Tue 30 Jan 2018 | 07:27

WATCH: Six Nations Anthems & Songs

WATCH: Six Nations Anthems & Songs
Tue 30 Jan 2018 | 07:27
WATCH: Six Nations Anthems & Songs

The cameras go along the line of players showing those so overcome by emotion that a tear trickles down a rugged face, some with lips firmly closed, some with heads up and mouths open wide, some with lips scarcely moving in a quiet mutter.

When players of a different nationality from the team they are playing for sing out loud, you wonder if the whole process is not really a  form of team motivation – a haka of a different kind.

The crowd's will join in with passion, emphasising home ground. So in the first round France, Italy and Wales will have the vocal advantage. All three of those countries' players sing a glorious anthem with gusto.

The English players sing their prayer for their queen and the Scots rejoice in having their own song, an eminently popular one.

At home the Irish sing two anthems – the national anthem of the Republic of Ireland, which the Northerners prefer not to sing and their rugby composition, which some choose not to thing. The Irish are the choral woodenspoonists each year.

One year South Africa were playing Scotland at Murrayfield and the great Mark Andrews was in the Springbok side. He sang Nkosi Sikilel' iAfrica with his team and then Flower of Scotland with the Scots, for he liked their song. It was a great sight. 

In case there are others who would like to sing somebody else's anthem we have included their words here.

England: God Save the Queen

It's origin is unknown but has been ascribed to John Bull in 1619.

It's Queen now and has been since 1952. If a male takes over and becomes king, King will replace Queen


God save our gracious Queen!
Long live our noble Queen!
God save The Queen!
Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save the Queen!

France: La Marseillaise

Words and music:Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Date: 1792

It was originally a song for the army of the Rhine but was soon adopted by France's revolutionary forces and became the national anthem in 1795. The idea of revolutionaries marching up from the southern city of Marseille gave it its nickname which has become its name.


Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
L'étendard sanglant est levé, (bis)
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes!
Aux armes, citoyens,
Formez vos bataillons,
Marchons, marchons!
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons!


Arise, children of the Fatherland,
The day of glory has arrived!
Against us tyranny's
Bloody banner is raised, (repeat)
Do you hear, in the countryside,
The roar of those ferocious soldiers?
They're coming right into your arms
To cut the throats of your sons, your women!
To arms, citizens,
Form your battalions,
Let's march, let's march!
Lest an impure blood
Soak our fields!


If it's a cold day in Dublin and you are out on the field, you need to dress warmly as you will have the president of the Republic of Ireland introduced to the teams and the match officials, the visitors' anthem and then the two Irish anthems, the first one in Gaelic, the second a rugby song.

National anthem: Amhrán na bhFiann – A Soldier's Song.

Words: Peadar Kearney in English, translated to Gaelic by Liam Ó Rinn
Music: Peadar Kearney and Patrick Heeney
Date: 1910, adopted as the national anthem in 1926.


Amhrán na bhFiann

Sinne Fianna Fáil,
atá faoi gheall ag Éirinn,
Buíon dár slua
thar toinn do ráinig chugainn,
Faoi mhóid bheith saor
Seantír ár sinsear feasta,
Ní fhágfar faoin tíorán ná faoin tráill.
Anocht a théam sa bhearna baoil,
Le gean ar Ghaeil, chun báis nó saoil,
Le gunna scréach faoi lámhach na bpiléar,
Seo libh canaídh amhrán na bhfiann.


Soldiers are we,
whose lives are pledged to Ireland,
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave,
Sworn to be free,
no more our ancient sireland,
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the gap of danger,
In Erin's cause, come woe or weal,
’Mid cannon's roar and rifles' peal,
We'll chant a soldier's song

That done, in Gaelic, it's time to sing Ireland's Call.

Words and music: Phil Coulter, Catholic boirn in Northern Ireland 
Date: 1995


Come the day and come the hour,
Come the power and the glory!
We have come to answer our country's call,
From the four proud provinces of Ireland
Ireland, Ireland,
Together standing tall!
Shoulder to shoulder,
We'll answer Ireland's call!

Italy: Fratelli d'Italia – Brothers of Italy

Words: Goffredo Mameli
Music: Michele Novaro
Date: 1847

This was composed during the battle for a unified Italy – the risorgimento, the time of Garibaldi It did not become Italy's Inno (national anthem) till after World War II.


Fratelli d'Italia,
l'Italia s'è desta,
dell'elmo di Scipio*
s'è cinta la testa.
Dov'è la Vittoria?
Le porga la chioma,
ché schiava di Roma
Iddio la creò.
Stringiamci a coorte,
siam pronti alla morte.
Siam pronti alla morte,
l'Italia chiamò.
Stringiamci a coorte,
siam pronti alla morte.
Siam pronti alla morte,
l'Italia chiamò! Sì!


Brothers of Italy,
Italy has woken,
Bound Scipio's* helmet
Upon her head.
Where is Victory?
Let her bow down,
For God created her
Slave of Rome.
Let us join in a cohort,
We are ready to die. 
We are ready to die,
Italy has called.
Let us join in a cohort,
We are ready to die.
We are ready to die,
Italy has called! Yes!

*Scipio was the man who conquered Carthage, defeating Hanibal on his home ground Hanibal who had who had tormented the Roamsn for 15 years 

Scotland: O Flower of Scotland

There was a time when only one anthem was sung when Scotland played England and that was God Save the Queen. The last time that happened at Murrayfield was in 1988, on a miserable day when many in the crowd voiced their objection to God Save the Queen.

The Scottish Rugby Union looked for a song of their own. In 1974, the great B&I Lions were touring South Africa and on a bus Gordon Brown heard Billy Steele sing Flower of Scotland, hit song of the Corries, a folk group who released the song in 1974. Brown proposed, the Unions accepted and Flower Scotland became Scotland's popular anthem, a new song about an old fight.

Words and music: Roy Williamson of the Corries
Date: 1967 about a battle fought in 1314 which Scotland won.
Adopted by the Scottish Rugby Union in 1990.


O Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
Your like again,
That fought and died for,
Your wee bit hill and glen,
And stood against him,
Proud Edward's army,
And sent him homeward,
To think again.

Those days are past now,
And in the past
they must remain,
But we can still rise now,
And be the nation again,
That stood against him,
Proud Edward's army,
And sent him homeward,
To think again.

And remember to pronounce To as Tae (Tay).

Wales: Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau –  Land of my Fathers

Welsh people sing. They do so in chapel, church and rugby ground. Elizabeth John of Pontypridd was the first to sing this one in a chapel in Maesteg. It rapidly became popular.

The first time it was sung at a rugby match was in 1905 when for the first time Wales played the All Blacks. And Wales won.

Words: Evan James
Music: James James
Date: 1856


Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,
Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;
Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra mad,
Dros ryddid collasant eu gwaed.
Gwlad, gwlad, pleidiol wyf i'm gwlad.
Tra môr yn fur i'r bur hoff bau,
O bydded i'r hen iaith barhau.


The old land of my fathers is dear to me,
Land of bards and singers, famous men of renown;
Her brave warriors, very splendid patriots,
For freedom shed their blood.
Nation [or country], Nation, I am faithful to my Nation.
While the sea [is] a wall to the pure, most loved land,
O may the old language endure.

Sing along with the teams, and get the full feel of the moment

Maybe at the end of the Six Nations we be able to pick the best team asinging and the most impressive singing player.

PV: 2
Watch: Six Nations Anthems & Songs | Rugby365