Etymology
Advertisement
anthem (n.)
Old English ontemn, antefn, "a composition (in prose or verse) sung in alternate parts," from Late Latin antefana, from Greek antiphona "verse response" (see antiphon).

The sense evolved to "a composition (usually from Scripture) set to sacred music" (late 14c.), then "song of praise or gladness" (1590s). It came to be used in reference to the English national song (technically, as OED points out, a hymn) and extended to those of other nations. Modern spelling is from late 16c., perhaps an attempt to make the word look more Greek.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
anthemic (adj.)
of music, "felt to resemble an anthem," 1841, from anthem + -ic. In reference to a type of acid, 1859, so called because isolated from dog-fennel (Anthemis arvensis).
Related entries & more 
antiphon (n.)

c. 1500, "a versicle sung responsively," from French antiphone "hymn" or directly from Medieval Latin antiphona, from Greek antiphona (neuter plural), from antiphonos "responsive, sounding in answer," from anti "in return" (see anti-) + phōnē "voice," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say."

A reborrowing by English of the word which had become anthem in English (in Old English antefn, antifon) and lost its original meaning.

Related entries & more 
*bha- (2)

*bhā-; Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to speak, tell, say."

It forms all or part of: abandon; affable; anthem; antiphon; aphasia; aphonia; aphonic; apophasis; apophatic; ban (n.1) "proclamation or edict;" ban (v.); banal; bandit; banish; banlieue; banns (n.); bifarious; blame; blaspheme; blasphemy; boon (n.); cacophony; confess; contraband; defame; dysphemism; euphemism; euphony; fable; fabulous; fado; fairy; fame; famous; fandango; fatal; fate; fateful; fatuous; fay; gramophone; heterophemy; homophone; ineffable; infamous; infamy; infant; infantile; infantry; mauvais; megaphone; microphone; monophonic; nefandous; nefarious; phatic; -phone; phone (n.2) "elementary sound of a spoken language;" phoneme; phonetic; phonic; phonics; phono-; pheme; -phemia; Polyphemus; polyphony; preface; profess; profession; professional; professor; prophecy; prophet; prophetic; quadraphonic; symphony; telephone; xylophone.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek pheme "speech, voice, utterance, a speaking, talk," phōnē "voice, sound" of a human or animal, also "tone, voice, pronunciation, speech," phanai "to speak;" Sanskrit bhanati "speaks;" Latin fari "to say," fabula "narrative, account, tale, story," fama "talk, rumor, report; reputation, public opinion; renown, reputation;" Armenian ban, bay "word, term;" Old Church Slavonic bajati "to talk, tell;" Old English boian "to boast," ben "prayer, request;" Old Irish bann "law."

Related entries & more 
Horst Wessel 
name of a Nazi activist and SA bandleader (1907-1930), author in 1929 of the lyrics to what became the German Nazi party anthem, known after as the Horst-Wessel-Lied ("Horst Wessel Song").
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
national (adj.)

"of or pertaining to a nation or a country regarded as a whole; established and maintained by the nation; peculiar to the whole people of a country," 1590s, from French national (16c., from Old French nacion), and also from nation + -al (1). Opposed to local or provincial (or in the U.S., state).

Meaning "peculiar or common to the whole people of a country" is by 1620s. From 1802 as "established and maintained by the nation or its laws." As a noun, "citizen of a (particular) nation," from 1887. Related: Nationally

National guard is from 1793, originally in reference to an armed force in France identified with the revolution; U.S. use is from 1847, originally a name sometimes given to the organized militia. National anthem is recorded by 1806. 

A King though he's pestered with cares,
    For the most part he's able to ban them;
But one comes in a shape he never can escape—
    The implacable National Anthem!
[W.S. Gilbert, "His Excellency," 1894] 
Related entries & more 
overcome (v.)

Old English ofercuman "to reach, overtake, move or pass over," also "to conquer, prevail over, defeat in combat" (the Devil, evil spirits, sin, temptation, etc.), from ofer (see over) + cuman "to come" (see come (v.)). A common Germanic compound (Middle Dutch overkomen, Old High German ubarqueman, German überkommen).

In reference to mental or chemical force, "to overwhelm, render helpless," it is in late Old English. Meaning "to surmount (a difficulty or obstacle); succeed, be successful" is from c. 1200. The Civil Rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" was put together c. 1950s from the lyrics of Charles Tindley's spiritual "I'll Overcome Some Day" (1901) and the melody from the pre-Civil War spiritual "No More Auction Block for Me." Related: Overcame; overcoming.

Related entries & more 
Matilda 

fem. proper name, from French Mathilde, which is of Germanic origin, literally "mighty in battle;" compare Old High German Mahthilda, from mahti "might, power" (see might (n.)) + hildi "battle," from Proto-Germanic *hildiz "battle" (see Hilda). Matilda (1102-1167), daughter of Henry I, claimant to the throne during the Anarchy, usually is not reckoned among the kings and queens of England.

The name also was late 19c. Australian slang for "a traveler's bundle or swag," hence the expression waltzing Matilda "to travel on foot" (by 1889).

In my electorate nearly every man you meet who is not "waltzing Matilda" rides a bicycle. ["Parliamentary Debates," Australia, 1907]

The lyrics of the song of that name, sometimes called the unofficial Australian national anthem, are said to date to 1893.

Related entries & more 
fade (v.)

early 14c., "lose brightness, grow pale," from Old French fader "become weak, wilt, wither," from fade (adj.) "pale, weak; insipid, tasteless" (12c.), probably from Vulgar Latin *fatidus, which is said to be a blending of Latin fatuus "silly, tasteless" and vapidus "flat, flavorless." Related: Faded; fading. Of sounds, by 1819. Transitive sense from 1590s; in cinematography from 1918.

Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
  Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
    Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
      In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
  Fled is that music:" Do I wake or sleep?
[Keats, from "Ode to a Nightingale"]
Related entries & more 
Columbia 

poetic name for United States of America, earlier for the British colonies there, 1730s, also the nation's female personification, from name of Christopher Columbus (also see Colombia) with Latin "country" ending -ia.

A popular name for places and institutions in the U.S. in the post-Revolutionary years, when former tributes to king and crown were out of fashion: such as Columbia University (New York, U.S.) founded in 1754 as King's College; re-named 1784. Also District of Columbia (1791, as Territory of Columbia); "Hail, Columbia," Joseph Hopkinson's patriotic song that served in 19c. as an unofficial national anthem (1798); "Columbiad," Joel Barlow's attempt to write an epic for the United States (1807). Columbiad also was the name of a heavy, cast-iron, smooth-bore cannon introduced in the U.S. in 1811. Related: Columbian.

Related entries & more