Emilia Tomescu, Iuliana Neagoș
The Spirit of a People and its National Song
The spirit of each people has been preserved in the national language of each nation-state due to the old ideal which has been supported by myths, legends and symbols. Each nation has succeeded in expressing its ideal in the form of a national song (the national anthem) which reveals the most important dream of a certain people. What is most encouraging is the fact that, when we compare national songs from all over a continent or the whole world, we discover that, inevitably, we all share the same ideal in spite of the different languages we use, that is, we all want to live with dignity and have a meaningfull life. But this conclusion should be drawn only after the study of such songs. Only after analyzing different songs, from different geographical and cultural areas we can really understand the pattern of the human mind and the motivation of the historical struggle for independence, freedom, self-determination and self respect and are able to preserve our cultural identity. In fact, in spite of all kinds of problems, internal or external, we all want to be happy and live a peaceful life.
National anthems could be divided into five categories, according to their musical characteristics: hymns, marches, operatic, folk and fanfares. National anthems as patriotic symbols of each nation’s dignity are the equivalent in music of a country’s flag or coat of arms. Their function has always been to pay homage to a reigninig monarch or head of state as the symbol of the group and preserve the spirit of the whole nation, the ideal for which a long series of ancestors have fought. That’s why their main characteristics are the patriotic fervour and the religious symbols, expressed in relatively simple forms and images which reveal much about the character of a nation at the time the words were written. Some anthems have preserved old words such as: Thy (your), Thee (you), Thou (you).
During the 20th century the efforts to strengthen the relations between the nations of the world were made visible by the creation of the United Nations Organisation, at the political level, as well as by the appearance of an anthem dedicated to this international organisation which officialy governs the nations of the world. This anthem, whose lyrics belong to the poet W.H. Auden and whose music was composed by Pablo Casals, represents the need for international or even supranational symbols, even if it hasn’t yet been officialy adopted.
The European Union has its own anthem which was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in January 1972, based on an arrangement by Herbert von Karajan of the main theme from the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Simphony. The process of the European integration has had two levels of development: a deepening one, consisting of an institutional development and policy integration in numerous respects and a widening one, that is the EU expending in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and even 2000s to embrace an important part of the continent, from Western Europe to Central and Eastern Europe. The enlargement itself can be seen as an esential part of the EU and its continued development of which membership is open to any European state that respects ”the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.”