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Switzerland seeks new national anthem

1 of 1 Swiss fans -  they will soon be singing a different tune . .
Swiss fans - they will soon be singing a different tune . .

After Switzerland's multi-ethnic World Cup team muttered their way through the words of the present national anthem, over 200 Swiss songwriters have entered a public competition to provide a more rousing one.

The contest  - organised by the Swiss Society for Public Good - aims to replace The Swiss Psalm composed by  a Swiss monk, in 1841, which critics say is too solemn.

The French players belted out their own anthem, La Marseillaise, with confidence and pride, prior to their recent encounter with Switzerland in the World Cup. By contrast, the Swiss players’ effort was decidedly half-hearted, as many viewers observed.

"The lyrics are very difficult and many can't identify with the text since it was originally a church song," declares Lukas Niederberger, director of the 200-year-old Society for Public Good.

The anthem has also been ridiculed as a "Swiss weather report" because of its mentions of the Alps, morning skies and misty valleys. Not many Swiss citizens are believed to be able to sing more than one verse by heart.

129 of the 208 proposals submitted are in German, 60 are in French, seven in Italian and 10 in Romantsch, the minority language spoken in south-east Switzerland.

A 30-strong jury including a slam poet, yodelling experts, musicians and members of sporting associations will narrow down the submissions to ten entries.

Spectators and television audiences will have the chance to vote for their favourite when the finalists are performed at a national music festival in 2015.

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