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Q: What’s the World’s Oldest Official National Anthem?

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A: If you guessed “Wilhelmus van Nassouwe” for this one (which we’re sure most of you did), then you’re correct. For those of you who don’t know much about the Dutch, “Willhelmus van Nassouwe” happens to be the national anthem of the Netherlands. Dating from around 1568, a turbulent time for the Dutch as they struggled with longtime enemy Spain, it’s also one of the only anthems about a specific person, not a nation. And what person is this, you ask? Well, if the title doesn’t give it away, you can take a look at the first letter of each of the fifteen verses of the anthem. Arranged together, they spell WILLEM VAN NASSOV, the Dutch name of Prince William I of Orange-Nassau.

As for the content of the anthem, it recounts Prince William addressing the oppressed people of Holland after he tried — and failed — three times to free them from oppression under the Spaniards. Not the most inspiring of lyrics, it would seem. You critics out there could say the national anthem of Netherlands is really a song of defeat; but, hey, let’s not overlook that nifty word puzzle they’ve got going on. If you’re the world’s oldest official national anthem, you gotta be doing something right.

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  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Hard to believe that a national anthem was
    In actuality an acrostic for
    The nation’s most beloved
    Leader. Could you imagine if
    Every song lyric used that same
    Rhythmic pattern? That’d be something else.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    Come on, Suss!
    Leave the
    Experts to their
    Very interesting trivia.
    Every time you try to upstage them, you fail.
    Really.

  • Roeland

    woohoo! im a dutchman and i didnt even know we had the oldest national anthem… we did threw those spanish bastards out eventually! it took 80 years, but we did it!! we are still proud on that one…

  • Spainish Bastard

    Spains national anthem was written in 1507 bitches just because it dosent have lyrics dosent mean it dosnt count

  • Spainish Bastard

    now had u said the worlds oldest continuously used national anthem that ould have been a diffrent story because i know spain droped the anthem durring one or both of the republics but yea whiped ur ass in the cup, at wrighting anthems and occupied ur shity country for 80 years u are teh failz plox holland ftl imho