The Greek National Anthem (VIDEO)

The Greek National Anthem

The Greek National Anthem

The Greek National Anthem, also referred to as the Hymn to Liberty or the Hymn to Freedom, is a song that brings about feelings of pride amongst the Greek people.

The lyrics were originally written in 1823 by Dionysios Solomos and set to music in 1865 by Nikolaos Mantzaros. It was adopted in the same year as the National Anthem of Greece.

The Anthem was written during a turbulent time in Greece’s history but one that would eventually result in Greece’s Independence from the Ottoman Empire. 

The poem “Hymn to Freedom” consists of 158 stanzas, of which only the first 24 were integrated into the National Anthem. The first two stanzas are the ones usually played to accompany the raising and the lowering of the flag, and performed on official occasions.

During the playing of the national anthem, one should stand at attention.

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The Greek National Anthem. A translation in English by Rudyard Kipling, 1918

We knew thee of old,
oh, divinely restored,
by the lights of thine eyes
And the light of thy Sword

From the graves of our slain
shall thy valour prevail
as we greet thee again-
Hail, Liberty! Hail!

Long time didst thou dwell
mid the peoples that mourn,
awaiting some voice
that should bid thee return.

Ah, slow broke that day
and no man dared call,
for the shadow of tyranny
lay over all:

And we saw thee sad-eyed,
the tears on thy cheeks
while thy raiment was dyed
in the blood of the Greeks.

Yet, behold now thy sons
with impetuous breath
go forth to the fight
seeking Freedom or Death.

From the graves of our slain
shall thy valour prevail
as we greet thee again-
Hail, Liberty! Hail!

*More on GCT: Soprano Anastasia Zannis to perform National Anthem at the Acropolis on March 25
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