National anthem - one of national culture symbols - is a musical manifestation of identification with a given nation. Polish national anthems stem either from religious songs or from patriotic ones. Among religious songs 'Bogurodzica' is worth noting as a song deeply set in Polish cult for Virgin Mary. Both 'Gaude Mater Polonia' and 'Boze, cos Polske' (composed by Jan Nepomucen Piotr Kaszewski) also served as national anthems. Carols viewed as national songs hold a very special position. 'Bog sie rodzi' with text by Franciszek Karpinski was considered a national anthem, too. Among patriotic songs used as national anthems 'Hymn do milosci ojczyzny' written in 1774 (text by Ignacy Krasicki) and 'Mazurek Dabrowskiego' written in 1797 (text by Józef Wybicki) belong to the oldest. The latter was officially recognized in 1926 as Polish anthem. In the 19th century French songs with Polish texts, such as 'Marsylianka' or 'Karmaniola', were quite popular as anthems. A lot of songs functioning as national anthems exploited traditional Polish dances in their musical forms. After 1918 a few more songs (for example 'Rota') were suggested as possible national anthems of the independent Poland but eventually 'Mazurek Dabrowskiego', along with the white and red flag, became one of Polish national symbols.
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