The Brabançonne

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The Brabançonne (Song of Brabant) is the national anthem of Belgium. The anthem has a French, a Dutch and a German version, for the three official languages of the country.



According to legend, the Belgian national anthem was written in September 1830, during the Belgian Revolution, by a young revolutionary called "Jenneval", who read the lyrics during a meeting at the Aigle d'Or café.

Jenneval, a Frenchman whose real name was Alexandre Dechet (sometimes known as Louis-Alexandre Dechet), did in fact write the Brabançonne. At the time, he was an actor at the theatre where, in August 1830, the revolution started which led to independence from the Netherlands. Jenneval died in the war of independence. François Van Campenhout composed the accompanying score and it was first performed in September 1830.

In 1860, Belgium formally adopted the song and music as its national anthem, although the then prime minister edited lyrics attacking the Dutch Prince of Orange.

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