Tag Archives: National Anthem

By George, I Think I’ve Got It!

14 Jun

If I’m right, when I publish this post, you will see a You Tube video of me singing the South African National Anthem in five languages.  I wanted to show it in this post, celebrating the first year of the 101/1001 challenge, but technical problems stopped me.

You can thank the Hub – and blame him: he fixed the problem, by re-installing IE9; but he caused the problem in the first place, by doing something with the browser that shouldn’t be done; but I don’t know what it was, so I can’t tell you.  He says it wasn’t him, it was Internet Explorer; but he would say that, wouldn’t he?

All I know is, the Hub is back in his rightful place: the wrong; and I can upload videos again.

Expect a rash of posts with all the videos I’ve been dying to share, which I couldn’t, because, the Hub says, of Internet Explorer.

I suppose I ought to apologise to WordPress, because they insisted it was my browser and I insisted it wasn’t, because the Hub is infallible on computer stuff.  Which, he says, is correct; because it wasn’t him, it was Internet Explorer.

Talking of internet problems, if you are a fan of Pseu (and if not, why not?), she is having WordPress problems and cannot access her blog. 

All WordPress bloggers are having the WordPress problem of being unable to access the techies to ask for help, so I posted a request on the forum to which WordPress steered me, but there was only one response, with advice which Pseu followed, but that didn’t work.

I wonder if there’s any way I can pin it on the Hub?



101/1001 (15)

8 Jul

Another quiet week on the challenge front.

I did learn of one new Maltesers game thanks to Fi Sefton:

Put a big bag of Maltesers in a bowl, take it in turns to pick up (and eat if you can pick it up) a Malteser with a pair of chopsticks.

I like the sound of this game and I might introduce it as a new Christmas tradition, with a specially-purchased box, of course, because Tilly doesn’t share Maltesers.

There is one drawback: I fear for my family’s eyesight.  Anyone who manages to capture and eat more Maltesers than me may just find themselves walking around with a chopstick poking out of their skull.  At least it will give them somewhere to hang their coat when they find themselves on the street.


Many of the challenges are ongoing – learning kings and things, for example; but there is one I completed long ago that I haven’t mentioned: I know the South African anthem off by heart. 

I haven’t mentioned it because I haven’t gotten around to being video taped singing it.  I’ll get on that this week.  Better hurry: there’s likely to be a rush on ear plugs.


101/1001 (6)

29 Apr


I’ve added six new tasks to the list.  They all involve learning by rote:

  • Learn the names of the New Testament books as they appear.
  • Learn the names of the twelve disciples.  I’ve been a Christian for over thirty years; I think it’s time. 
  • Learn my baptism verses again.  I knew them in the Revised Standard Version but now I have a New International Version and I get the two mixed up.
  • Learn the names of all the Kings & Queens of England in order.
  • Learn the names of all the British Prime Ministers in order.
  • Learn the names of all the American Presidents in order.

The Prime Minister list is from a sense of duty: I added the President one first and then thought, as a patriotic Englishwoman, it was my duty to know my own political leaders as well. 

Completed Task:

No mention of Maltesers on my blog for ten days.  I managed it from 13-24 April; did you notice?  Lots of mentions at home, however, until the Hub took the hint and bought me some.

Almost completed task:

I now know the words to the South African national anthem.  All that remains is to film me singing it and post it to the blog.  And some tuning issues, but we’ll gloss over that.

A huge welcome to our new recruit, Perfecting Motherhood.  She’s a pretty impressive recruit because she already has her list of 101 things to do.  You’d think I’d be embarrassed, wouldn’t you?  I’m not; but I do intend to steal some of her tasks for my own list.

Ladies And Gentlemen, Please Be Upstanding For The National Anthem

18 May

I was looking for a You Tube clip of Steph on Over the Rainbow – I’m gutted she’s out; it’s my fault for not voting because I taped it and watched it the next day – when I came across this clip from the SABC, the broadcasting arm of the Rainbow Nation:

I love the South African national anthem; talk about a coalition: two minutes, two tunes, five of the eleven official languages.  It was an inspired piece of thinking from Nelson Mandela.  In case you don’t know the history, I’ve copied this from Wikipedia:

For decades during the apartheid regime it was considered by many to be the unofficial national anthem of South Africa, representing the suffering of the oppressed. In 1994 after the fall of apartheid, the new State President of  South Africa Nelson Mandela declared that both “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” and the previous national anthem, “Die Stem van Suid Afrika” (“The Voice of South Africa”) would be national anthems. While the inclusion of “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” rejoiced in the newfound freedom of many South Africans, the fact that “Die Stem” was also kept as an anthem even after the fall of apartheid, signified to all that the new government under Mr Mandela respected all races and cultures and that an all-inclusive new era was dawning upon South Africa. In 1996, a shortened, combined version of the two anthems was released as the new South African National Anthem under the constitution of South Africa.

I like a good national anthem.  My favourites are the South African; the British (naturally): 

 The American:

And the French:


I find it amusing that three of my favourites celebrate republicanism and the fourth monarchy.  I guess it’s all down to their rousing tunes, which is the point of a national anthem, after all: they are a rallying cry set to music. 

I had a quick look at the different lyrics.  It was inevitable, I suppose, that the French anthem would ramble on for five minutes, but they are complaining about bad soldiers slitting their throats so we’ll forgive them that.  Their anthem says

…that the impure blood
Should water the furrows of our fields.

The Americans thunder about 

…the rockets’ red glare
The bombs bursting in air.

Before peace descended on South Africa, Afrikaaners

…always, always say yes:
To live, to die.

And the British?  Why, we

confound their politics
Frustrate their knavish tricks.

That told ’em! 

I guess it’s why we have a constitutional monarchy system that still works; we are far too polite to change it.  Even our radical new political system is just two groups agreeing to disagree on a few points and rub along on the rest.

An interesting fact about Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika: it is also the national anthem of Tanzania and Zambia and was formerly the anthem of Zimbabwe and Namibia.  It was written in 1897 as a Methodist hymn.  The title means God bless Africa.  A nice little irony is that it was the rallying cry of the exiled and Communist-supported ANC.

The reason for the SABC video of the national anthem is to teach the South African population the words in time for the World Cup.  Not everyone speaks five languages, though most South Africans speak at least two and often three.  As the host nation, it would be embarrassing if the people didn’t know the words to their own national anthem; just ask the British: our footballers all speak the same language, but most of them lip synch like a bad dubbing at international fixtures.  Still, we don’t pay them obscene amounts of money to be literate, do we?  Just as well, really.






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