The Six Nations Championship, known before 2000 as the Five Nations Championship, is an annual international rugby union competition involving six European sides: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
The winners of the Six Nations are seen as being the European Champions.
Ireland are the current Grand Slam title holders, for the first time since 1948, having won the competition in 2009 by beating all other teams, and winning the Triple Crown by beating England, Scotland and Wales.
One of the most exciting and moving moments of the Championship is the singing of the national anthems.
Welsh anthem, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau (Land of my Fathers), at Cardiff Millenium Stadium (formerly known as Cardiff Arms Park):
This anthem is, of course, sung in Welsh. Here is a translation into English of its lyrics. Maybe there is a lesson we could learn from it:
The old land of my fathers is dear to me,
Land of poets and singers, famous men of renown;
Her brave warriors, very splendid patriots,
For freedom shed their blood.Nation, Nation, I pledge to my Nation.
While the sea is a wall to the pure, most loved land,
O may the old language endure.
Old mountainous Wales, paradise of the bard,
Every valley, every cliff, to me is beautiful.
Through patriotic feeling, so charming is the murmur
Of her brooks, rivers, to me.
If the enemy oppresses my land under his foot,
The old language of the Welsh is as alive as ever.
The muse is not hindered by the hideous hand of treason,
Nor is the melodious harp of my country
English anthem, God Save the Queen (you can actually hear the players’ voices):
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.
Scottish anthem, Flower of Scotland, before the famous 1990 match Scotland vs. England:
O Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
Your like again
That fought and died for
Your wee bit Hill and Glen
And stood against him
Proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again
Those days are past now,
And in the past they must remain,
But we can still rise now,
And be the nation again,
That stood against him,
Proud Edward’s Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.
Irish Rugby anthem, Ireland’s Call (NB – Not the Irish national anthem!):
Come the day and come the hour
Come the power and the glory
We have come to answer
Our Country’s call
From the four proud provinces of Ireland
Together standing tall
Shoulder to shoulder
We’ll answer Ireland’s call
If you want to learn more, click here.
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