The Brabançonne is the national anthem of Belgium. The text was written shortly after the outbreak of the Belgian Revolution, which started with riots in Brussels after the performance of the opera La Muette di Portici on 25 August 1830. It was published on 7 September 1830 in the newspaper Courrier des Pays-Bas, which was notorious for its criticism of the government of King William I. This is reflected in the text of the Brabançonne, in which the King is asked to respect the rights of the people of the southern Netherlands: ‘Nassau, consacre enfin nos droits’.

The author, Alexandre-Hippolyte Dechet, better known by his pseudonym Jenneval, was a young French actor working in Brussels. After its publication, the text was set to music by the violin player and singer François van Campenhout. From then on, the song's popularity rose quickly, and it was used as a means to express Belgian patriotism. The text was adjusted several times during the Belgian Revolution to reinforce its anti-Dutch and patriotic message. In 1860, the text was rendered more neutral, as the critical references to the former Dutch king William I were left out.

Image: Lithography after painting by Antoine Van Hammée (1836-1903):

Van Campenhout sings the Brabançonne (source: Wikipedia, Public Domain: