No-one knows the Belgian national anthem (not even belgians)…

so since people from all parts of the world are wondering about Belgium, I decided to write something about my own little country from time to time…

Belgium is a small country that indeed does exist, even when some say it doesn’t, in the middle of Europe, the Western part fo the Eurasian continent, which is the biggest continent of the ploanet. Belgium has almost 11.000.000 inhabitants, three national languages, and a King (Albert II) that has no practical function at all as far I know. (And only a government ad interim, but that’s another story)

I live in Flanders, the Northern part, where flemish is spoken, which is actually the same written language as dutch (the language from the Netherlands), but another dialect. (The Pennsylvania dutch language spoken by some American oldschool anabaptists is actually old german, not dutch.) The other languages are French (actually it should have been Walloon, but the French language is an invasive exotic pest that eradicates all other languages) in the south part  calles Wallony, and German which is the offical language of a very small part that we recieved after the second world war if I remember correctly…

But I was going to talk about the national anthem, the so-called Brabaçonne: Nobody knows it, and nobody cares! And why would we sing those words anyway, it’s not like we’d mean them (translation of the dutch lyrics, from wikipedia)

Belgium – O dear, O holy land of fathers –

Our soul and our hearts are devoted to.

Accept our strength and our blood veins,

Be our goal, in work and struggle.

Prosper, O country, in unbreakable unity;

Be yourself and serve no man,

The word faithful, you may speak boldly,

For King, for Freedom and for Law!

The word faithful, you may speak boldly,

For King, for Freedom and for Law!

For King, for Freedom and for Law!

For King, for Freedom and for Law!

That’s right, everybody sort of knows the melody of the first lines, but I hardly know anyone who knows the whole melody, or the entire lyrics. We simply don’t care enough, and it’s a boring song anyway. And we don’t devote our souls and hearts to our country anyway. We don’t care for our King, and don’t believe that our political machine brings freedom… (only more bureacracy)

It’s even hard to find a decent vocal version on youtube… So here, for your pleasure and education, is Helmut Lotti, a very popular (ahum) flemish singer, who sings it for our King in the three languages (starting with french and keeping dutch for last, for some obscure reason)

Truth is, we don’t care at all about any anthem. We don’t like to be patriots and we don’t like our country (or any country) and we don’t believe in politicians or Kings (and rightly so, they just screw up…)

There also is a Flemish movement, which wants to separate Flanders from the rest of Belgium. (the relations between the 3 regions are very complicated) and some of it is more extreme right, and so associated with fascism, and that’s why we are also ashamed of the Flemish antem, ‘de Vlaamse Leeuw’ (the Flemish Lion)

So we don’t know no anthems. We don’t care about them. And if you listen to them you know why… That’s us…



10 responses to “No-one knows the Belgian national anthem (not even belgians)…

  1. Wonderful! LOL So not even the Belgiums like Belgium? I’ve known people who really like it but they weren’t from there and lived in Brussels. When I think of Belgium, I think of the European Parliament, chocolates and Brugge. Most people think of Belgium as boring. I didn’t know you had a King.

  2. Well, I love Belgium, and a lot of things about it. We have the best beer of the planet, great healthcare and fine experimental rockbands. But I don’t like our politics, they are pointless. And it doesn’t even matter if we have a king or not, for me the Belgian monarchy died with Boudewijn I, when I was a kid. He was a king, this is nothing…

    But no, I’m not patriotic, not toward Belgium, nor towards Flanders (or even Europe) And anthems suck. Maybe I’d record some industrial punk-version of them one day, meddling the ‘vlaamse leeuw’ with the ‘Brabaçonne’…

    Brugge is great, we’ve been there on monday. We’ve eaten ‘flemish rabbit’ which was made with local beer and very good.

    So if you or anyone have questions about Belgium I’ll try to answer them when I find time or inspiration…

  3. You said, ‘we don’t like our country (or any country)’. ???

    I’m sure there are lots of good things about Belgium, but it’s tourism board doesn’t seem to be doing a very good job in promoting it – at least to the UK.

  4. We don’t like too much tourists either…

  5. Ah, well that’s welcoming!

  6. But they’re not looking at you; they’re looking at buildings and stuff.

  7. I live in the centre of a tourist city and they don’t make me feel like a monkey in a zoo. The groups of French kids are annoying though.

  8. Emer Ní Rónáin

    It screams at me now. There was an attack and many deaths in Paris and everybody sang La Marseillaise. It seemed to bring the people together even if it’s a completely unsuitable song. You should get the kids in school to learn your anthem…it’s only as bad as our one,the Irish, but I’d say Irish kids would have a stab at that. You’d have to start with kids in schools and the effect is great…imagine now, after the bombs, if you could all sing it. It’s a cathartic experience. Listen to the Welsh people sing Men of Harlech at a football match. It’s important to start somewhere.

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