Lofsöngur

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"Lofsöngur" (English: "Hymn"), also known as "Ó Guð vors lands" (English: "O, God of Our Land"), is the national anthem of Iceland. The lyrics are by Matthías Jochumsson and the music by Sveinbjörn Sveinbjörnsson. The anthem contains three verses, but only the first one is commonly sung. The melody is by many considered difficult to sing, and requires a vocal range of a minor forteenth. Many Icelandic people claim to be unable to sing it. That the anthem is essentially a hymn has been the subject of controversy in recent times, but proponents point to the fact that Iceland has a state church and that Christianity is by far the most popular religion.

Many other patriotic and nationalistic songs are sung to show allegiance to Iceland, on various occasions as people often know them better when it comes to singing them, like "Ísland er land þitt" ("Iceland is your country"), "Ísland ögrum skorið" ("Iceland cut with bays"), "Öxar við ána" ("By the Öxará (Axe River)"), "Ó fögur er vor fósturjörð" ("Oh how beautiful is our motherland"), "Hver á sér fegra föðurland?" ("Who has a more beautiful motherland?"), "Eldgamla Ísafold" ("Ancient Ice-land"), "Ég vil elska mitt land" ("I want to love my country") "Úr útsæ rísa Íslandsfjöll" ("From the sea rise Iceland's Mountains"), the newest (by the popular band Baggalútur): "Ísland ég elska þig" ("Iceland I love you"), and many others ranging from very well known to lesser known.

Icelandic lyrics

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.

English translation

Oh, God of our country! Oh, 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 tounted those years,
Thy sun rising high, shall command!

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