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12 Most Rockin' National Anthems You'll Hear at 2014 Winter Olympics

From Italy to Israel, South Africa to Spain, these are the anthems to make your ears perk up at an Olympic medal ceremony

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Heard 'Round the World

For music geeks, one of the coolest parts of the Olympics is hearing different national anthems from around the world. While we're always rooting to hear "The Star-Spangled Banner" play at medal ceremonies, it's still fun to hear the sounds, compositions and styles from various nations.

After listening around the globe, it's tough to choose the absolute most rockin' national anthems, but Fuse has put together the 12 we wouldn't mind playing on our iPod every now and then.

Take a listen through the 12 raddest national anthems. And for more Olympic fun, don't miss the 7 best Olympic ceremony musical moments.

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United Kingdom, "God Save the Queen"

This anthem has inspired rockin' reinterpretations by the Sex Pistols, Queen and Neil Young

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Cameroon, "O Cameroun, Berceau de nos Ancêtres"

English Translation: "O Cameroon, Cradle of Our Forefathers"

We think the African country's one-minute march is the most upbeat and joyous of all.

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Israel, "Hatikvah"

English Translation: "The Hope"

In "Hatikvah," a chorus and string section blend together so well they almost sound like one instrument in this gorgeous, sweeping composition.

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South Africa, "National Anthem of South Africa"

Not only is South Africa's anthem an exhilarating choral work, it's probably the most multilingual. Composition-wise, it's a musical hybrid of the nation's former anthem "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" and the African anthem "Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika." Language-wise, it incorporates five of the nation's 11 officially-recognized tongues: Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and the obscure, nearly-out-of-date language of English.

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Portugal, "A Portuguesa"

English Translation: "The Portuguese" 

At a mere minute and a half, the European country's anthem is on the shorter side, but still creates a sense of triumph by the conclusion.

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Spain, "La Marcha Real"

English Translation: "The Royal March"

The Spaniards' anthem throws listeners a musical curveball. "La Marcha Real" kickstarts with lively drumming, strings and horns before taking a 30-second break with a subdued, woodwind-heavy section. Before you know it, the song smashes right back into the earlier upbeat section—an aural wakeup call if you're not paying attention. 

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Pakistan, "Qaumī Tarāna"

English Translation: "National Anthem"

The Middle Eastern country's hymn has one of the most inspirational lyrics, hoping its country "leads the way to progress and perfection." But any version that can incorporate sitars, harps and flutes (like the version above) gets our stamp of approval as "rockin'."

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China, "Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ"

English Translation: "March of the Volunteers"

With military drumming and peppy, bugle horns, the 1.3 billion Chinese people probably feel uber-regal when this upbeat march begins.

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Italy, "Il Canto Degli Italiani"

English Translation: "The Song of the Italians"

Chocked full of smashing percussion, "the boot" country boasts one of the liveliest anthems of all.

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Libya, "Libya, Libya, Libya"

Created in 2011, the African nation's anthem is one of the newest in the world, but still proves how classic composition and singing styles have lasted throughout the years.

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United States of America, "The Star-Spangled Banner"

Does it really get better than having Whitney Houston belt out your national anthem like this?

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India, "Jana Gana Mana"

English Translation: "Hail the Ruler of All Minds"

India's "Jana Gana Mana" may be one of the most soothing anthems you'll hear at the games. But it gets the "rockin'" label for this awesome music video the country created to celebrate 50 years of independence from Britain. Makes you wonder who are the singers and instrumentalists that would star in your country's national anthem video?

MORE OLYMPIC FUN:
-7 Best Olympic Ceremony Musical Moments
-Winter Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White Talks His New Band Bad Things 
-Sochi Olympics: Your Protest Soundtrack to Russia's Anti-Gay Laws

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