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National Anthem of South Korea

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Historical Background

The National anthem of South Korea is called 'Aegukga' which literally means "The Song of Love for the Country". Even though Aegukga is sung as the national anthem, the song has not yet achieved official status. The music of the National anthem of South Korea was composed by Ahn Eaktay but there is no surety about who actually wrote the lyrics of the anthem. Some believe that the lyrics were written either by Yun Chiho, a politician or by An Chang-Ho, pro-independence leader and educator.

The original lyrics of the national anthem was probably written around 1907 in order to boost a spirit of loyalty and independence, as the nation encountered threats of foreign assault. Over the years, the lyrics have been revised by various leaders and evolved into what is sung today. Initially the anthem was sung to the tune of the Scottish folk song, Auld Lang Syne, taught by the American missionaries. However, a Korean composer named Ahn Eak-Tai considered it inappropriate to use the tune of another country's folk song and therefore composed a new tune. The new tune was adopted by the government in exile and since the founding of the Republic of Korea in 1948; Koreans have sung the Aegukga to the new music at all official events.

Three years following the liberation from Japanese rule, the new 'Aegukga' was adopted under the Presidential Decree of 1948, by the then President Syngman Rhee.

The National anthem of South Korea consists of four verses with chorus, although only the first verse and chorus are generally sung. The anthem is a national symbol of South Korea which has been sung by Koreans for almost a century, to commemorate the patriotism of the nation's ancestors.

The original version of the National anthem of Korea is written in Hangul which is the native alphabet of the Korean language. Here is a transliteration of the South Korean National anthem-


1. Donghae mulgwa Baekdusani mareugo daltorok
haneunimi bouhasa urinara manse


mugunghwa samcheolli hwaryeogangsan
Daehan saram Daehaneuro giri bojeonhase

2. Namsan wie jeo sonamu cheolgabeul dureundeut
baram seori bulbyeonhameun uri gisangilse

3. gaeul haneul gonghwalhande nopgo gureum eopsi
balgeun dareun uri gaseum ilpyeondansimilse

4. i gisanggwa i mameuro chungseongeul dahayeo
goerouna jeulgeouna nara saranghase

This article provides historical facts about the National anthem of South Korea. For more on South Korea, visit-

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