Maldives

 

Until the late 1940s the state anthem of the Maldives was a melody with no lyrics. It was called the Salaamathi and was performed by the royal band on state occasions at the Etherekoilu, the official residence of the King.

In 1948 it was determined that the Salaamathi needed replacement with lyrics to accompany a new melody. The words were composed by a young poet and later a chief justice, Mohamed Jameel Didi.

Jameel Didi looked around for a tune to accompany his poem. His uncle, the chief justice Hussain Salahuddine, had just acquired a new clock that played a tune at the stroke of midday, the Scottish folk song “Auld Lang Syne”, and Jameel decided to use that tune for his poem (slightly modified to fit the words).

Although the Salaamathi survived as the royal anthem until 1964, it did not occur to anyone to adopt it as the national anthem. In 1972, for the first time in history, the Maldives hosted a foreign head of state – Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The Maldive government of the time deemed it necessary to compose a different tune for the anthem instead. Hastily they commissioned the composition of a new melody. The new melody of the Maldive national anthem was composed by a distinguished Sri Lankan maestro, Pandit Wannakuwattawaduge Don Amaradeva. The original lyrics were used, with some changes to mark the fact that Maldives has been a republic since 1968.

Although as many as seven verses can be found for this anthem, it seems that the most common representation is the first two verses, which is what is presented here.

Special thanks to: Jo Hyo-roe for the sheet music for the sheet music.