we're doing the best we can .

We might not be the strongest,
but don't mess with us, really.

Because if you do, we have
alot of youthful strength within our veins,
maybe no more than any other,
but certainly enough to cause
problems, and you don't want that.

O (insert country name here)
you're really peachy keen and all that.
O (insert country name here)
we stand on guard for thee,

in a manner of speaking.

Of course, like any reputable national anthem, it would have another nine or ten stanzas that nobody ever sings or even remembers with lines like:

Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.

Which is in the U.S. Anthem. Really.

Happy rocket's red glare, everybody.

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