Wednesday, May 20, 2020

SearchResearch Challenge (5/20/20): Anthems?

This week's Google Doodle is about Bruddah Iz, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

Bruddah  IZ,  from the Google Doodle in his honor

...showing his life in a quick, beautiful video with his most famous song (Somewhere Over the Rainbow) playing in the background.  

I admit to being a longtime ukulele player myself, so IZ has a special place in my heart for all his glorious music during his too brief lifetime.  

I've been to Hawai'i many times--that's where I first heard his music, and where I picked up the ukulele and my kihoalu guitar playing habit.  

But as I watched the Bruddah Iz video, I started thinking about the state song of Hawai'i, and about state and national anthems in general. 

You know how my mind works by now... this led to a bit of SearchResearch into the songs that are associated with different states and nations.  

We know that The Star-Spangled Banner is the US national anthem.  You probably know about the anthems O Canada and God Save the Queen, but what else do you know?  

Here are a few short SRS Challenges.  These aren't hard, but will hopefully get you thinking about the power of song as a representation of identity (and we'll talk about SearchResearch tactics next week when I answer these  Challenges).  

1.  Do all 50 US states have a state anthem?  If not, which ones don't?  And why? (If you're not in the US, what states in your country have anthems?  Do the states of Mexico or Canada all have similar songs?)  

2.  As you know, such songs are usually in the local language.  France has La Marseillaise in French, Germany  has Deutschlandlied, etc.  Are there any US state anthems that are NOT in English?  

3. Speaking of languages in anthems, are there any anthems that have more than one language in them?  Where?  Why?  

4. Which country has the oldest national anthem?  

5. While I couldn't find a video of Bruddah Iz singing the Hawaiian state song, it's pretty easy to find him singing the one song that closes nearly every concert in Hawai'i.  What song is that?  (Can you find a recording of IZ singing it?)  

Have fun with these.  They're pretty straight-forward, but as with many Research Questions, there are hidden depths that I think you'll enjoy exploring.  

Let us know what you find, and HOW you found it!  


And Search On!  (E imi mau.)  


  1. 1) First search was [ US State Anthems ] which gave " I kept this up for the other searches as it gives many of the answers. Only New Jersey has no anthem confirmed from a link on the wiki page at There is an unofficial song “I’m From New Jersey,” which passed both Legislative Houses in 1972. However it was not signed into law by the Governor. (Virginia had no anthem between 1997-2015 as the pre-1997 one was racist).
    In the UK (where I'm from) I know the national songs of Great Britain, Scotland and Wales. There is no separate anthem for England or Northern Ireland (although I think the song Jerusalem, lyrics by Blake, could almost suffice as it's often sang for England, and Danny Boy for Northern Ireland - but these aren't official). The Scottish anthem is national - but probably not official and very anti-English.

    2) Non-English US State anthems - looking through the Wikipedia list gave only two: Hawaii and a Spanish version for New Mexico (í_Es_Nuevo_México - confirmed from references at end)

    3) There are several national anthems in multiple languages - because there are multiple languages spoken in the country. There's a Quora question on this at - found with a search for [ multi-language anthem ].

    The South African National Anthem Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika is in 5 different languages for the same anthem (Zulu, Xhosa, Sesetho, Afrikaans and English) with each verse in a different language. (Lyrics at This song is apparently a combination of two anthems with the Afrikaans / English bits coming from the earlier anthem "The Call of South Africa (Die Stem van Suid-Afrika)"
    The New Zealand anthem is usually sung in two languages - English and Maori with the first verse in Maori and the next in English. However, in reality there are two anthems - one English and one Maori.
    The Canadian anthem "O Canada" also has two versions and generally now a dual language version is sung i.e. French & English. (Sources: Quora and follow-on links / search to confirm).
    Suriname may also be multi-lingual according to which lists such anthems. (Same search as found Quora links).
    One oddity is India's national anthem that is not sung in Hindi - the official language, but in the original language it was written in by Rabindranath Tagore i.e. Bengali.

    4) Oldest - define oldest. Oldest lyrics? Oldest music? Oldest official song? The oldest official anthem is the Dutch anthem written between 1569-1572 (found via a search for [ "oldest national anthem" ] - see However, God Save the Queen (UK) beats it as the oldest official anthem as the Dutch one only became official in 1932, and the UK one since 1745. (See also The music for God Save the Queen is much older and the origins of the melody have been traced to a medieval plainsong chant and on, through a carol, to a tune by the Elizabethan, John Bull who died in 1628.

    5) Searched for [ song that closes hawaii concerts ] and quickly came up with Hawaii Aloha e.g. and then searched for videos with "Hawaii Aloha" "Bruddah iz" and got
    The Hawaii state anthem is not in his discography so he may never have been recorded singing it.

  2. List of Canadian Provincial Anthem Songs finds this

    Only Saskatchewan and Manitoba and the sparsely populated Territories do not have a ditty. My province's song is so awful there is no recording of it !

  3. List of historical national anthems finds in Wikipedia that
    Polish national anthem "Bogurodzica" composed between 10th and 13th centuries is the oldest de jure.

    However, The first anthem to be officially proclaimed as such was "God Save The Queen", adopted by Great Britain in 1745

    List of regional anthems in Wikipedia has seemingly hundreds of the things. So now come the big question What is an anthem?

    Is it just a fan favorite or some big shot company or politician that declares a song to be so?

    History of anthems finds which says, in part: ...By the 18th century, anthem transcended in meaning and became the name for any inspirational musical composition that serves to symbolize or identify a nation, a group, an individual, or a cause. Such a composition could be anything "

  4. List of bilingual national anthems (to start with) finds this dandy:

    There are lots of them

  5. I became distracted…
    what could go wrong if these attitudes were dialed up?

    partial lyrics Deutschlandlied
    Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue,
    Deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang
    Sollen in der Welt behalten
    Ihren alten schönen Klang,
    Uns zu edler Tat begeistern
    Unser ganzes Leben lang.
    |: Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue,
    Deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang! :|

    english —
    German women, German loyalty,
    German wine and German song,
    Shall retain in the world
    Their old beautiful chime
    And inspire us to noble deeds
    During all of our life.
    |: German women, German loyalty,
    German wine and German song! :|

    Alabama STATE song
    a little bit to sleep by…
    a melding

  6. I started SRS thinking about Hawai'i and how much I want to go there since I was a child watching TV Series like: Fantasy Island. Also love Hawaii Five-0 and never watched first series with O instead of 0. Also made me remember The Love Boat. And about Iz, I think the first time I heard him (or at least searched for him was with Meet Joe Black.

    Reading the Challenge thought: Do the states of Mexico or Canada all have similar songs? My first answer to this was no, in Mexico we don't have state anthem. And, asked myself do we have? And started searching [Iz Hawai'i Anthem] and [Iz Hawaiian singer Hawai'i Anthem]

    Modern History of Hawai'i by Ann Rayson's book, mentions: What a Wonderful World” has also become an unofficial anthem of Hawai'i. Another unofficial anthem is Huapango (Moncayo) for Mexico.

    5 years waiting and, in fact, Iz hardly ever played that song in his live shows

    [Hawai'i anthem song by Iz Israel]

    Hawai'i Anthem And found, and later searched [ Hawai'i Aloha]

    Wikipedia: "Hawai‘i Aloha" was considered to be the anthem First time I heard both Hawai'i Aloha and the anthem. In YouTube searched the Hawaiian song I remember the most [ Alo Hawai] and found: "Aloha ʻOe": "Aloha 'Oe" (Farewell to Thee) Ukulele Play-Along!

    In Wikipedia, searched Anthem:

    Anthem Links to list of National Anthems. And searched [National Anthems]

    National anthem
    1. The first national anthem to be officially adopted was La Marseillaise
    2. "God Save the King/Queen", first performed in 1619
    3. Most commonly, states with more than one national language may offer several versions of their anthem. Examples: Canada,Switzerland, or no lyrics like: "Marcha Real", the national anthem of Spain

    [Himno Puebla]

    Wikipedia. It was a surprise I thought we didn't have one And links to
    Himnos de los estados de México. Mexico's states anthems Oldest: Aguascalientes and Yucatán

    Out of topic: Today, May 21th news
    at least 60 mammoths found in Santa Lucia (new Mexico's city airport) Also camels and horses. This made me remember SRS Challenge :SearchResearch Challenge (6/20/18): How big was the range of these animals?

    La espectacular imagen del "nacimiento" de un planeta captada por astrónomos desde Chile. "Birth" of a planet?

    1. Hi Remmij! How are you? I'll visit in a minute these links, thanks!

      I was wondering if there is a Rainbow song in Hawaiian song by Is or another singer. Sadly, apparently not. I thought being so associated with Hawaii maybe could be one.

      Also with [top Hawaiian songs] and [most famous Hawaiian songs] interesting results appears and also read there are a lot of artists in both YouTube and Facebook giving performance.

      Finally, music and countries history, Google Doodle wrote: Today’s interactive Doodle celebrates Zimbabwe’s national instrument, the mbira, as Zimbabwe’s Culture Week begins. ���� For the next two days you can make music on an interactive mbira on Google's homepage. ��

    2. Remmij, just to comment that 'GooglePlex' similar airport was cancelled. Santa Lucia is the new one. It is a military base that now will be converted into an airport. The new government decided the beautiful one was expensive, not working and with lots of corruption so decided to invest in the cheaper (better they said) one. Now with Covid19, who knows if that will be put on hold. Apparently not. The airport, Tren Maya and 2 bocas ( a refinery ) has green light

    3. While I was SRS for Q2, noticed some hits about people not linking the idea of having National Anthem translated to Spanish. And, that made me remember that Mexico has some versions of the Anthem in first people's languages. I wonder if there are other countries with also anthem translations to original languages. In Mexico, translation is done in a process that involves government and National Indigenous Languages Institute, better known by its acronym INALI (source: Wikipedia)

      [Himno México otras lenguas]

      Himno Nacional Mexicano en diez lenguas indígenas de México