First Nigerian National Anthem - Nigeria, We Hail Thee

First Nigerian National Anthem – Nigeria, We Hail Thee

The first Nigerian National anthem was “Nigeria, we hail thee” It was the replacement for the British “God, save the King,” which was used during the reign of British colonialists in Nigeria, popularly referred to as the Giant of Africa at the time. The first ever Nigerian National anthem was adopted right after independence on October 1, 1960, and lasted for eighteen years when it ushered in the present National anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots,” in 1978.

Lillian Jean Williams put together the lyrics of the first Nigerian National anthem in 1959 and the musical accompaniment by Frances Brenda in that same 1959.

First Nigerian National Anthem

Lyrics of the First Nigerian National Anthem – Nigeria, We Hail Thee 

In contrast to the present National anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots,” which has two stanzas, the first National anthem had three stanzas, with each having six lines.

Nigeria, we hail thee

Our own dear native land

Though tribes and tongue may differ

In brotherhood we stand

Nigerians all, are proud to serve

Our sovereign Motherland.

Our flag shall be a symbol

That truth and justice reign

In peace or battle honour’d,

And this we count as gain,

To hand on to our children

A banner without stain.

O God of all creation

Grant this our one request.

Help us to build a nation

Where no man is oppressed

And so with peace and plenty

Nigeria may be blessed.

Conclusion

You might wonder why the first ever Nigerian National anthem was replaced with the present one. The truth is, the first Nigerian National anthem came under a lot of backlash from the Yoruba organization, Egbé Ọmọ Odùduwà who ran the Daily Service newspaper at the time. They spearheaded the establishment of a committee that began to gather enough signatures as a petition for the Nigerian government to relinquish the first Nigerian National anthem.

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