2 countries with 2 national anthems each

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 24 Jan, 2023 06:00 | 4 mins read
National anthem, Denmark anthem, New Zealand anthem
Waving flags of Denmark and New Zealand. PHOTO/Pexels

A national anthem is a country's song, praise, and/or devotion often sang in marches or hymns style.

While majority of the countries globally have only one national anthems they identify with, countries such as Denmark and New Zealand have two anthems.


Denmark has two anthems; a royal and a popular one.

Of the two, the real anthem is the oldest since it was first adopted in 1780.

While the real anthem was commonly used in the 17th and 18th centuries, the original composer of the lyrics is unknown.

The popular anthem, Kong Christian stod ved højen mast (King Christian stood by the lofty mast) is both a national and a royal anthem which was first heard during a performance in 1844.

Here are the lyrics


Kong Christian Stod ved Højen Mast

(King Christian Stood by the Lofty Mast)

Listen to "Kong Christian Stod ved Højen Mast"

Original Danish Words

Kong Kristian stod ved højen mast i røg og damp;

Hans værge hamrede så fast,

At Gotens hjelm og hjerne brast.

Da sank hver fjendligt spejl og mast i røg und damp.

„Fly," skreg de, „fly, hvad flygte kan!

Hvo står for Danmarks Kristian i kamp?"

English Translation

King Christian stood by the tall mast in smoke and mist;

his sword was hammering so hard,

that the Swedes' helmets and brains cracked.

Then sank every enemy stern and mast in smoke and mist.

"Flee," they screamed, "flee as flee can!

Who can stand up to Denmark's Christian in battle?"

Another anthem

Der er et yndigt land (there is a beautiful country) on the other hand was adopted after citizens heard the great lyrics and rhythm from a performance. The anthem became so popular that the Danish government officially adopted it within the same year.

Owing to its popularity among Danish citizens, the anthem is used more often in the country while the real anthem is saved for international occasions.

Below are the lyrics

Der er et Yndigt Land

(A Lovely Land is Ours)

Original Danish Words

Der er et yndigt land,

Det står med brede bøge

Nær salten østerstrand;

Det bugter sig i bakke, dal,

Det hedder gamle Danmark,

Og det er Frejas sal.

English Translation

A lovely land is ours

With beeches green about her

Encircled by the sea

Her hills and vales are manifold

Her name, of old, is Denmark

And she is Freya's home

New Zealand

Just like Denmark, New Zealand has two national anthems; including a famous one which is the actual anthem.

Despite both anthems being inspired by patriotism, the two anthems; God defend New Zealand and God save the king, were written under very separate circumstances.

The latter which was inherited from Britain when New Zealand was a colony is used on royal occasions while the former which is used during national events such as sports events was adopted from a performance written by Thomas Bracken in 1870.

On a few occasions, both anthems are used.

Below are lyrics for God Defends New Zealand which is sung in both English and Maori.

God of nations! at Thy feet

In the bonds of love we meet,

Hear our voices, we entreat,

God defend our Free Land.

Guard Pacific's triple star,

From the shafts of strife and war,

Make her praises heard afar,

God defend New Zealand

Men of ev'ry creed and race

Gather here before Thy face,

Asking Thee to bless this place,

God defend our Free Land.

From dissension, envy, hate,

And corruption guard our State,

Make our country good and great,

God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,

But, should foes assail our coast,

Make us then a mighty host,

God defend our Free Land.

Lord of battles in thy might,

Put our enemies to flight,

Let our cause be just and right,

God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,

May Thy blessings never cease,

Give us plenty, give us peace,

God defend our Free Land.

From dishonour and from shame

Guard our country's spotless name

Crown her with immortal fame,

God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be

Freedom's ramparts on the sea,

Make us faithful unto Thee,

God defend our Free Land.

Guide her in the nations' van,

Preaching love and truth to man,

Working out Thy Glorious plan,

God defend New Zealand.

Maori Words

E Ihoa Atua,

O nga Iwi Matoura,

Ata whaka rongona;

Me aroha noa.

Kia hua ko te pai;

Kia tau to atawhai;

Manaakitia mai


Ona mano tangata

Kiri whero, kiri ma,

Iwi Maori Pakeha

Repeke katoa,

Nei ka tono ko nga he

Mau e whakaahu ke,

Kia ora marire


Waiho tona takiwa

Ko te ao marama;

Kia whiti tona ra

Taiawhio noa.

Ko te hae me te ngangau

Meinga kia kore kau;

Waiho i te rongo mau


Tona pai me toitu;

Tika rawa, pono pu;

Tona noho, tana tu;

Iwi no Ihoa.

Kaua mona whakama;

Kia hau te ingoa;

Kia tu hei tauira;


God save the king

God save our gracious King!
Long live our noble King!
God save the King!
Send him victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the King!

O Lord our God arise,
Scatter his enemies,
and make them fall:
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all!

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On him be pleased to pour;
Long may he reign:
May he defend our laws,
And ever give us cause,
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the King!

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