Sunday, August 8, 2010

The National Anthem of Togo

In 1979, the national anthem of Togo was replaced with one written collectively by members of the ruling party Rassemblement du Peuple Togolais. (The anthem might also have been the anthem of the party as well.) The anthem was changed back to the original one in the early 1990s, around the same time that democratic reforms were put in place under Western pressure and a new constitution permitted opposition parties. The anthem was in use until 1979.

Originally adopted on independence in 1960, the "Salut à toi, pays de nos aïeux" (Hail to thee, land of our forefathers), the present national anthem was replaced in 1979 and readopted in 1992, when Western-mandated reforms were brought in and one-party rule dropped. The music and lyrics were written and composed by Alex Casimir-Dosseh.

Alex Casimir Dosseh is a prominent musician from Togo. He was born on August 16, 1923 in Vogan. He had his music education in Europe and his composition, "Hail to thee, Land of our forefathers" had been selected following a national competition on the eve of the independence of Togo. He was awarded Knight of the Order of Mono on April 27, 2006 at the 46th anniversary of the independence of Togo. He died Monday, March 12th 2007 at the age of 84.

The postcard above shows the score and lyrics of the national anthem of Togo.