The same can be said for every european country except for the Balkans. European history is not like America. It's a lot longer, and a lot more bloody.
Although the Nordic countries have been at a relative peace for about 200 years now, the region was quite unstable from the 15th to the early 17th century. Sweden were quite the war-mongering nation back then, and since Finnish peasants made up the bulk of the Swedish army (which were second only to France in Europe at that time) Finland does not have the lovely peaceful history you would asume.
I did not just assume, I know Finland was under Swedish and Russian rule and had to fight hard for its independence. It's still a peaceful country to the eyes of many. I mean Finland is not known as an aggressor. The fact that Finns have fought in the Swedish army says a lot; Sweden was the aggressor. Finland in itself as a country has never been as far as I'm aware of. There is a reason I described Finland as valiant. I put that there for a reason, I knew its history wasn't all rosy and had fought some hard battles, but as a whole it is rather peaceful because if you look at other countries around the world, every country has had a tough past in their long history.
Originally Posted by Lugaid
Most western countries haven't been in "significant" conflicts past WWII though, except USA of course. To have an epic anthem you don't have to go to war every ten years to keep it epic.
I like the finnish anthem, I think the melody suits my image of Finland quite well. Peaceful, but with a difficult past, hardened, one could say.
Epic to me is the Russian anthem and I do not think it matches with a country like Finland, Canada or even Great Britain. Either the land mass is too small or the population is too small and add Finland's peaceful nature, epic is not what comes to mind. That doesn't mean it hasn't had a hard past, I never said that.
Although Finlandia is a very good composition, I'm not sure it's a good national anthem because it has some extremely calm sections. Maybe someone could point me to an instrumental but non-orchestral version? Anyway, if Finlandia is so liked by most Finns, then why it's not the national anthem?
Being biased, I think Canada's anthem is the best. I do like the Russian one as well, but I have to admit being uni-linguistic does not help here, as it is hard to really like an anthem when you cannot tell what they are saying.
USA (to slow, no drive but still has that something)
honestly, the anthem is normally performed/played much slower today than it is really supposed to be. I studied music and played in the band in high school and college, people were often surprised by how fast we played it. Most are used to hearing it performed either as a funeral dirge or pop stars using it as their own personal playground to do whatever they please with, the tempo is meant to stay consistent straight through.