Today is National Anthem Day!  In the US, our National Anthem is the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Most Americans know every word by heart, and the anthem is sung at nearly every major event that takes place within the US.

Since we all know the story of our own anthem, we thought today would be a good day to explore the anthems that are sung around the world by other countries. We know how much our anthem means to us, how it inspires and encourages all Americans. So let’s in someone else’s shoes today, and take a look at what they sing about!

Let’s just start with our neighbors – Canada and Mexico.

In Canada, the national anthem is often sung in French, although an English version was created in 1906. The song focuses on every Canadian’s inspiration to guard their country and their homes. Listen to the song here, and read the lyrics here.

In Mexico, the national anthem is in Spanish, but it shares similar themes to the Canadian national anthem. In Mexico, the anthem describes Mexican bravery in history and the need for protection, again, for both country and people. Listen to the anthem here, and read the lyrics here.

Finally, we wanted to talk about one last national anthem in honor of a book we love here at Peachtree (you had to expect us to come back to books!).

In 14 Cows for America, author Carmen Agra Deedy tells the story of a young man from Kenya who travels back to his hometown in order to tell the tragedy of September 11th, which he experienced while living in New York City. The village responds in kindness and compassion, giving to the American diplomat a gift of 14 cows, the life and livelihood of their people.

Listen to the Kenyan national anthem here, and read the lyrics here.

Sometimes we forget how much we have in common with the countries around us. Our anthems reveal that each of these nations desires justice, peace, and unity. We can celebrate our great country’s history, but also remember the countries, like Kenya, who have stood with us throughout our history.

Which other national anthems have you heard? Tell us what you learn from them!