National Anthem of Norway

A very unique fact about Norway is that it does not have an official national anthem. However, it does have a song that is used as the de facto national anthem. This song is called, “Ja, vi elsker dette landet,” or “Yes, we love this country.” This patriotic anthem was written by Bjornstjerne Bjorson, who began working on the lyrics in 1859. He did not finish the song lyrics until 1868. Meanwhile, the melody was written by his cousin Rikard Nordraak between 1863 and 1864. The song was first performed on May 17, 1864 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the nation’s constitution. It has remained in use as the de facto national anthem ever since.

The song features a total of eight verses. However, on most occasions only the first and last two verses are sung. Many of the lyrics that are unsung talk about the history of the nation. However, the verses that are generally sung focus on the love and devotion of the Norwegian people to their country.

Lyrics

Yes, we love with fond devotion


This our land that looms


Rugged, storm-scared o'er the ocean,


With her thousand homes.


Love her, in our love recalling


Those who gave us birth.


And old tales which night, in falling


Bring as dreams to earth.


And old tales which night, in falling


Bring as dreams, as dreams to earth.


Norse man, whatsoe'er thy station,


Thank thy God, Whose power


Willed and wrought the land's salvation


In her darkest hour.


All our mothers sought with weeping


And our sires in fight,


God has fashioned, in His keeping


Till we gained our right.


God has fashioned, in His keeping


Till we gained, we gained our right.


Yes, we love with fond devotion


This our land that looms


Rugged, storm-scared o'er the ocean,


With her thousand homes.


And, as warrior sires have made her


Wealth and fame increase,


At the call we too will aid her,


Armed to guard her peace.


At the call we too will aid her,


Armed to guard, to guard her peace.