Nigerian National Anthem: English Translation, Original Lyrics And History
|What Is The Nigerian National Anthem: English Translation, Original Lyrics And History. Photo: Getty Images|
"Arise, O Compatriots" is the national anthem of Nigeria. It was adopted in the late 1970s and is the country's second ever national anthem.
There was a contest to select a new national anthem. These lyrics were selected from the top five submissions rather than from a single set. With only two lyrics, Nigeria's national song is brief and sweet. Still, the first verse is the only one usually performed at parties and other gatherings. The first verse focuses on the present and past generations and what can be done to keep the nation at peace; the second verse looks to the future and what must be done to keep the nation at peace.
Here are the anthem’s history, its original lyrics, English translation.
History of the Nigerian National Anthem
It was adopted in 1978 and replaced the previous national anthem, "Nigeria, We Hail Thee".
The song's lyrics are a compilation of the top five entries from a national contest. Music to accompany the lyrics was composed by the Nigerian Police Band and conducted by Benedict P. Odiase (1934–2013). In most cases, only the first verse is performed even if there are two total. The second verse is sometimes chanted as "The National Prayer" in formal settings. P.O. Aderibigbe, John A. Ilechukwu, Dr. Sota Omoigui, Eme tim Akpan, and B.A. Ogunnaike are just a few of the individuals who contributed to the composition of the lyrics for the Nigerian national anthem.
The National Anthem
Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria's call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labor of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom, peace, and unity.
Oh God of creation, direct our noble cause
Guide our leaders right
Help our youth and truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace and justice shall reign.
The previous national anthem, "Nigeria, We Praise Thee," was replaced by the present national anthem in 1978. P.O. Aderibigbe, John A. Ilechukwu, Dr. Sota Omoigui, Eme tim Akpan, and B.A. Ogunnaike's five winning entries were combined to form the final text. The Nigerian Police Band, led by Benedict E. Odiase, set the words to music.
The National Pledge
I pledge to Nigeria, my country
To be faithful, loyal, and honest
To serve Nigeria with all my strength
To defend her unity
And uphold her honor and glory
So help me God.
The Nigerian pledge of allegiance is recited immediately after the playing of the Nigerian national anthem. It was written by Felicia Adebola Adeyoyin in 1976.
The Old National Anthem
Nigeria we hail thee
Our own dear native land
Though tribe and tongue may differ
In brotherhood we stand
Nigerians all and proud to serve Our sovereign motherland
Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign
In peace or battle honour
And this we count as gain
To pass unto our children
A banner without stain
O God of all creation
Grant this our one request
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed
Nigeria, We Hail Thee was adopted as Nigeria's national anthem on Independence Day October 1, 1960. The lyrics were written by Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who lived in Nigeria when it achieved independence. Frances Berda composed the music for "Nigeria, We Hail Thee."
Lyric videos of the Nigerian National Anthem
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