A quiz on national anthems

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on March 02, 2018 Published on March 02, 2018
Divided we stand: Kodungallur Film Society recently made national news — and not a few enemies — when it questioned the need for playing the national anthem in cinemas, as mandated by the country’s apex court. Photo: V Ganesan

National Anthem   -  The Hindu

Joy Bhattacharjya   -  KSL


On March 4, 87 years ago, the US formally declared ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ as the official national anthem, a good 117 years after it was written. The quiz that follows is on national anthems.

Sing along

1 Which national anthem got its popular name after volunteers from a particular city sang it while marching to the national capital in 1815? It was originally written in Strasbourg in 1792.

2 Which rock band recorded an instrumental version of the British national anthem, ‘God Save the Queen’ on their album A Night At The Opera, and usually performed it in their live concerts?

3 Which national anthem, adopted in 1997, features five different languages, with the final stanza in English? The anthem is also unusual in ending in a different key from the start.

4 In 1853, an American country actually held a contest for the lyrics to the official national anthem. Aspiring poet Francisco Gonzalez Bocanegra was locked into a room for 10 days by his girlfriend and finally came up with the winning lyrics. Which country?

5 Which tiny European state has an anthem which refers to its history in the first person. The first line reads “The great Charlemagne, my Father, liberated me from the Saracens?”

6 When this country was formed in 1918, the anthem was created by combining one verse from an opera in a specific language and another from a folk song in another, related language. When the country split in 1993, the first verse simply became the anthem of the first country and the second of the other country. Name the country or its two constituents.

7 Amar Sonar Bangla’ is the national anthem of Bangladesh, written by Rabindranath Tagore. Which emotive issue in 1905 inspired Tagore to write the song?

8 What unusual fact connects the national anthems of Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and San Marino?

9 Old chestnut. Which national anthem was composed while the writer was on board a ship made in India by the Wadia brothers?

10 The Bayamo anthem, or ‘El Himno de Bayamo,’ first performed during the Battle of Bayamo in 1868, is the national anthem of which county?


1. ‘La Marseillaise’, which was adopted as the national anthem of France in 1795

2.Queen with Freddie Mercury walking around the stage in a crown and cloak

3. The South African national anthem, which features lines in Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho and Afrikaans apart from English

4. Mexico. They got married as well

5. The principality of Andorra

6. Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic and Slovak Republic

7. The partition of Bengal, when the Bengal Presidency was split into two, basically on communal lines. After six years, the decision was rescinded in 1911

8. These anthems are purely musical, they have no official lyrics

9. ‘The Star Spangled Banner,’ the national anthem of the US. Francis Scott Key was on board the HMS Minden, the first Royal Navy warship built in India, while witnessing the attack on Fort McHenry

10. Cuba; it was written by Perucho Figueredo who participated in the battle

Joy Bhattacharjya   -  KSL


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster and Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup

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Published on March 02, 2018
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