We'll always remember Bruddah Iz, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, for singing what has effectively become a touchstone of ukulele performance...
|Bruddah IZ, from the Google Doodle in his honor|
Many countries with multiple languages have versions in local languages (e.g., India), but the official anthem remains in only one language.
Do I mean the lyrics? The tune? The earliest official adoption date?
The MilitaryMusic site points out that the oldest official national anthem is Het Wilhelmus, the Dutch national anthem, written between 1568 and 1572. (Oddly, the lyrics sound as though it were written from an individual's perspective--there's a line in the anthem "the King of Spain I have always honored." Really? What's that all about? Sounds like more SRS is needed here.) Thing is, this anthem wasn't officially adopted until 1932. So, the music and lyrics are quite old, but the "official date" is relatively late.
However... it was not set to music until 1880.
I'm going to give awards to each of the categories:
Oldest Anthem Lyrics: Kimigayo
Oldest Anthem + Lyrics: Het Wilhemus
Oldest Official Anthem: God Save the King
Sometimes answers are more complicated than the question might suggest.
2. Remember the "list of..." pattern. Although Wikipedia has "List of..." for all kinds of remarkable things, the Internet is full of lists. Keep in mind while useful, you want to double check any of the items you find on the list. As with all things you find, they might be out-of-date, incomplete, or just wrong. Double check to make sure that the list items are what they say they are!
3. Expect the unusual. When I wrote the Challenge, I really didn't expect the complexities of "oldest" nor the strangeness of "official state anthem." Of special note to teachers: These kinds of issues seem to always come up when you write a question (say, for a test). When pursuing a Research Question like this, expect the unexpected. There might be hidden depths and interesting issues at play, as we saw here.
Hope you enjoyed this. Next week... a new Challenge!