On June 23rd, 2014, I will have the honour of attempting to do justice to a song that I not only love, but that I feel says a lot about me. That song is Anthem from the musical Chess.

Chess, music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, formerly of ABBA, and with lyrics by Tim Rice is about a chess match held in Merano, Italy. The story is based during the Cold War era and is loosely similar to the 1972 “Match of the Century” a chess match between chess grandmasters Bobby Fischer (USA) and Boris Spassky (USSR).

In Anthem, Anatoly, the Russian grandmaster declares his love for his country and states that it does not matter where on Earth he is, he is still there. In the same way, no matter where I am in the world, I am still an American.


No man, no madness
Though their sad
Power may prevail
Can possess, conquer
My country’s heart.
They rise to fail.
She is eternal
Long before
Nations’ lines were drawn.
When no flags flew,
When no armies stood
My land was born.

And you ask me
Why I love her
Through wars,
Death and despair
She is the constant,
We who don’t care.
And you wonder
Will I leave her
But how?
I cross over borders,
But I’m still there now.

How could I leave her?
Where would I start?
Let man’s petty nations
Tear themselves apart.
My land’s only borders
Lie around my heart.

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