During France’s regional elections earlier this month, one fact seemed to get missed amid the noise around Marine Le Pen and her Front Nacional: that in Corsica, the vote was won by a party that actually wants independence from France.
Yes, you read that right: independence.
The ‘For Corsica’ party won over 35% of the vote, which explains why their leader, Gilles Simeoni, looks so happy in the picture at the top of this post.
So should the people of the Mediterranean island stay part of the motherland or seize the day and go it alone?
Well, this blog believes there’s only one way to decide a matter of such importance: by looking at whose national anthem is better! And sorry, Corsicans, but your ‘anthem’ is not a shade on la Marseillaise. In fact, it’s bloody awful.
Here, for those who don’t know it [everyone outside Corsica], is Dio vi salvi Regina:
If will hopefully take you all of about 5 seconds of listening to that to realise it’s a monastic hymn and an ancient one at that.
It was written in 1675 by a young Italian, Francis of Geronimo, and is meant as a love letter to the Virgin Mary. Here’s its first verse:
God bless you, Queen
And universal mother
By which one rises
What’s that got to do with Corsica? Absolutely bugger all! But there were a lot of Corsicans in Naples back then and they one day turned it into a bizarrely religious and solemn cry for independence – most likely due to its final verse which asks the Virgin to “give us victory over our enemies”.
So yes, it has been inspiring people for several hundred years. Gilles Simeoni even sung it to celebrate his win. But that doesn’t mean it’s worth keeping. It doesn’t have the excitement of la Marseillaise. It doesn’t have that anthem’s great melody either. It doesn’t even have its gore or its blood. There is no contest. Corsicans, find a new one quick!