Not all national anthems are awful. In fact some, like Liechtenstein’s, are quite useful | Music

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  • Post published:January 1, 2024
  • Post category:News

J Michael Cule says national anthems are all terrible, and that they can be divided into three groups: “Hooray for us”, “Down with everyone else” or “God bless whoever happens to be in power” (Letters, 22 December). Happily, there are exceptions to this rule. Liechtenstein’s anthem, for instance, begins with a useful geography lesson, “High above the youthful Rhine, there it lies, Liechtenstein”, to assist anyone who might otherwise have difficulty in locating it on a map. But inspiration evidently lapsed when it came to choosing a melody, as it is sung to the same dirge as God Save the King.
John Cartledge
Borehamwood, Hertfordshire

J Michael Cule has never wandered further than the first verse of God Save the King if he believes it is about toadying. In verse two, we attack our enemies and in verse six, quell the rebellious Scots. North of the border, we are prepared to ditch the whole thing.
Margaret Squires
St Andrews, Fife

Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau holds several merits that make it a cherished national anthem for the Welsh people. It praises the land and its people. The melody is stirring and evokes passion and pride. And when sung by a crowd, it creates a sense of unity and solidarity. Anyway, why should the British national anthem be the English anthem as well, which grates with the rest of us? I have never sung GSTK and never will.
Alan Thomas
Caernarfon, Gwynedd

I agree that The Archers’ theme tune should be the national anthem (Letters, 27 December), but there’s no need to just hum along, as there are words. They are as follows: “Rum ti tum ti tum ti tum, Rum ti tum ti taa taa, Rum ti tum ti tum ti tum, rum ti tiddly tum…” Very easy to learn, and no nationalism or xenophobia.
Barbara Williams
Sparsholt, Oxfordshire

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