20 Jun /18


“One life, one dream
One moment, one team”

Anthem – Word of the day – EVS Translations
Anthem – Word of the day – EVS Translations

 Rather ironically, it takes a poet, Alphonse de Lamartine, to understand the depth of today’s word, stating that: “Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.”

At one time or another, music moves everyone. It can inspire, it can be a driving force, it can evoke the deepest of emotions, and, in some particular scenarios, it can do all of this and more, seemingly simultaneously. Today, though, thanks to the World Cup in Russia, we are looking at a specific type of music: anthems.

First, looking at the word itself, anthem comes from the Old English ontemn or antefn, both of which referred to a ‘musical setting for a religious text sung during a church service/mass’.

Though it has a link all the way back to the ancient Greek antiphona, meaning ‘verse response’, our word can be traced back to the origins of English itself: even the Venerable Bede used the word ontemn in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People – which, between 900 and 930, was one of the first translation from Latin into Old English – stating that: “It is said, as they proceeded and drew near to the town,..that they sang this litany and anthem with harmonious voice: Deprecamur te, Domine.”

Moving from a religious to a more social sense – a sense of belonging – our term was first mentioned in The Scots Magazine in 1753: “While this was-a doing, the masons anthem was played”, which marked the beginning of the concept of a national anthem.

The modern concept of an anthem, like the 2018 World Cup’s Live It Up, originates in 1935, in the December 23rd edition of The Times (London), where it is noted that: “A shouting crowd..remained there for some time, singing what now seems to be accepted as the Welsh national as well as football anthem, ‘Land of My Fathers’.”

Naturally, considering that this is a global competition, national anthems carry a lot of meaning, but, in the spirit of the beautiful game, it only makes sense that the event itself should have a song to inspire everyone. With its upbeat tempo, star-studded ensemble, and lyrics to “live it up, ‘cause we got one life”, the hope is that the song will inspire all fans to cheer loudly (even if it’s just in front of their TV), all players to give it their best effort, and hopefully attract everyone to take an interest.

On the other hand, overly critical types will notice the fact that none of those involved in performing “Live It Up”- Will Smith and Diplo (USA), Nicky Jam (Puerto Rico), and Era Istrefi (Kosovar Albanian)- actually have teams competing in the World Cup, hopefully, this means that everyone can embrace the song and the beauty of the game, regardless of who is playing.