Mauritania (1960-2017)


One of the more unique anthems of the world, Mauritania’s anthem is based on a late eighteenth-century poem by Baba Ould Cheikh, who was inspired to write due to the problem of the myriad of Arabian sects that were developing at the time.

The first president of the country, shortly before independence from France, asked the director of the orchestra of the French broadcasting service, Tolia Nikiprovetzki, to select a melody to be used for the future anthem. This melody, known for many centuries and was the melody that originally belonged to the verses, was selected from the many selections of folk music that were considered.

The peculiar rhythym of the anthem (known as “fatchou”) makes it very difficult to sing, thus the anthem was often (but erroneously) listed as wordless.

In 2017, the anthem was replaced as a result of a national referendum.

Special thanks to: Josh Lim for some of this information, Jo Hyo-roe for the sheet music, and to Michael Bristow for some of this information, and the lyrics in English.