Why The Swiss Don’t Like Their National Psalm

January 24, 2014 in Daily Bulletin

swiss yodelers

The ‘Star Spangled Banner’ has been the US national anthem since 1931, and “God Save The Queen” has been around since 1745. The Swiss, after having a ‘National Psalm’ for just 33 years, are already looking for something new:

  • The ‘original’ Swiss national anthem was written in 1811, but set to the tune of “God Save The Queen”. This caused some understandable confusion at sporting events, and was scrapped.
  • In 1841 a Swiss monk composed a hymn that became a hit, and surged to popularity, becoming the ‘Swiss Psalm’ in…1981.
  • The lyrics of the Psalm are now causing an issue. In a secular nation, singing about God (plus mountains and thunderstorms) feels a little uncomfortable. Though, most Swiss don’t actually know all the lyrics anyway.
  • And so there is to be a contest to choose a new anthem. With a jury of 30 including yodelling experts, a slam poet, a theology professor and a rapper, but even if they can agree the government may not.

For more information, check out the Economist over here, or the BBC over here

Source: The Economist