When the lady sang another country's national anthem at the olympics and just sang "la la la," I thought that was really silly. A national anthem represents a country, just as the sports teams who are playing the game represent the country. And for an official meeting between countries that calls for music, it can set people at ease and give them a topic of conversation. Music bridges a lot between nations.
A couple of years ago I was asked to sing the German Nationalhymne (national anthem), known as Das Lied der Deutschen (The Song of the Germans) for Germany's Day of Unity celebrations (October 3rd) in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was an honor and I was floored. I enjoyed memorizing the words because they are tremendous.
(Would you believe I lived in Germany for five years without having learned the words?! More to that after the text.)
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit für das deutsche Vaterland.
Danach lasst uns alle streben, brüderlich mit Herz und Hand.
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit sind des Glückes Unterpfand:Blüh im Glanze dieses Glückes, blühe, deutsches Vaterland!
Unity and justice and freedom for the German fatherland.
Let's all strive for that, brotherly with heart and hand.
Unity and justice and freedom are the pledge of happiness:
Blossom in the light of this joy, blossom, German Fatherland!
Translation (C) Nicole Warner, LLC 2017 All rights reserved.
You might have noticed that the German version rhymes, which is quite nice. And the ideas of unity, justice and freedom are qualities that are present in Germany's culture today.