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Lofsöngur
English: 'Hymn'
Coat of arms of Iceland.svg
National anthem of  Iceland
Lyrics Matthías Jochumsson
Music Sveinbjörn Sveinbjörnsson
Adopted 1944

Lofsöngur (Icelandic for 'Hymn'), also called Ó Guð vors lands ('O, God of Our Land'), is the national anthem (or hymn) of the Nordic country of Iceland. It was written for the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the first Norse settlement of Iceland, though it wasn't considered a nation anthem for another 40 years. It was adopted in 1944 when the country became a republic during the constitutional referendum. Previously in 1874, the music of the hymn was composed by Sveinbjörn Sveinbjörnsson and the lyrics (words) were written by Matthías Jochumsson.

Lyrics

First stanza (in bold) is regularly used as part of the hymn.

Icelandic lyrics
(official)
IPA transcription
English translation

Ó, guð vors lands! Ó, lands vors guð!
Vér lofum þitt heilaga, heilaga nafn!
Úr sólkerfum himnanna hnýta þér krans
þínir herskarar, tímanna safn.
Fyrir þér er einn dagur sem þúsund ár
og þúsund ár dagur, ei meir:
eitt eilífðar smáblóm með titrandi tár,
sem tilbiður guð sinn og deyr.
Íslands þúsund ár,
Íslands þúsund ár,
eitt eilífðar smáblóm með titrandi tár,
sem tilbiður guð sinn og deyr.


Ó guð, ó guð! Vér föllum fram
og fórnum þér brennandi, brennandi sál,
guð faðir, vor drottinn frá kyni til kyns,
og vér kvökum vort helgasta mál.
Vér kvökum og þökkum í þúsund ár,
því þú ert vort einasta skjól.
Vér kvökum og þökkum með titrandi tár,
því þú tilbjóst vort forlagahjól.
Íslands þúsund ár,
Íslands þúsund ár!
Voru morgunsins húmköldu, hrynjandi tár,
sem hitna við skínandi sól.

Ó, guð vors lands! Ó, lands vors guð!
Vér lifum sem blaktandi, blaktandi strá.
Vér deyjum, ef þú ert ei ljós það og líf,
sem að lyftir oss duftinu frá.
Ó, vert þú hvern morgun vort ljúfasta líf,
vor leiðtogi í daganna þraut
og á kvöldin vor himneska hvíld og vor hlíf
og vor hertogi á þjóðlífsins braut.
Íslands þúsund ár,
Íslands þúsund ár!
verði gróandi þjóðlíf með þverrandi tár,
sem þroskast á guðsríkis braut.

[ouː | kvʏːð vɔr̥s lans ‖ ouː | lans vɔr̥s kvʏːð ‖]
[vjɛːr lɔːvʏm θɪht heiːlaɣa | heiːlaɣa napn̥ ‖]
[uːr souːlcʰɛrvʏm hɪmnana n̥iːtʰaðjɛːr kʰrans]
[θiːnɪr hɛrskarar | tʰiːmana sapn̥ ‖]
[fiːrɪr θjɛr ɛːr eitn̥ taːɣʏr sɛm θuːsʏnt auːr̥]
[ɔɣ θuːsʏnt auːr taːɣʏr | eiː meiːr̥ ‖]
[eiht eiːlivðar smauploum mɛð tʰɪːtrantɪ tʰauːr̥ |]
[sɛm tʰɪːlpɪðʏr kvʏːð sɪnː ɔɣ teiːr̥ ‖]
[istlans θuːsʏnt auːr̥ |]
[istlans θuːsʏnt auːr̥ |]
[eiht eiːlivðar smauploum mɛð tʰɪːtrantɪ tʰauːr̥ |]
[sɛːm tʰɪlpɪðʏr kvʏːð sɪnː ɔɣ teiːr̥ ‖]


[ou kvʏːð ou kvʏːð vjɛːr fœtlʏm fram]
[ɔɣ fourtnʏm θjɛːr prɛnːantɪ | prɛnːantɪ sauːl̥ |]
[kvʏːð faːðɪr | vɔːr trɔʰtɪn frau cɪːnɪ tʰɪl cɪns |]
[ɔɣ vjɛːr kʰvœːkʏm vɔr̥t hɛlkasta mauːl̥ ‖]
[vjɛːr kʰvœːkʏm ɔɣ θœhkʏm iː θuːsʏnt auːr̥ |]
[θviː θuː ɛr̥t vɔr̥t eiːnasta scouːl̥ ‖]
[vjɛːr̥ kʰvœːkʏm ɔɣ θœhkʏm mɛð tʰɪːtrantɪ tʰauːr̥ |]
[θviː θuː tʰɪlpjoust vɔr̥t fɔrlaɣaçouːl̥ ‖]
[istlans θuːsʏnt auːr̥ |]
[istlans θuːsʏnt auːr̥ ‖]
[vɔːrʏ mɔrkʏnsɪns huːmkʰœltʏ r̥ɪnjantɪ tʰauːr̥ |]
[sɛm hɪhtna vɪð sciːnantɪ souːl̥ ‖]

[ouː | kvʏːð vɔr̥s lans ‖ ouː | lans vɔr̥s kvʏːð ‖]
[vjɛːr lɪːvʏm sɛm plaxtantɪ | plaxtantɪ strauː ‖]
[vjɛːr teiːjʏm | ɛv θuː ɛr̥t eiː ljouːs θaːðɔɣ liːf |]
[sɛmað lɪftɪr ɔsː dʏftɪnʏ frauː ‖]
[ouː | vɛr̥t θuː kʰvɛrtn̥ mɔrkʏn vɔr̥t ljuːvasta liːf |]
[vɔːr leiðtɔiːjiˑ taːɣana θrœyːt]
[ɔɣ au kʰvœltɪn vɔːr hɪmnɛska kʰvilt ɔɣ vɔːr l̥iːf]
[ɔɣ vɔːr hɛr̥tɔiːjau θjouðlifsɪns prœyːt ‖]
[istlans θuːsʏnt auːr̥ |]
[istlans θuːsʏnt auːr̥ ‖]
[vɛrðɪ krouːantɪ θjouðlif mɛ θvɛrːantɪ tʰauːr̥ |]
[sɛm θrɔskast au kvʏːðricɪs prœyːt ‖]

Our country's God! Our country's God!
We worship Thy name in its wonder sublime.
The suns of the heavens are set in Thy crown
By Thy legions, the ages of time!
With Thee is each day as a thousand years,
Each thousand of years, but a day,
Eternity's flow'r, with its homage of tears,
That reverently passes away.
Iceland's thousand years,
Iceland's thousand years!
Eternity's flow'r, with its homage of tears,
That reverently passes away.


Our God, our God, we bow to Thee,
Our spirits most fervent we place in thy care.
Lord, God of our fathers from age unto age,
We are breathing our holiest prayer.
We pray and we thank Thee a thousand years
For safely protected we stand;
We pray and we bring Thee our homage of tears
Our destiny rest in Thy hand.
Iceland’s thousand years,
Iceland's thousand years!
The hoarfrost of morning which tinted those years,
Thy sun rising high, shall command!

Our country’s God! Our country’s God!
Our life is a feeble and quivering reed;
We perish, deprived of Thy spirit and light
To redeem and uphold in our need.
Inspire us at morn with Thy courage and love,
And lead through the days of our strife!
At evening send peace from Thy heaven above,
And safeguard our nation through life.
Iceland’s thousand years,
Iceland's thousand years!
O, prosper our people, diminish our tears
And guide, in Thy wisdom, through life!

Trivia

  • It's often thought to be difficult to sing due to having vocal range of high and low registers.
  • This anthem has strong religious connotations despite the country becoming more secular. It has been suggested that the anthem be replaced with a more modern, less religious anthem.
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