One of the things every sovereign country in the world today can boast of having is its own unique national anthem. This is a sacred song that is carefully composed before general acceptance. That is, it is carefully chosen, as it is meant to serve some very important purposes. They usually sing during special occasions, and every citizen has agreed that it is the song they will identify with. 

Just as stated earlier, each country in the world has its own national anthem, and they are all unique in all ways. They have different lengths, a different rhythm, different messages, etc. One might be a prayer for the nation, while another might be a narrative of the history of the country. 

Many countries around the world are making do with a national anthem that is written in their official language. However, there are countries that are with more than one official language, and what they did was to carefully compose the anthem in all of their official anthems. Also, many countries had their anthems composed originally in the languages of their colonialists (like English, Spanish, French, etc), but also have a translated version (which they had translated into their own indigenous languages). 

Generally, a national anthem has what it takes to arouse great feelings of patriotism in the citizen of a country. 

Countries With The Longest And Shortest National Anthems In The World

Actually, two countries have the reputation of being with the longest national anthems in the world, and they are Greece and Uruguay. Wondering why? Let’s start with the Greek National Anthem

Longest National Anthems In The World

  • 1. The Greek National Anthem

Greece sits on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula and its neighbor to countries like Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. The country has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and is considered the cradle of Western civilization. Greece has the reputation of being the birthplace of democracy, western literature, and others. Right now, the country is a unitary parliamentary republic that can boast of having a pleasant standard of living. The country, which is not only a founding member of the UN, also has the reputation of having the highest economy in the Balkans. 

About her national anthem, as far back as 1823, the famous Dionysios Solomos, wrote the poem the Hymn to Liberty. The poem actually has 158 verses (can you imagine that). It was made the country’s national anthem (and it became the longest in the world by lyrics).

The Greek national anthem talked about the sufferings that its citizens passed through when they were under the whips of the Ottomans. The anthem also talked about their hunger for liberty and freedom. 

In 1865, it was a man that was called Nikolaos Mantzaros that composed the music to go with Solomos’ poem. The same year, as a result of how lengthy the poem is, the government of Greece chose to adopt the first two stanzas as their official anthem.

We should also add that in 1966, Cyprus decided to adopt the Greek national anthem due to issues that have to do with violence. 

  • The National Anthem Of Uruguay

The region that is now known as Uruguay used to be inhabited by the Charrúa people for thousands of years before the arrival of the Europeans. The country gained her independence between 1811 and 1828 but remained subject to foreign influence for a long time. Nevertheless, despite various challenges.

Uruguay, which has the reputation of being a founding member of the United Nations, is also regarded as one of the most socially advanced countries in Latin America. The country is a democratic constitutional republic that has a president that is both her head of state and head of government. She is also placed in the top position when it comes to Latin American countries that excel in important areas like democracy and peace. 

About the Uruguayan national anthem, it was actually written in 1833 by Francisco Acuna de Figueroa. And guess what? This anthem also contains 150 bars of music! We should also add that he was the one that wrote the wordings of Paraguay’s National anthem – although it wasn’t as long as Uruguay’s 

So, considering that Greece has decided to adopt a short version of their own national anthem, Uruguay’s became the longest in the world. Here is a national anthem that takes around 5-6 minutes to be sung. 

After the government chose to adopt Francisco Acuna’s lyrics as the country’s official anthem, the duo of Francisco Jose Debali and Fernando Quijano were given the responsibility of making the music for it. The music was officially accepted, and it became a national symbol. While it is pretty long and lengthy to a reasonable extent, it is still a nice national anthem. 

After seeing the reason why the Greek national anthem and the Uruguayan national anthem have the reputation of being the longest national anthem in the world, let’s see the shortest national anthem in the world. 

The Shortest National Anthems In The World

  • Japanese National Anthem

Which country has the shortest national anthem in the world? It is Japan! 

The Asian country doesn’t only have the shortest national anthem you can currently find around the world, but her anthem also has some of the oldest lyrics in history. 

This country has the reputation of being the fourth-largest island country in the world as well as the eleventh most populous country in the world (with a population that is around 126 million). As things stand now, the Asian giant, which is a superpower in the world (and belongs to powerful organizations like the G7, the G8, and the G20), is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy that has an Emperor as well as an elected legislature (the Diet).

One of the interesting things about the Japanese national anthem is that it was composed by an unknown author. Perhaps the reason is because of how old it is (it is said to have been composed around 794-1185). As expected, it was written in an old and archaic language. Nevertheless, the government is cool with it and chose to go on with it. 

The music that goes with the anthem was embraced in the year 1880, and it has been the same since then. The anthem is pretty short, snappy, and brief. 

We should also add that Japan, which has an economy that is the world’s third-largest by nominal GDP, also has a national anthem regarded as one of the most controversial anthems in the world. For instance, tons of teachers have been punished after they decided not to pay respect to the anthem. 

Many young Japanese are proud of their countries for various reasons. Theirs is a country that is regarded as one of the largest exporters and importers in the world that is doing fine via her highly skilled and educated workforce. Theirs is a country that maintains a modern military utilized for self-defense and peacekeeping roles, and one that has a very high standard of living and Human Development Index.

Theirs is a country that had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 189 countries and territories. Nevertheless, it appears many of them are not a big fan of their anthem (due to its archaic language). It is however unlikely that the anthem will be changed anytime soon because of the taste of these youngsters. 

In conclusion on the longest and shortest National anthems in the world, these national anthems remain important and significant in their respective countries, and irrespective of their varied length, they are still serving the purpose meant to serve. 


Tag: Longest and Shortest National Anthems In History.