If you want to learn more about a country and its history, a smart choice would be to look at its national anthem. Reading (if not singing) a country’s anthem can give you insight on its history and struggles across time. The Irish national anthem “Amhrán na bhFiann” translates into “The Soldier’s Song” and has its own trouble history.
The truth is that the Free State did not initially adopt any official anthem due to political instability. Despite ex-unionists continuing to think of “God Save the King” as national anthem and Northern Ireland unionists’ increasing antipathy for the Free State, “Amhrán na bhFiann” was unofficially sung by nationalists.
The song was composed in 1910 by Peadar Kearney (words) and Patrick Heeney (music). If you want to learn more about Ireland’s national anthem, we recommend you to read the Wikipedia page since it provides great insight in the anthem’s (and Ireland) history while giving you context.
How To Say “Amhrán na bhFiann” (National Anthem) in Irish Gaelic (VIDEO)
How to say Amhrán na bhFiann (National Anthem) in Irish Gaelic
Amhrán na bhFiann
/Oh-rawn nah Vee-on/
A Soldier’s Song (The Warriors’ Song)
Sinne Fianna Fáil,
/Shin-eh Fee-ah-na Faw-il/
Soldiers are we,
atá faoi gheall ag Éirinn,
/ah-taw fwee ghyal egg Ey-rin/
whose lives are pledged to Ireland,
Buíon dár slua
/Bween dawr slew/
Some have come
thar toinn do ráinig chugainn,
/har teen duh raw-nig hoo-in/
from a land beyond the wave,
Faoi mhóid bheith saor
/Fwee voh-ij veh sayr/
Sworn to be free,
Seantír ár sinsear feasta,
/Shan-teer awr sheen-shur fast-a/
no more our ancient sire land,
Ní fhágfar faoin tíorán ná faoin tráill.
/Naw awg-fur fween teer-awn naw fween traw-il/
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Anocht a théim sa bhearna baoil,
/Ah-nukht a haym sah var-na bwayl/
Tonight we man the “bearna baoil”, (gap of danger)
Le gean ar Ghaeil, chun báis nó saoil,
/leh gyan air Ghway-il khun baw-ish noh sayl/
In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal,
Le gunnascréach faoi lámhach na bpiléar
/Leh gun-na shkraykh fwee law-vukh nah bil-ayr/
’Mid cannon’s roar and rifles’ peal,
Seo libh canaig’ amhrán na bhfiann
/Shuh liv con-eeg ow-rawn nah vee-un/
We’ll chant a soldier’s song