Today’s Naija News is about the men who wrote The first Nigerian national anthem. As a topic it would never had become a subject to be discussed if I hadn’t come across the term on a piece of paper somewhere.
As a Nigerian I find it a show of real ignorance to be oblivious of the fact that Nigerians once cried their allegiance through another anthem different from the one we have today.
I have lived life for more than three decades as a Nigerian but never heard of this piece of information until today.
So I had to share, believing that there are others like me out there who would truly appreciate the informational upgrade.
According to this new piece of information the first Nigerian national anthem was first used on 1st October which is the independence day of Nigeria.
And it would enjoy this enviable role for some pretty solid years until relieved of that role in 1978.
The first Nigerian National anthem “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.” was composed by foreigners.
The lyrics of the anthem was written by a British expatriate Lillian Jean Williams. He was present in Nigeria when it achieved independence.
While the music for the national anthem was played by Frances Berda.
In other words the men who wrote the first Nigerian national anthem were British expatriate Lillian Jean Williams and Frances Berda.
So without much ado let us provide the lyrics.
The First Nigerian National anthem Lyric
“Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”
Nigeria we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood we stand,
Nigerians all, are proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.
Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle honour’d,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.
O God of all creation,
Grant this our one request,
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed,
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed.
Truth be told I do not like this version. I prefer the current national anthem.
But then, this is our past. Where it all began.
Our current national anthem “Arise, O Compatriots ,” was adopted in 1978, replacing “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”
Unlike the first Nigerian National anthem, the second was composed by Nigerians.
And for those who would love to read the lyrics of the current anthem, we have you covered.
The Second Nigerian National Anthem
Arise, O compatriots
Nigeria’s call obey
to serve our fatherland
with love and strength and faith.
The labour of our heroes past
shall never be in vain,
to serve with heart and might
one nation bound in freedom
Peace and unity.
O God of creation,
direct our noble cause
Guide our leaders right
Help our youth the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace
And justice shall reign
And i think this is where we call it a wrap on this one.
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