South Korea

What are the lyrics of the Korean national anthem and what do they mean in English?


South Korea traveled to Qatar for the World Cup for the tenth time in a row, more than any other Asian country.

Fans will have fond memories of 2002, when the Tai Chi Warriors reached the semifinals at their home game, accompanied by their famous national anthem.

In the 2002 World Cup, the South Korean team lost 0-1 to the German team and reached the semi-finals.Credit: AFP
South Korea advance to Qatar in second place in groupImage source: Reuters

Aegukga, which translates to “patriotic song”, was adopted in 1948, the year the country was founded. However, its lyrics date back to the 1890s.

The national anthem was originally set to the popular Scottish song “Auld Lang Syne” before composer Ahn Eak-tai created his own melody.

What are the lyrics to the Korean national anthem?

Patriotic anthem means “a song that awakens patriotism.” Can’t say it’s not patriotic!

Its lyrics reference the country’s natural beauty, making reference to South Korea’s famous Namsan Mountain in Seoul.

Here’s the thing:

Section 1

Until the waves of the East China Sea dry up and Mount Baekdu disappears,
God always watch over our land, our Korean estate.

chapter 2

Rose of Sharon, land of mountains and rivers a thousand miles;
Under the protection of her people, South Korea will always stand.

Section 3

Just like the Nanshan iron bark pine, stick to the post,
Wind, frost, rain and snow will never change, it is our firm will.

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Section 4

In the arched night sky of autumn, blue and cloudless;
Be the moon of our spirit, firm, single, true.

Section 5

With such will, such spirit, such devotion, heart and hands,
Let us love, and sorrow, and joy, this is our beloved land.


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