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Principality of Monaco: National anthem

Last modified: 2008-09-13 by ivan sache
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History of the national anthem of Monaco

The oral tradition credits the lyrics of the first Monegasque "anthem" to the notary - and amateur poet and musician - Théophile Bellando (1820-1903); the song is considered as a tribute of loyalty to Prince Florestan I (1785-1856, Prince in 1841) against the protectorate imposed by the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1817. The composer Castile-Blaze (1784-1857), then staying at the Princely Palace, put music on Bellando's lyrics and the "anthem" became popular in the Palace and in the Principality.
On 20 March 1848, the towns of Roquebrune and Menton seceded from the Principality; the Prince set up a Civic Guard on 28 March, which was renamed the National Guard on 29 August 1848. The National Guard and the loyalist party adopted Bellando's song as a "National March".
Prince Charles III (1818-1889, crowned in 1856) modernized the Principality; to secure the independence of the Principality, he opened several consulates in Europe and accredited representatives from several foreign countries. During official visits in the Palace, the national anthem of the visitors was played while Monaco was represented only by the "National March". The musician Charles Albrecht, from the Casino of Monte-Carlo, was commissioned to design a true national anthem. Albrecht selected Bellando's "National March", of which he composed a version for the piano. A few years before 1897, Tihébaux published in Paris a printed version of the "National Air of Monaco", for the piano and without lyrics. In 1897, Decourcelle published in Nice the "National Anthem of Monaco", credited to Albrecht, still for the piano only.
François Bellini (1842-1910), a musician at the Orchestra of Monte- Carlo and Cantor at the Cathedral of Monaco, transformed Albrecht's piano works into a trio. Deemed too long, the trio was suppressed in 1900. In 1914, for the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the coronation of Prince Albert I, Léon Jehin (1858-1928), conducer of the Opera and of the Classic Concerts of Monaco, proposed a new orchestration, with trumpets. Jehin's version has remained the official one until now.
In 1931, the local poet Louis Notari (1879-1961) translated the French lyrics into Monegasque. This version is sung today in all kinds of celebrations.

After Notre hymne national by Fernand Bertrand, published in the Annales Monégasques, #22, 1998.

Ivan Sache, 20 June 2008

The flag in the national anthem of Monaco

The second stanza of the anthem mentions the flag of Monaco, as follows:

Monegasque version
Despœi tugiù sciù d'u nostru paise
Se ride au ventu u meme pavayun
Despœi tugiù a curù russa e gianca
E stè r'emblema d'a nostra libertà !
Grandi e piciui r'an tugiù respetà !

French version
Depuis toujours, le même pavillon
Flotte joyeusement au vent de notre Pays
Depuis toujours les couleurs rouge et blanc
Constituent le symbole de notre liberté
Grands et Petits l'ont toujours respecté

English translation
Forever, the same flag fly's happily in the wind over our country
Forever, the colors red and white are the symbols of our freedom
Old and young have always shown their respect.

Ivan Sache, 20 June 2008