Sunday, April 30, 2006

'Nuestro Himno'

O, sagt, könnt ihr seh'n
Bei der Dämmerung Schein,
What a kerfuffle! Some people do a Spanish version of the Star Spangled Banner and you would think the end of the world was nigh.
Ce que nous acclamions si fièrement
à la dernière lueur du crépuscule?
Whose anthem, whose flag, whose country is it, anyway?
Latino activists have not only commandeered our nation’s anthem, but bowdlerized it to suit their nefarious agenda
Can "The Star-Spangled Banner," and the republic for which it stands, survive? Outrage over what's being called "The Illegal Alien Anthem" is already building
This sacred anthem of the U.S.A.
And, then there is President Bush, who is afraid a Spanish language version of the anthem will cause the nation to lose its soul.
Czyje pasy i błyszczące gwiazdy
podczas strasznej walki
I hate raining on anyone's recreational outrage, but the Star Spangled Banner has been translated countless times in the last 190 years. The German translation at the top of this post dates to 1861. There are French and Polish versions. This Yiddish version was published in 1947.
Afn breg, durkh neplen fun yam fartunklt,
Vu dem soynes makhne iz fartayet in shrek,
The national anthem has been done in rap, swing, and jazz versions. Jimi Hendrix did a famous instrumental version at Woodstock. If you want real disrespect, here is the Pig-Latin version.
O-hay ay-say oes-day at-thay ar-stay angled-spay
anner-bay et-yay ave-way
Most fascinating to me is that the Senate in American Samoa introduced legislation last January to make the Samoan translation their official song. "We are now enjoying the 106th year of partnership with the greatest country in the world, yet we have not honored this union by memorializing the anthem of the United States in our native language," said Senate President Lolo Moliga.
I eleele o Sa'olotoga, ma Nofoaga o le au totoa.

For those people who truly believe that the Star Spangled Banner is sacred writ, the original tune is an eighteen century drinking song, To Anacreon in Heaven.

A fig for Parnassus, to Rowley's we'll fly,
And there my good fellows, we'll learn to entwine
The myrtle of Venus and Bacchus's vine.

But I don't want to leave my fellow citizens on the right-wing with undirected outrage. So, here, from the Washington Secretary of State office, is the Pledge of Allegiance - in Spanish, German, and French.

The more I think about it, the more I love the Samoan version. It is far more beautiful than the English language version. Here it is in its entirety.
Aue! se'i e vaai, le malama o ataata mai
Na sisi a'e ma le mimita, i le sesega mai o le vaveao
O ai e ona tosi ma fetu, o alu a'e i taimi vevesi tu
I luga o 'Olo mata'utia, ma loto toa tausa'afia
O Roketi mumu fa'aafi, o pomu ma fana ma aloi afi
E fa'amaonia i le po atoa, le fu'a o lo'o tu maninoa
Aue! ia tumau le fe'ilafi mai, ma agiagia pea
I eleele o Sa'olotoga, ma Nofoaga o le au totoa.


phinky said...

I wonder how the President's sister-in-law feels about this. After all, Columba Bush was born in Mexico.

Steve Bates said...

My seventh grade Latin teacher displayed a poster of the Pledge of Allegiance at the front of the room. The text was in classical Latin. Now there's cognitive dissonance for you!

Cool blog you've got here. I'll be back to visit.

The Yellow Doggerel Democrat

Keith said...

There's a better (i.e. more singable) French version on

Aloysius said...

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for collecting all those translations in one convenient spot.

It's good to know there's one liberal in San Diego!

Laurence said...

It should be Oy Vey, can you see?