Hymn to the United Nations
"Hymn to the United Nations" click here
Words by: W.H. Auden
Music by: Pau Casals
In use since: 1971
Though many songs have been written about the United Nations or on related themes, there is no official anthem or hymn for the Organization. One such song, or hymn, was written and performed at the United Nations on 24 October 1971, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the United Nations, by Catalonian maestro Pau Casals (known professionally as Pablo Casals). The words were written by poet W.H. Auden of the United Kingdom.
The two, though they had never met, were brought together in this unusual collaboration by then United Nations Secretary-General U Thant. For centuries, poets and musicians have sung in praise
of war and celebrated victories in battles. U Thant was intrigued by the fact that there existed no hymn to peace. Casals was a personal friend of his, and when approached by Thant, he readily agreed to write the music. As the Secretary-General explained, the song was to be based on the preamble to the Charter of the United Nations. Although it would not be formally adopted as the official anthem of the United Nations, U Thant hoped it would be performed on appropriate occasions.
While Casals greatly liked the ideas contained in the preamble, there was no way he could put music to such a document. The task to write an appropriate poem, based on the theme of peace and ideals enshrined in the preamble, fell on W.H. Auden, then regarded as the greatest living English poet. When a representative of the Secretary-General approached the poet, he immediately agreed to write the poem. In three days' time, Auden finished writing "A hymn to the UN", which was then set to music by Casals.
On 24 October 1971, the Orchestra of the Festival Casals, with the Maestro himself as conductor, presented the hymn in a première performance at UN headquarters.
(Keep in mind, also, that despite the fact that the United Nations represents most of the world's nations and oversees affairs pertinent to the Earth as a whole, this unofficial anthem cannot be construed as an anthem for the planet eith
|The 1971 United Nations Day Concert was held in the General Assembly at U. N. Headquarters. “Hymn to the United Nations,” a new composition by Spanish cellist and composer Pablo Casals with a text by the American poet, W.H. Auden, was commissioned by U.N.Secretary-General U Thant, to mark the twenty-Sixth anniversary of the U.N., was performed by the Orchestra of the Festival Casals, with the U.N. Singers and the chorus of the Manhattan School of Music, under the direction of Maestro Pablo Casals|