Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Rise O Voices of Rhodesia"

When Rhodesia first declared its independence in 1965, it was a member of the British Commonwealth, and retained the Queen as the head of state, therefore "God Save the Queen" was the national anthem until Rhodesia became a republic in 1970, and ties were severed with the United Kingdom. Rhodesia then did not have a national anthem until a national competition was held and "Rise O Voices of Rhodesia" was declared as the anthem on 26th August 1974. Using Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" (which was also used at the time as the anthem of the European Union, and still is today) as the melody, the lyrics were composed by a South African born resident of Gwelo, Mary Bloom.

The white majority rule was ended in 1979 (and the country was renamed Zimbabwe-Rhodesia), and the nation of Zimbabwe was created the following year.

1. Rise, O voices of Rhodesia,
God may we thy bounty share,
Give us strength to face all danger,
And, where challenge is, to dare.

Guide us, Lord, to wise decision,
Ever of thy grace aware,
Oh, let our hearts beat bravely always,
For this land within thy care.

2. Rise, O voices of Rhodesia,
Bringing her your proud acclaim,
Grandly echoing through the mountains,
Rolling over far flung plain.

Roaring in the mighty rivers,
Joining in one grand refrain,
Ascending to the sunlit heavens,
Telling of her honoured name.

The stamp above features Beethoven with the score Symphony no. 5 issued by North Korea.