May tainted blood
Water our fields!
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there
Let us band together,
We are ready to die
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall!
Brave the enemy’s gunfire, March on!
Take the national pennants and soak them in waves of blood.
And seize the forehead of the tyrant
And destroy him!
So we have taken the noise of gunpowder as our rhythm
And the sound of machine guns as our melody
In case you were wondering what all this was about, well, these lines are not part of a war movie script, nor are they some kind of extreme-right propaganda. No. These are the words (some of them translated) to which a lot of supposedly civilized people rise and place a hand on their heart, hat dropped and tear in the eye. These are national anthem lyrics.*
In so many countries, the song meant to embody everything dear and sacred to the national character of its citizens is more bloody and hostile then a first-person shooter video game. That proves one thing: somebody somewhere, in some government circle, has achieved a great scientific breakthrough. A non-intrusive lobotomy of the masses.
So let me ask you a question, you who are standing with your hand on your heart among a crowd of people standing too, and you, and you, and you too; what on Earth are you thinking? When is the last time you were grateful to your country? Or proud of it? I hear complaints about politics, and inflation, and taxes, and the price of gas, and crime, and pollution, and war, but what has your country done to make you happy lately? What are you actually proud of, or satisfied with? And yet, when the anthem plays, you stand.
This is the 21st century. We’re trying to move out of an era of nationalism and colonialism. It’s time for borders to drop, for races to mix and for people to sing about tolerance and peace. It’s time to be proud for the right reasons.
Would a country dare drop its old anthem and adopt a new one speaking of tolerance, respect and unbranded freedom? And most importantly, would a country do all this, and then abide by it?
* In order, those belonged to the French, US, Italian, UK, Chinese, Mexican, Lybian and Algerian anthems.
"Is there a time to walk for cover
A time for kiss and tell
Is there a time for different colors
Different names you find it hard to spell"