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March 22, 2006 by AK

Charlemagne’s last daughter

A Russian LJ user whose nick I don’t remember has drawn the public’s eye to the anthem of Andorra. Its text is a short poem in Catalan coming as it were from the mouth of Andorra herself, an ever-young princess of Carolingian stock:

El gran Carlemany, mon Pare dels alarbs em deslliurà,
I del cel vida em donà de Meritxell, la gran Mare,
Princesa nasquí i Pubilla entre dues nacions neutral
Sols resto l’única filla de l’imperi Carlemany.
Creient i lliure onze segles, creient i lliure vull ser.
¡Siguin els furs mos tutors i mos Prínceps defensors!

Which means, I guess (not knowing the language):

The great Charlemagne*, my father, freed me from the Arabs/Saracens,
And from heaven gave me life from Meritxell**, the great Mother.
Born a princess and heiress, neutral between two nations,
I remain the only daughter of Charlemagne’s empire.
Faithful and free for eleven centuries, faithul and free I shall be,
May laws guide me and my Princes*** defend me!

* Or Carl Magnus, pleonastic either way.
** Our Lady of Meritxell.
*** Apparently, the co-heads and co-protectors of the principality: the head of France (now President) and the bishop of Urgel (a diocese in Spain).


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