Friday, October 15, 2010

The American Anthem in French

"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from "Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British drinking song, written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men's social club in London. "The Anacreontic Song" (or "To Anacreon in Heaven"), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. Set to Key's poem and renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner", it would soon become a well-known American patriotic song. With a range of one and a half octaves, it is known for being difficult to sing. Although the song has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today, with the fourth ("O thus be it ever when free men shall stand...") added on more formal occasions. In the fourth stanza, Key urged the adoption of "In God is our Trust" as the national motto ("And this be our motto: In God is our Trust"). The United States adopted the motto "In God We Trust" by law in 1956.

"The Star-Spangled Banner" was recognized for official use by the Navy in 1889 and the President in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Above is a postal card of the American Anthem in French.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Philippine Presidents: A Stamp and Photo Exhibit

This first-of-its kind exhibit from the collections of Cebu Stamp Club's Richard Allen Uy is presented to celebrate the assumption of Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III as the 15th President of the Philippines. To be featured are the stamps, covers and photo of the new president as well as those of all the past presidents. Included too are philatelic materials and stamps of the great icon of democracy, Cory Aquino. Philippine history will also be shown using stamps with some dating as far back as the Spanish dominion, American Occupation, Commonwealth Period, Japanese Occupation and the Republic Issues. So if you are free this Friday, October 8, 2010, please give it a visit at SM City Cebu.

Friday, October 1, 2010

"Il Canto degli Italiani" (The Song of the Italians)

"Il Canto degli Italiani" (The Song of the Italians) aka "Fratelli D'Italia" (Brothers of Italy), Mameli's Hymn, is the National anthem of Italy.

Il Canto degli Italiani (The Song of the Italians) is the Italian national anthem. It is best known among Italians as L'Inno di Mameli (Mameli's Hymn) and often referred to as Fratelli d'Italia (Brothers of Italy), from its opening line.

The words were written in the autumn of 1847 in Genoa, by the then 20-year-old student and patriot Goffredo Mameli, in a climate of popular struggle for unification and independence of Italy which foreshadowed the war against Austria.

Two months later, they were set to music in Turin by another Genoese, Michele Novaro. The hymn enjoyed widespread popularity throughout the period of the Risorgimento and in the following decades.

After unification (1861) the adopted national anthem was the Marcia Reale, the Royal March (or Fanfara Reale), official hymn of the royal house of Savoy composed in 1831 to order of Carlo Alberto di Savoia. The Marcia Reale remained the Italian national anthem until the birth of the republic.

Giuseppe Verdi, in his Inno delle Nazioni (Hymn of the Nations), composed for the London International Exhibition of 1862, chose Il Canto degli Italiani – and not the Marcia Reale – to represent Italy, putting it beside God Save the Queen and the Marseillaise.

In 1946 Italy became a republic, and on October 12, 1946, Il Canto degli Italiani was provisionally chosen as the country's new national anthem. This choice was made official in law only on November 17, 2005, almost 60 years later.

The postal card above shows the score and lyrics of the National anthem of Italy.