Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Official Anthem of the Free State of Bavaria in FDC

The Bayernhymne (Hymn of Bavaria) is the official anthem of the Free State of Bavaria.

The melody of the song was written by Max Kunz in 1835. The text for the original first three stanzas was written by Michael Öchsner. Both men were members of the Bürger-Sänger-Zunft München (Citizen-Singers-Guild Munich), that first performed the song on December 15, 1860. In 1946, the poet Joseph Maria Lutz wrote a new third stanza as a replacement for the 'Königsstrophe' (King's Stanza), since after the abdication of King Ludwig III in 1918, Bavaria has been without a king. He also replaced the 'Deutsche Erde' (German earth) in the first stanza with 'Heimaterde' (native soil).

In 1946, it was also officially recognized as the national anthem of Bavaria, and on July 29, 1966, the then prime minister of Bavaria, Alfons Goppel, chose the version written by Joseph Maria Lutz to be the official version. In 1980, the Bavarian minister-president Franz Josef Straub, changed the official version to contain just the first two stanzas and switched 'Heimaterde' back to 'Deutsche Erde'.

The song, like most national anthems, contains many symbolic representations, including repeated allusions to the colors white and blue, Bavaria's national colors, especially describing Bavaria's Himmel, which can refer to both sky and heaven.

The First Day Cover above features Max Kunz, the composer of the Bavarian Hymn issued by Germany in 2010, the 150th Anniversary.