Ironically, now that I’ve become an American and can officially sing The Star Spangled Banner with hand over my heart, I’ve fallen in love with a different national anthem. Listen for yourself and tell me if you don’t agree that this is one of the most beautiful songs in the world:
This song is even more beautiful if you consider its history. It is a hybrid song written in the five most spoken South African languages (there are eleven official ones), combining parts of the ANC’s battle song (a former church hymn) with parts of the national anthem under the Apartheid regime and new English lyrics.
Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika
Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo, Yizwa imithandazo yethu, Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso, O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho, O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso, Setjhaba sa, South Afrika - South Afrika. Uit die blou van onse hemel, Uit die diepte van ons see, Oor ons ewige gebergtes, Waar die kranse antwoord gee, Sounds the call to come together, And united we shall stand, Let us live and strive for freedom In South Africa our land. Lord bless Africa Raise high its glory Hear our prayers Lord bless us, her children Lord, we ask You to protect our nation Intervene and end all conflicts Protect us, protect our nation, our nation, South Africa - South Africa From the blue of our sky, From the depth of our seas, Over our everlasting mountains, Where the crags resound, Sounds the call to come together, And united we shall stand, Let us live and strive for freedom In South Africa our land.