If you’re into national anthems, check out our list of 14 countries with the best, most rousing, worst and strangest national anthems in the world below.
Anthems are one of those things that are steeped in tradition and history, sometimes so much so that they make little sense to anyone living in the modern age. In fact, it’s rare to find a modern age national anthem anywhere in the world. (And can you imagine what our national anthem would sound like if it was rewritten today? Not sure I’d want to find out.) Each country’s song is so different, yet someone at some point believed the values in its lyrics were important enough to make it a nationwide theme.
Music is definitely important for an anthem, as well. Because it helps, if it ignites something in each citizen. A swelling of pride, a cry of freedom, a sense of patriotism, a flicker of hope. It’s hard to accomplish that with just any old drab tune.
But judging a country’s national anthem, especially judging a thing like the top 10 worst national anthems, can be tricky. The so-called funny national anthem of India might not be funny at all to the people of India, for example. Because, for some people, messing with their national anthem is like messing with their little sister. If you even touch it, you’re toast. With so many different kinds of people in the world, there’s no way all of our national anthems could be similar to each other’s. Our cultures are all defined by different moments in history, different customs and different types of music which all plays into a national anthem. Also, each person is biased to his own country’s national anthem, whether they want to be or not.
So this might be cause to consider: we’ve sung them at sports stadiums and patriotic rallies, in parades and at fireworks displays, but what are we really singing? Who wrote it and why? And what kind of a wonky tune is that anyways? Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and question the traditions we’ve held for centuries. Not that those traditions are wrong, but maybe they need a little adjusting, or maybe another country would think it’s the strangest, or even the scariest national anthem, on Earth.
But remember — we don’t hate any specific national anthem, just telling you what the general opinion is about some of them. So if your country’s song makes the worst anthems list or the strangest, just be all the more proud of it for its unique qualities.
To calculate our rankings of countries with the best, most rousing, worst and strangest national anthems in the world, we used a website called Quora. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an online platform that allows intelligent and experienced individuals to answer questions like “What is the most peculiar national anthem?” We used the answers to this question, as well as the answers to the following questions to form our scoring system: What are your top 5 national anthems? What are some national anthems which inspire strong passion and nationalism? What are the best and worst national anthems? What are the best national anthems? What are the most powerful and epic national anthems? Which country has the most embarrassing national anthem? And finally, what are the worst national anthems? Since most people have similar opinions about what national anthems are the worst, best, most rousing and strange, we simply gave each country a point each time it was mentioned as one of the above in the various answers on Quora. But, with our best and worst country anthem categories, we did something a little different. Each time a country’s national anthem was named as a favorite or called “one of the best,” we gave it a point, but if that same anthem was also called the worst, we docked a point.
So, our list of worst national anthems acts as a negative scale and our best national anthems list acts as a positive one. Therefore, the list is not going to be as many of those top 10 national anthem tunes in the world lists on the Internet. So, for “strangest” anthems, we just used the questions entitled “what is the most peculiar national anthem, and what country has the most embarrassing national anthem.” For “most rousing” anthems, we used the questions “what are some national anthems which inspire strong passion and nationalism and what are the most powerful and epic national anthems.”
And if you’re interested in reading more about interesting music, check out our list of 11 Countries With the Worst Music in the World.
Otherwise here goes! 14 countries with the best, most rousing, worst and strangest national anthems in the world. (And we decided to do them in the order of worst, strangest, best and most rousing to save the best for last.)