Voting opens on six potential new Swiss anthems

A shortlist has been put forward for a new Swiss anthem. Six semi-finalists have been chosen in the latest stage of a contest launched to create a song that all Swiss will be proud (and able) to sing. The Swiss have long been ambivalent about their national hymn. Although many people say they like the music, many more say they can’t sing all four verses – or even the first verse – in one of Switzerland’s four national languages. “When you see how people in other countries know their national anthems by heart, and sing them with passion and with joy,” then you realise that Switzerland has a problem, says Jean-Daniel Gerber, president of the Swiss Society for the Common Good (SSCG), a charitable association promoting societal participation. To address this problem, the SSCG organised a contest to create a new anthem. Entries had to be submitted in one of the national languages, with text reflecting the values in the preamble of the Swiss Constitution and …

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