Aegukga (The Patriotic Song), written in 1896, was originally sung to the melody of the Scottish tune 'Auld Lang Syne', but was switched to its current instrumentation in 1948. The words were written by either Yun Chiho or An Chang-ho: both were pro-independence leaders in the 1890s.
The anthem of North Korea shares the same title, though it is generally romanised differently, as 'Aegukka'.
Donghae mulgwa Baekdusani mareugo daldorok
Haneunimi bouhasa urinara manse
Mugunghwa samcheolli hwaryeo gangsan
Daehan saram daehaneuro giri bojeonhase
Namsan wie jeo sonamu cheolgabeul dureun deut
Baram seori bulbyeonhameun uri gisangilse
Gaeul haneul gonghwalhande nopgo gureum eopsi
Balgeun dareun uri gaseum ilpyeondansimilse
I gisanggwa i mameuro chungseongeul dahayeo
Goerouna jeulgeouna nara saranghase
동해 물과 백두산이 마르고 닳도록
하느님이 보우하사 우리나라 만세
무궁화 삼천리 화려 강산
대한 사람 대한으로 길이 보전하세
남산 위에 저 소나무 철갑을 두른 듯
바람서리 불변함은 우리 기상일세
가을 하늘 공활한데 높고 구름 없이
밝은 달은 우리 가슴 일편단심일세
이 기상과 이 맘으로 충성을 다하여
괴로우나 즐거우나 나라 사랑하세
Until that day when
Mt. Baekdu’s worn away
and the East Sea’s waters run dry,
God protect and preserve our country!
Roses of Sharon and Three thousand Li
of splendid rivers and mountains full;
Great Korean people, To the Great Korean way
stay always true!
As the pine atop Namsan Peak stands firm,
unchanged through wind and frost,
as if wrapped in armour,
so shall our resilient spirit.
The Autumn skies are void and vast,
high and cloudless;
the bright moon is our heart,
undivided and true.
With this spirit and this mind,
let us give all loyalty,
in suffering or in joy,
to the country’s love.
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