“Lil din l-art ħelwa, l-Omm li tatna isimha,
Ħares, Mulej, kif dejjem Int ħarist:
Ftakar li lilha bil-oħla dawl libbist.
Agħti, kbir Alla, id-dehen lil min jaħkimha,
Rodd il-ħniena lis-sid, saħħa ‘l-ħaddiem:
Seddaq il-għaqda fil-Maltin u s-sliem.”
The above is the Maltese National Anthem. Composed by Robert Samut and written by Dun Karm Psaila, it was made official in 1941.
But how different was our country then? How have our beliefs changed? And what do we hold most dear now? Don’t you think it’s time we changed it?
Image: Dun Karm Psaila
The mind boggles.
The first thing you’ll notice about L-Innu Malti (The Maltese Hymn), as it is officially called, is that it’s a prayer addressing God. That was all well and good 75 years ago, when most people’s lives revolved around their parish church, and the word of God was the one thing no one questioned. However, we have now evolved into a more secular age with many Maltese nationals who are atheist or not Catholics – or, if they are Catholics, they don’t exactly practice the faith.
The second thing you’ll notice is that it asks God to give wisdom to he who conquers or rules it. This was a fair enough request by our forefathers, but I think it’s safe to say that that part is becoming more and more fantastical as the years wear on…
The third thing that stands out is that it asks God to make owners of businesses kinder, and to give their workers strength. I understand the sentiment behind it, but does it work in this day and age?
Clearly, our ideas and ideologies have changed manifold throughout the past seven and a half decades. Many of us don’t pray, many of us don’t like workers being exploited, although that is not what the anthem says, and many of us find it hard to believe that anyone governing the country can be wise.
Image from Flickr.com
Yet… I still don’t think it’s outdated.
I think it truly captures what every person would want for his or her country – protection, good leadership, people who respect each other at work, peace and unity. And while our values may have changed, our hopes haven’t, and that’s why those lyrics, as archaic and as religious as they may sound, will always be meaningful to anyone born in Malta…
… even though Pajjiż tal-Mickey Mouse may be more relatable.
Do you think the Maltese National Anthem is outdated? Let us know in the comment section below!