Tue, Nov 23, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP legislator wants `happier' anthem

CNA , TAIPEI

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus whip Lee Chun-yi (李俊毅) said yesterday that he would like to see a "happier and lighter" national anthem.

Lee said that the national anthem -- which was the party anthem of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) -- was composed nearly 80 years ago, and that it is "heavy" both in terms of tune and lyrics.

According to Lee, even People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) has on at least one occasion criticized the national anthem as confusing, saying that the first and second lines mix the nation and the KMT together.

The anthem first declares the "Three Principles of the People" to be the foundation of the party and the nation, and then calls upon the party members to be brave, earnest and unrelenting in striving to fulfill the nation's goals.

Since there is no law yet to regulate the anthem at the moment, Lee said he would be very pleased to see all the parties from across the political spectrum come together to consult one another on whether and how to revise the national anthem to make it more cheerful and light-hearted.

The words of the anthem were first delivered as part of a speech at the Whampoa Military Academy's opening on June 16, 1924, by Sun Yat-sen (孫中山).

Sun's exhortation was designated as the KMT's party song in 1928, after which the KMT then solicited contributions from the public for a tune to fit the words.

The melody submitted by Cheng Mao-yun (程懋筠) was chosen from among 139 contenders.

The tune, with the Whampoa exhortation, was temporarily adopted as the national anthem in the late 1920s before being officially announced as the national anthem in 1937. The piece was honored as the world's best national anthem at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

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