The Washington Post
May 7, 2006 Sunday
Final Edition

Unfurling New Glory: America's International Anthem


You say, "O say," they say, "O zog!" "O! sagt" "O dites." Let's call
the whole thing a land of immigrants.

After Latino pop stars recently recorded "The Star-Spangled Banner"
in Spanish as "Nuestro Himno," President Bush said the song should be
sung in English. But for generations the anthem has been rendered in
the voices of assorted Old Countries. Here are eight published
versions. All together now, with feeling!

English: O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?

Armenian: Usek gurnak took ter desnel vagh aikoon
Mutunshaghin ain turoshn mer woghtchoonads

Yiddish: O zog! konstu zen in likht fun sof nakht,
Vos mir hobn bagrist in demer-shayn mit freyd?

Samoan: Aue! se'i e vaai, le malama o ataata mai
Na sisi a'e ma le mimita, i le sesega mai o le vaveao

Polish: Ach! czy widac tam, patrzaj w swit bracie moj,
Dumny znak nasz co lsnil wczora gdy gasly zorza?

German: O! sagt, koennt ihr seh'n, In des Morgenroths Strahl,
Was so stolz wir im scheidenden Abendroth gruessten?

French: O dites, voyez-vous, Dans la lumière du jour
Le drapeau qu'on saluait, À la tombée de la nuit?

Spanish: Amanece, lo veis, a la luz de la aurora,
Lo que tanto aclamamos la noche al caer?

-- David Montgomery

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