back to article Military alliance NATO adopts official hymn

NATO, the military alliance originally formed to defend Europe against Soviet Russia, has formally adopted its own national anthem-style hymn. At this early stage in the article we find it necessary to assure readers that this is not a windup, nor is it April Fool’s Day. In a statement, NATO said that the NATO Hymn (catchy …


  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They could have had,

    How Great Thou Artillery.

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      or, for Christmas

      festas natovidad

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Could do worse than the official hymn of Ankh Morpork (“We Can Rule You Wholesale”):

      When dragons belch and hippos flee

      My thoughts, Ankh-Morpork, are of thee

      Let others boast of martial dash

      For we have boldly fought with cash

      We own all your helmets, we own all your shoes

      We own all your generals - touch us and you'll lose.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge


        Obligatory request for a Sir Pterry icon.

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Sounds more like a funeral march

    This ditty has the distinct sound of a funeral march. Just wondering whose casket is being carried.

    1. Frederic Bloggs

      Re: Sounds more like a funeral march

      It's the way you play 'em

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Sounds more like a funeral march

        Well, if they wanted something rousing, they should have secured the rights to Ron Goodwin's "Ace's High". Or Barry Gray's tunes for Thunderbirds.

        Then again, NATO's hardly a very impressive machine now is it? Back in the days of detente and MAD, perhaps, but now the depleted and threadbare militaries of Europe most appropriate theme tune would seem to be from Only Fools and Horses.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Writing a hym acceptable NATO wide is a bit tricker than it sounds..

      Given how many bits of it have fought/invaded//annexed/dismembered other bits of it.

      But fair play to the writer for a nice bit of Rickrolling.

      1. Frank Marsh

        Re: Agreed on the Rickroll

        Well-played. You got me.

  3. A-nonCoward

    Ich hatt' einen kameradden

    1. Kernel

      Re: Ich hatt' einen kameradden

      It certainly has overtones of (and seems to owe not a little inspiration to) "Ich hatt' ein Kameradden' - maybe they should have saved time and just gone straight for 'Das Panzerlied' - which seems to already be popular with a number of NATO and ex-Warsaw Pact country's military forces - although that might send the wrong message in times of international tension in Europe.

      Not entirely sure why you have been voted down for pointing out the obvious - unless Captain Reichling and his friends are commentards here.

    2. Sanguma

      Re: Ich hatt' einen kameradden

      I've an even better idea - this one's also been tested in combat:

      Mademoiselle From Armentieres by J Charman 1915

      Again, it's bilingual ... the French should be chuffed no end!

  4. Keef

    How about this one?

  5. MeRp

    To be fair...

    Geez... that was only 1:32? I listened to it while I read the article and I thought for sure it had been playing for several minutes. So damn slow and depressing.

    I think this fine piece would have been a million times better. Though, I guess, it might inspire my son to join up with the military and try to get into a NATO unit, so I guess it is best that they have a dank piece instead.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: To be fair...

      A hymn is supposed to inspire. The only thing this piece of tripe inspires is dread. The PR idiots who commissioned it should face the music for grand treason under the respective NATO member country legislation (pun intended).

      Just compare that to the (unofficial) ditty of the enemy du jour. The one they put on the tannoy before they get into "if you value your life be somewhere else" mode:

      Make your own conclusions...

      1. MeRp

        Re: To be fair...

        The music for that is certainly way more inspirational... but damn those Russians love dire, moribund lyrics! The sound is all patriotic, but that video has subtitles so I get to see about how anxiety is spreading and they're going off to war to die.

        I still think AC/DC's Thunderstruck, but performed with classical instruments (and without lyrics) is even better. :D

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: To be fair...

          but damn those Russians love dire, moribund lyrics!

          Matter of attitude to war. War is not fun. That is why nearly all Slavic war marches are set to a minor key which is quite different from the "inspirational" drivel like the "Halls of Montesuma" which is set to a major key and is supposed to "motivate" you to fight.

          It is not just Russians too. The same music with different (but on a similar topic) verses was used by Armia Kraiova in WW2. This is the music to which the Polish died in the Warsaw uprising. The same music with yet another set of lyrics (but once again similar meaning) was used by Israeli. This song saw the 6 day war. The same music with several other (again similar semantically) sets of lyrics was also used in the Russian civil war. To just to top it up it was not written about a Russian woman. It was written during the Balkan wars based on impressions from Bulgarians and Serbians.

          In any case, I stand by my initial opinion. NATO is a military organization - its hymn is supposed to motivate one way or another. It does not matter if it is the Slavic (we are going to die, but by god we will take you f***ers with us) or the Anglo-Saxon (We are going to kill 'em all, gung-ho, gung-ho) way. A funeral march is not fitting.

          1. Christoph Silver badge

            Re: To be fair...

            the "Halls of Montesuma" which is set to a major key and is supposed to "motivate" you to fight.

            That tune is originally the "Gendarmes' Duet"! Hardly a motivation to fight :-)

          2. graeme leggett Silver badge

            Re: To be fair...

            A too enthusiastic anthem sends the wrong message. Stately and determined is more fitting when defeated than gung-ho which is setting yourself up for hybris. (I think ancient Greeks paean sung on the march forming up the phalanx etc were fairly low key)

            To look to similar with national anthems, God save the Queen (King) is a bit of dirge but doesn't set you thinking of immediately invading your neighbour or proclaiming sovereignty over all (a la "German, German overalls") unlike say Rule Britannia or Land of Hope and Glory. Which may be why the latter two are reserved for musical festivals and sports matches where no one should have sharp implements or projectile weapons and the blood is generally confined to the players.

      2. Lars Silver badge

        Re: To be fair...

        @ Voland's right hand,

        If you want to choose something about the topic and from that part of the world, choose quality like this:

        Good music has no borders.

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: To be fair...


          Come one, at least post the FULL "with cannons" version.

          Concur otherwise.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: To be fair...

        @MeRp: you must have trawled youtube for the slowest version of Прощание Славянки.

        This tune is used whenever the young lads are off to do their military service - and consequently has been used for great comic effect in Russian films and children's cartoons.

        However, before getting into racial theories, consider that Noel Coward wrote many upbeat songs during WWII (some which are very satirical). And G. K. Chesterton, in his bigotry wrote the following lines: "The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad, For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad."

    2. Mog_X

      Re: To be fair...

      How about Iron Maiden's 'The Trooper'? It does involve Russians, but possibly not to the benefit of the song's protagonist...

      1. Spanners Silver badge

        Re: To be fair...

        I would have suggested "You're in the Army now" by Status Quo. Some versions sound like they have Billy Connoly as the NCO shouting at them in it!

  6. Frederic Bloggs


    Does it have any words?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Words?

      Yes, crap and pointless spring to mind.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        Re: Words?

        It's not technically an anthem if it doesn't have words. Can any commentareds suggest lyrics?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Words?

          It's a world of laughter, a world of tears

          It's a world of hopes and a world of fears

          There's so much that we share

          That it's time we're aware

          It's a small world after all.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Words?

          Says who? The Spanish national anthem doesn't have any words.

          1. frank ly Silver badge

            @AC re. Re: Words?





            a song of loyalty or devotion, as to a nation or college: a national anthem


            a musical composition for a choir, usually set to words from the Bible, sung as part of a church service


            a religious chant sung antiphonally


            a popular rock or pop song

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Words?

            "The Spanish national anthem doesn't have any words"

            Isn't it a case of that it did have words but they aren't considered suitable any more. A few years ago I think they ran a competition for new words but think was an overwhelmning public resposes to leave it without words. Anyway, whenever I hear it add my own words ....

            "our national anthem doesn't have any words so we just sing la la la la la la,

            our national anthem doesn't have any words so we just sing la la la la la la,

            la la la la la la la la la la la I think that this makes it much better than yours,

            la la la la la la la la la la la I think that this makes it much better than yours"

        3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: Words?

          Onward yellow cowards marching to the rear ...

  7. Alistair Silver badge

    All things considered I'd suggest:

    This ditty might suit things a little better at the moment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or this:

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is NAOT a compromise between NATO and OTAN?

    I like this anthem... naot. After Putin up with it for a minuteman, it could be Warsaw what.

    an attack against one member* is considered an attack against all members

    * excludes dependencies in South Atlantic

  9. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I was going to suggest this: It's catchy but probably sends the wrong message.

    1. MeRp

      I think that sends, essentially, the exact right message. Unfortunately it does not send the message that NATO is likely to want to send. Of course, neither does their chosen anthem, so I guess, at least this one is catchy!

  10. James O'Shea Silver badge


    It's simple. In the words of an Englishman (okay, he was born in India, but let's just let that go by) who was NATO's first boss, the purpose of NATO is "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down".

    It's worked, do far, though Merkel needs a few slaps, she's getting upity.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lookit

      Cliff Richard said that?

      Must of been on of his earlier hits.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      @ James O'Shea

      So are you volunteering to spank Angela then?

      1. James O'Shea Silver badge

        Re: @ James O'Shea


  11. Lars Silver badge


    Finland and Sweden would finally join NATO under this:

    Porilaisten marssi / Björneborgarnas marsch

    And back to reality like this.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    its own national anthem-style hymn

    they (we) should have... I dunno, just do SOMETHING (for the money spent on that bloody tune).

  13. arctic_haze Silver badge

    I propose Dragorborn from the Skyrim game

    I am ready to defend any Article 5 country to this music:

    A plus is the dragon language equally foreign to every Alliance member.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I propose Dragorborn from the Skyrim game

      Yeah that works for me. As long as Hadvar can be secretary general.

    2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      Re: I propose Dragorborn from the Skyrim game

      That reminds me of this march

  14. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Warren Zevon?

    Guns Money and Lawyers?

    I went home with the waitress, the way I always do

    How was I to know, she was with the Russians, too?

    I was gambling in Havana, I took a little risk

    Send lawyers, guns and money, dad, get me out of this


    1. Ken 16 Silver badge

      Is that what you really want playing?

      As the massed tank divisions of Luxembourg face the invading Warsaw Pact?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's 2017 guys.

  16. Chronigan

    No one has mentioned Hell March yet

    I was sure someone else would of posted this before me.


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