If you haven’t heard it yet, listen to Hong Kong’s new national anthem, “願榮光歸香港” (“Glory to Hong Kong”). Citizens and protesters have embraced it, with crowds singing it in public not long after it was made.
I suspect part of why it’s being accepted so quickly is not just the lyrics and meaning but also the melody. It’s a single octave song, much like “O Canada” and “God Save The _____”, easily sung by anyone. It’s rousing and emotional, just what the doctor ordered.
Hong Kong’s protestors want greater autonomy from mainland China, a grievance they’re expressing through a song some are calling their new “national anthem.”
“Glory to Hong Kong” has spread like wildfire: on a quiet Monday night, hundreds of people spread out across four floors of a suburban shopping mall to sing it. The song has been watched on YouTube over a million times, and at least half a dozen English translations, and a Japanese iteration, have surfaced.
The composer is Thomas, a full-time musician in his mid-twenties who asked to be identified only by his first name. He says he recruited performers, as well as people to help with the mixing and arrangement, on Hong Kong’s Reddit-like forum LIHKG, after sharing a demo version last month.
“Music is a tool for unity,” he tells TIME. “I really felt like we needed a song to unite us and boost our morale.”
《願榮光歸香港》正式進行曲版 《Glory to Hong Kong》Formal March Edition: