National Anthem

Adapted from an extract by Fernand Bertrand in the Annales Monégasques, n° 22, 1998.

Theophile Bellando, a notaire (legal authority), writer of poems and music composed the first edition of the Monegasque national anthem during uncertain times in 1841. Monaco with its original 1792 borders had been returned to the Grimaldi family in 1814, after the defeat of Napoleon, which also included the fiefs of Menton and Roquebrune. These two cities had been brewing political trouble for some time. The Principality had been placed under the unwelcome Protectorate of the King of Sardinia from 1815-1860, by a treaty signed in Stupinigi on November 8, 1817, during the reign of Prince Florestan I. When Menton and Roquebrune declared themselves free cities in 1848 and asked to be united with Sardinia, a Sardinian decree placed them within the administrative district of Nice in 1849.

Another reason for the anthem was to conciliate the Monegasque citizens who were opposed to several unpopular measures that were taken by the government. Thus Bellando collaborated with Mr. Castil-Blaze, a composer and friend of Prince Florestan, who modified the melody, harmonized the various changes so the song would inspire loyalty to Monaco and honor the Prince and his family. This new national song was played at the end of important musical meetings given by the royal family and Monegasques.

Under the reign of Prince Charles III Monaco entered a new era of prosperity marked by the founding of the Société des Bains de Mer, the extension of the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean railway into Monaco in 1868 and construction of hotels and the casino on the barren hilltop of Spéluges. Due to these dramatic changes, Monte-Carlo soon became attractive to the rich, famous, intellectuals and artists. At the same time, in his desire to affirm Monaco's independence the Prince created diplomatic posts, opened consulates and recognized foreign consuls in Monaco. These initiatives brought Kings and Heads of States to the Principality. Prince Charles declared a 'Civil Guard' in March of 1848, and then in August he changed the name to the 'National Guard'. Brimming with a new sense of patriotism the National Guard adopted Bellando's song and it became the 'March of the National Loyalists'.

This was as far as the composition went until the Prince decided that a national march was not equal to other countries' anthems so he asked Charles Albrecht, the conductor of the Cercle des Etrangers Orchestre, to compose a real anthem for Monaco. After some research, Albrecht looked again at Bellando's original patriotic song and composed a new arrangement for piano. This version without words was printed by Tihebaux in Paris sometime before 1897 and called 'Air National de Monaco'. Later that year Nice publisher Decourcelle printed an edition called number 429 'Hymne National de Monaco' for piano.

Several years later, Francois Bellini, a musician with the Orchestra of Monte-Carlo in 1864 and choirmaster of the Cathedral in 1884, was asked to orchestrate the song by Albrecht. The arrangement for 'a trio' attributed to Albrecht was in fact in the style of Bellini; however in 1900 the arrangement for 'a trio' was judged to be too long for people to stand for at official functions and ceased being played.

The last version was created by the conductor Leon Jehin, director of the Opera and Classical Music of Monte-Carlo Orchestra, in 1914. It was played for the first time during the 25th anniversary of Prince Albert I reign. In this version Jehin, includes trumpets to give the piece a soaring and sparkling sound and it is this last spirited version, which is played today at all official events. Finally, in 1931 the Monegasque poet Louis Notari wrote the lyrics for the National Anthem in the Monegasque language. Notari's text is written elegantly with the simplicity of local expressions and is sung proudly by all Monegasques citizens.


In order to listen to the National Anthem in MP3 format, click here.


Oilà cü ne toca ! 
Oilà cü ne garda ! 
Fò che cadün sace ben aiço d'aiçì

Despœi tugiù sciü d'u nostru paise 
Se ride au ventu u meme pavayun 
Despœi tugiù a curù russa e gianca 
E stà r'emblema d'a nostra libertà ! 
Grandi e piciui r'an tugiù respetà !

Amu avüu sempre r'a meme tradiçiun ; 
Amu avüu sempre r'a meme religiun ; 
Amu avüu per u nostru unù 
I meme Principi tugiù 
E düsciün nun purà ne fa sciangià 
Tantu ch'au cielu u suriyu lüjerà ; 
Diu n'agiüterà 
E mai düsciün nun purà ne fa scangià Düsciün

Nun sëmu pa gaïre, 
Ma defendemu tüti a nostra tradiçiun ; 
Nun sëmu pa forti, 
Ma se Diu vœ n'agiüterà !

Oilà cü ne toca ! 
Oilà cü ne garda ! 
Fo che cadün sace ben ailo d'ailì


Greetings, to our neighbors! 
Greetings, to all those who are watching us! 
It is important that you remember the following:

Forever, the same flag fly's happily in the wind 
over our country 
Forever, the colors red and white are the symbols 
of our freedom 
Old and young have always shown their respect.

We carry on the same traditions 
We celebrate the same religion 
We are honored to have always had the same Princes 
And no one will make us change 
As long as the sun shines in the sky 
God will help us 
No one will ever be able to make us change 
No one.

There are not many of us 
But we are vigilant over our identity 
We are not very powerful 
But if God chooses, he will help us.

Greetings, to our neighbors! 
Greetings, to all those who are watching us! 
Everyone should be aware of this.