So the festivities have begun. Since the practice of singing the national anthems seems to have picked up in recent tournaments, here is a quick run through the anthems which you are likely to hear over the next month:
NEW ZEALAND: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT9k_7_jP8A
SOUTH AFRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr0414FrN7g
SRI LANKA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1f4VYi9uE8
WEST INDIES: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbcbsmeRYC8
ZIMBABWE : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKJOZ44Ec9k
This has a lot of disclaimers and peculiarities, as we will see. There is no country called the West Indies, so this “anthem” is purely used for cricket. I have been able to get the English lyrics or English translations for all the anthems.
As usual in such matters, the United Kingdom is on its own trip.
“God Save The Queen” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppIomb3r_3Q is the national anthem of the United Kingdom. Scotland has a separate song which is not an official anthem, but is played at sporting events. That is given above. England sticks with the U.K. anthem for soccer but uses another song called “Jerusalem” for cricket, which is what you hear above. Ireland here includes Northern Ireland (which comes under the U.K.) and the Irish Republic (which is another country whose anthem is given here).
Several countries have versions of their anthems in different languages: New Zealand’s includes Maori followed by English in the same anthem. South Africa’s has five languages, one after another: Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English. Sri Lanka’s has Sinhala and Tamil versions, but the former is more commonly used. Zimbabwe’s has versions in three languages: Shona, Ndebele and English. Similarly Ireland has it in Gaelic and English. Scotland’s unofficial anthem also has Scots and Scots-Gaelic versions, though it is unclear if these are unofficial or even un-unofficial.
The UAE anthem might remind Brits of the term “Blighty”, said to be derived from Urdu: According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word derives from “bilayati”, a regional variant of the Urdu word “vilayati”, meaning “foreign”, “British”, “English” or “European.”
Parting shot: Supporters of one of India’s main political parties might find the Sri Lankan anthem particularly inspiring 🙂