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  1. #1
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Default Nationalistic/Patriotic/Folk Songs and culture

    I was thinking about American patriotic songs today and starting wondering about other countries. I love America's ones (particularly God Bless America - I think its better than the Star-Spangled Banner ) but it was odd whem I tried to think what the equivalent in New Zealand was. We don't really have a song about how great our country is but we do have a couple of native folk songs that we love - and strangely, they are both kind of somber and depressing. I wondered how these reflect on national culture and how each country views themselves. Most county's tend to have 1-3 that really matter to them: for example Jerusalem for England, America the Beautiful for the US, Bread of Heaven for Wales, and Waltzing Matilda for Australia.

    So it might be interesting to talk about your own county's nationalist songs (other than national anthems). Please post lyrics of 1 or 2 significant songs (with translations in English if necessary) and perhaps answer some questions the questions below.

    - Are they written specifically about your country or have they been adopted?
    - What language are they sung in? (eg. is it the first official language of your country? Another dialect? etc)
    - Are they religious or secular in nature?
    - What sorts of imagery/setting/time periods do they evoke?
    - What sorts of occasions are they sung?
    - How do you think the subject matter reflects on your culture?
    - Do you like them, or do you feel indifferent or alienated by them?
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  2. #2
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    So I'll go first for New Zealand

    1. Pokarekare ana

    Pōkarekare ana
    ngā wai o Rotorua,
    Whiti atu koe hine
    marino ana e.

    E hine e
    hoki mai ra.
    Ka mate ahau
    i te aroha e.


    (translation:
    The waves are breaking,
    against the shores of Rotorua (a lake in NZ),
    My heart is aching,
    for your return my love.

    Oh my beloved,
    come back to me.
    I could die,
    of for love for you.)


    2. Now is the Hour

    Now is the Hour,
    when we must say goodbye.
    Soon you'll be sailing,
    far across the sea.

    While you're away,
    oh, then remember me.
    When you return,
    you'll find me waiting here.



    Are they written specifically about your country or have they been adopted?
    Pokarekare ana is a folk song that has rising to great popularity amoung all NZers. Aparently Now is the Hour's tune was based on the melody of a Australian song, which was then altered slightly and then lyrics in Maori were added. That version was then translated into English. Neither are meant to be about the country as a whole.

    What language are they sung in? (eg. is it the first official language of your country? Another dialect? etc)
    They both have their origins in Maori (the language of NZ's native people). Pokarekare ana is only sung in Maori but Now is the Hour tends to be sung in English.

    Are they religious or secular?
    Both secular

    What sorts of imagery/setting/time periods do they evoke?
    Pokarekare ana has been changed to fit a famous Maori love story set in Rotorua (similar to Romeo and Juliet), however originally it was set beside the Waiapu river and personal situations of the songwriter. Now is the Hour has been associated with WWII and the soldiers leaving for war, although it was written earlier than this.

    What sorts of occasions are they sung?
    Now is the Hour isn't sung as much as it once was and many people my age wouldn't know the words. It tends to be sung at large formal occasions to convey a sense of togetherness. For example when NZ won the Rugby World Cup in 1987 the crowd sung it after the ceremony. It has also been covered by a number of popular artists in the 40s such as Bing Crosby. Pokarekare ana doesn't have a particular occasion associated with it but most people know the words all the same. From what I hear, though, it is sung with drunken enthusiasm in pubs in London by expats.

    How do you think the subject matter reflects on your culture?
    Not entirely sure. They are both somber and romantic, and this doesn't resemble the nature of New Zealanders at all. I suppose in a way they are both bittersweet as well, which suits our national character - we are a strange mix of optimism and pessimism. Perhaps its also that they are both about distances that separate us and NZ is so far away from other countries. Also I guess they reflect how Maori culture is such a part of all New Zealanders' lives.

    Do you like them, or do you feel indifferent or alienated by them?
    I like both and rather enjoy them.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  3. #3
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    O Canada
    - The piece was specifically commissioned for Canada.
    - Originally written in French, translated to English, official in both.
    - There is mention of a god. Today the context of god isn't emphasized.
    - The imagery/historical setting is a bit difficult to interpret. There are very strong concepts of freedom, independence and solidarity which may have reflected Canada's relationship with the British Empire.
    - Today the concepts of freedom and unity are most felt
    - What sorts of occasions are they sung? Aside from the traditional government run events, O Canada can be heard when national interests are present. The video from Toronto's recent G-20 summit demonstrates the anthem being used against its own government.



    - Personally I feel a bit alienated. The lyrical content implies strength against forces external to Canada. However, Canada has not faced war on home soil since the 1800s. Today the majority of peoples' concerns center around internal issues. Even with Canada's role in Afghanistan, the issues are rarely about defending against the Taliban, and more focused on how to support our troops, foreign policy and economic impact. The above video probably demonstrates many of the frustrations Canadian's feel regarding politics. Our recent election has clearly shown a strong sentimental need to restructure the country. The video perhaps shows a strong sentimental need to restructure the anthem.

    I'll try to think of some less obvious patriotic songs.
    Last edited by mavericknm; 07-24-2011 at 03:34 AM. Reason: I don't know how to embed youtube doh...

  4. #4
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Funny you mention this.


    However I as a Croat i think that not many countries have more scary nationalistic songs. (if we count the scary ones)
    In a it is both both cool and alienting since the time has shown that this scares the living shit out of most foregners and human right activists.


    So I guess that I should provide the most known example.
    The song is called "Čavoglave" (Nail heads) and it was a huge country wide hit that everybody in the country can stil recognize even if the song is 20 years old.
    Especially since it is still singed on the stadiums.


    The song itself is a battle song from the Croatian war of independance (1991-1995)
    I will not translate the song because it is politically inncorect and hard to trananslate to English. Especially since it contains a number of political and historical terms about which typical foreigners know nothing about. (as well as geographical marks). The lyric is basically comes down to "We will fight to the last man and we will never forget your invasion, especially since God is on our side".


    So here is a official video of the song on you tube.


    LINK


    I mean this is low budget, there is no doubt about it. But if you are going to watch this at least try to watch a first minute of two. The reason why I am posting this is exactly because I am curious about the opinions of people who have the chance to be totally neutral/objective about this.


    As for showing the culture: I do think that it shows pretty well that politically in this corner of the world there has been nothing except wars, dictatorships, genocide , lies, coups , ....... since the collapse of the Roman empire.




    As for me .... I am enneagram 5 so I dont pay that much thought to this.

  5. #5
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mavericknm View Post
    - Personally I feel a bit alienated. The lyrical content implies strength against forces external to Canada. However, Canada has not faced war on home soil since the 1800s. Today the majority of peoples' concerns center around internal issues. Even with Canada's role in Afghanistan, the issues are rarely about defending against the Taliban, and more focused on how to support our troops, foreign policy and economic impact. The above video probably demonstrates many of the frustrations Canadian's feel regarding politics. Our recent election has clearly shown a strong sentimental need to restructure the country. The video perhaps shows a strong sentimental need to restructure the anthem.
    Its interesting that you feel its out of touch - do others tend to feel this way? I suppose with the political problems and all the Quebec issues, there isn't much unity to be felt.

    Are Canadians very sentimental and idealistic about their past?

    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    I mean this is low budget, there is no doubt about it. But if you are going to watch this at least try to watch a first minute of two. The reason why I am posting this is exactly because I am curious about the opinions of people who have the chance to be totally neutral/objective about this.

    As for showing the culture: I do think that it shows pretty well that politically in this corner of the world there has been nothing except wars, dictatorships, genocide , lies, coups , ....... since the collapse of the Roman empire.
    I listened to it and I looked up a little more about the lyrics. I can't say I approve of those sort of songs, but I can understand why they come about. I am aware that in some countries, patriotism has become inextricably wound up in war. Croatia has certainly had more than its fair share of war and oppression by various empires. I suppose people want powerful statement that they can rally behind that addresses their anger and frustration.

    I guess the other thing to consider is how literally people take songs like this. Do they just want to get angry and shout a lot, or do they actually take it seriously?

    Thanks for sharing this. It was interesting.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  6. #6
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    Everybody is gonna jump right on the typical American ones, so I'll just add that "Dixie" and "Free Bird" are two folk anthems of the Confederate nation that never existed.

    "Free Bird" is indisputably loved by most caucasion residents of the Southeastern United States with an inexplicable passion...self included.

    "Free Bird" - Lynard Skynard

    If I leave here tomorrow
    Would you still remember me?
    For I must be traveling on, now
    'Cause there's too many places
    I've got to see

    But, if I stayed here with you, girl
    Things just couldn't be the same
    'Cause I'm as free as a bird now
    And this bird, you'll can not change
    Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

    And the bird you cannot change
    And this bird you cannot change
    Lord knows, I can?t change
    Bye, bye, baby it's been a sweet love

    Yeah, yeah
    Though this feeling I can't change
    But please don't take it so badly
    'Cause the Lord knows
    I'm to blame

    But, if I stayed here with you girl
    Things just couldn't be the same
    'Cause I'm as free as a bird now
    And this bird, you'll can not change
    Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

    And this bird you cannot change
    And this bird you cannot change
    Lord knows, I can't change
    Lord help me, I can't change
    Lord I can't change

    Won't you fly high, free bird, yeah?

  7. #7
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    Sorry, questions:

    - Are they written specifically about your country or have they been adopted?

    N/A

    - What language are they sung in? (eg. is it the first official language of your country? Another dialect? etc)

    English, Southeastern American dialect

    - Are they religious or secular in nature?

    secular, yet this song takes on an almost spiritual property for people

    - What sorts of imagery/setting/time periods do they evoke?

    I think this song evokes the image of the United States national bird (bald eagle) and praises the idea of being a free person, and of course Americans love to talk about their freedom. I think Southerners may love this song in particular because it has a fiercely stubborn and honest quality to it, which some Southerners pride themselves on...their frank "stand for something or you'll fall for anything" ways of being, and also of being one with nature. I think there's kind of a hippie thing going on in this song, unsurprising considering the time period the song was written. There's gentleness and concern for the lover left behind, but insistence on guarding one's freedom and independence above all else.

    - What sorts of occasions are they sung?

    picnics, bars, outdoor festivals, people's homes, really any time Free Bird comes on people tend to get excited...there's really something to the song, I don't know what, other than the fact it's also quite musically complex

    - How do you think the subject matter reflects on your culture?

    uh...the stubborness, frankness, freedom, independence, and bond with nature

    - Do you like them, or do you feel indifferent or alienated by them?

    I really do like this song.

    On the other hand, I don't feel that way about "Dixie" which I didn't publish here because people tend to associate it with the Civil War and racism. However, I tend to think of "Dixie" as a harmless old song from Southern history, myself. I'm pretty indifferent to "Dixie" ...as are most modern Southerners, I think, unless they're hostile to it.

  8. #8
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    "Free Bird" is indisputably loved by most caucasion residents of the Southeastern United States with an inexplicable passion...self included.




    One of my very favorites.
    [YOUTUBE="N7Wt4XlXUrc"]America the Beautiful[/YOUTUBE]

    I love Lynyrd Skynyrd. They're from my home town. My Uncle even went to high school with em.
    [YOUTUBE="gLQrbo_i2Zw"]Sweet home Alabama[/YOUTUBE]
    Well I hope Neil Young will remember, a Southern man don't need him around anyhow.

    [YOUTUBE="TcV4Jqvw_cM"]Song of the South[/YOUTUBE]

    Song, song of the south
    Sweet potato pie, and I shut my mouth
    Gone, gone with the wind
    There ain't no body lookin' back again.

    Cotton on roadside, cotton in the ditch
    We all picked the cotton but we never got rich
    Daddy was a veteren, a southern democrat
    They oughta get rich man to vote like that.
    Singing:

    Song, song of the south
    Sweet potato pie, and I shut my mouth
    Gone, gone with the wind
    There ain't no body looking back again.

    --- Instrumental ---

    Well, somebody told us wall street fell
    But we were so poor that we couldnt tell
    The cotton was short, and the weeds was tall
    But Mr. Roosevelt's a-gonna save us all.

    Well, momma got sick, and daddy got down
    The county got the farm, and we moved to town
    Poppa got a job with the T.V.A.
    We bought a washing machine, and then a Chevrolet.

    Singing: Song, song of the south
    Sweet potatoe pie, and I shut my mouth
    Gone, gone with the wind
    There aint nobody looking back again.

    Singing:

    Singing: Song, song of the south
    Sweet potatoe pie, and I shut my mouth
    Gone, gone with the wind
    There aint nobody looking back again.

    Song, song of the south.

    Gone, gone with the wind.

    Song, song of the south
    Sweet potatoe pie, and I shut my mouth
    Song, song of the south
    Sweet potatoe pie, and I shut my mouth.

    Singing: Song, song of the south
    Sweet potatoe pie, and I shut my mouth
    Gone, gone with the wind
    There aint nobody looking back again.

    Song, song of the south
    Sweet potatoe pie, and I shut my mouth
    Gone, gone with the wind
    There aint nobody looking back again.

    Song, song of the south
    Sweet potatoe pie, and I shut my mouth...

  9. #9
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    Hahah I like Song of the South and Sweet Home Alabama too!!!!

    This is another one particular to West Virginia (I was actually taught the lyrics to sing this song in school in the first grade):

    Country Roads by John Denver



    The lyric "Almost Heaven, West Virginia" was on WV license plates for years and years, as well.

    I can't help but like this song, and my sisters also know the lyrics, as does my mother.

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    ^ Oh God... I looooove that song.

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