Het Wilhelmus

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Het Wilhelmus (Dutch for The William) is the national anthem of the Netherlands, written in 1574. This makes it the oldest national anthem in the world, though the lyrics of Kimi ga yo date back to the ninth century AD. It was officially adopted in 1932.

The song is about Prince William of Orange, who led a revolt against Spanish rule in the mid-16th century. The song is written in the first person, as from William's point of view. It has 15 stanzas, forming an acrostic, "WILLEM VAN NAZZOV," the subject of the anthem.[1]

Lyrics

Dutch:

Wilhelmus van Nassouwe ben ik, van Duitsen bloed, den vaderland getrouwe blijf ik tot in den dood. Een Prinse van Oranje ben ik, vrij, onverveerd, den Koning van Hispanje heb ik altijd geëerd.

English:

William of Nassau, scion Of a German and ancient line, I dedicate undying Faith to this land of mine. A prince am I undaunted, Of Orange, ever free, To the king of Spain I’ve granted A lifelong loyalty.

References