Sunday, July 4, 2010

The National Anthem of Luxembourg

Once using the same tune as was later used by the United States as an anthem, the current Luxembourgian anthem, "Ons Heemecht" was written in 1859 by poet Michel Lentz and set to music by Jean Antoine Zinnen in 1864. That same year also saw the first public performance of the song in Ettelbruck, a town at the confluence of the Alzette and Sauer rivers (both of which are mentioned in the song)and its adoption as the national anthem. (The anthem was recently officially named "Ons Heemecht" over the old spelling "Ons Hémécht".) It was added as one of the official 'national emblems'alongside the national flag, national coat of arms, and the Grand Duke's Official Birthday, on 17 June 1993.

Jean Antoine Zinnen (25 April 1827 – 16 May 1898) was a Luxembourgian composer, best known as the composer of the Luxembourgian national anthem, Ons Hémécht. Zinnen was born in Neuerburg, in the Prussian Rhineland, close to the border with Luxembourg. When he was six, his family moved to Luxembourg. After serving as a musician in the army, he naturalized as a Luxembourgian citizen in 1849. In 1852, Zinnen was appointed Luxembourg City's director of music, and, soon after, director of the city conservatoire. He died in Neuilly-sur-Marne, France, at the age of 61, and was buried in Limpertsberg, Luxembourg City. Two years after his death, a monument was constructed at the churchyard in which he is buried, paid for by private donations.

Michel Lentz (May 21, 1820 – September 8, 1893) was a Luxembourgian poet. He is best known for having written Ons Hémécht, the national anthem of Luxembourg.

Above is an first day cover with 4 four different values featuring the composer, Jean Antoine Zinnen. Below is a 40c stamp of the writer, Michel Lentz.