L’Aube nouvelle (“The Dawn of a New Day”)

In the vibrant nation of Benin, the dawn of a new day is celebrated with the resounding national anthem, “L’Aube nouvelle.” This anthem, written and composed by Father Gilbert Jean Dagnon, is a powerful expression of the country’s spirit of freedom, unity, and hope. Since its adoption upon Benin’s independence from France in 1960, “L’Aube nouvelle” has become a symbol of national pride and identity. In this article, we will delve into the lyrics, history, and significance of this remarkable anthem, exploring its impact on the people of Benin.

The Lyrics of “L’Aube nouvelle”

The lyrics of “L’Aube nouvelle” are a poetic reflection of Benin’s rich history and aspirations for the future. The anthem begins with a resounding call to the children of Benin to rise and embrace the freedom symbolized by the dawn. The first verse pays homage to the courageous ancestors who fought for their land with unwavering bravery and joy. It urges the builders of the present generation to continue the legacy of unity and hard work for the prosperity of future generations.

The second verse portrays Benin as a proud nation, encouraging its citizens to face the winds of anger and hate with serenity and confidence in a brighter future. The colours of the nation’s flag, green, red, and yellow, are symbols of hope, courage, and abundance, respectively. The vibrant landscapes of Benin, its sunny mountains, palm trees, and verdant beauty, are celebrated in the third verse as the country’s pride and adornment. The verse emphasizes the importance of unity and shared hope for a prosperous and abundant future.

English: The Dawn of a New Day
National anthem of Benin
LyricsFather Gilbert Jean Dagnon
MusicFather Gilbert Jean Dagnon
Adopted30 July 1960

French Lyrics

Enfants du Bénin, debout !
La liberté d'un cri sonore
Chante aux premiers feux de l'aurore;
Enfants du Bénin, debout !

Jadis à son appel, nos aïeux sans faiblesse
Ont su avec courage, ardeur, pleins d'allégresse
Livrer au prix du sang des combats éclatants.
Accourez-vous aussi, bâtisseurs du présent,
Plus forts dans l'unité, chaque jour à la tâche,
Pour la postérité, construisez sans relâche !


Quand partout souffle un vent de colère et de haine,
Béninois, sois fier, et d'une âme sereine,
Confiant dans l'avenir, regarde ton drapeau !
Dans le vert tu liras l'espoir du renouveau,
De tes aïeux le rouge évoque le courage;
Des plus riches trésors le jaune est le présage.


Tes monts ensoleillés, tes palmiers, ta verdure,
Cher Bénin, partout font ta vive parure.
Ton sol offre à chacun la richesse des fruits.
Bénin, désormais que tes fils tous unis
D'un fraternel élan partagent l'espérance
De te voir à jamais heureux dans l'abondance.


English Version

Children of Benin, arise!
The resounding cry of freedom
Is heard at the first light of dawn,
Children of Benin, arise!

Formerly, at her call, our ancestors
With strength, courage, ardour, and full of joy,
Knew how to engage in mighty battles, but at the price of blood.
Builders of present, you too, join forces
Each day for the task stronger in unity.
Build without ceasing for posterity.


When all around there blows a wind of anger and hate:
Citizen of Benin be proud, and in a calm spirit
Trusting in the future, behold your flag!
In the green you read hope of spring;
The red signifies the courage of your ancestors;
The yellow foretells the greatest treasures.


Beloved Benin, your sunny mountains, palm trees, and green pastures
Show everywhere your brightness;
Your soil offers everyone the richest fruits.
Benin, from henceforth your sons are united
With one brotherly spirit sharing the hope of seeing you
Enjoy abundance and happiness forever.


The History and Evolution

The history of “L’Aube nouvelle” is closely intertwined with the political and social developments in Benin. Originally adopted as the national anthem of the Republic of Dahomey in 1960, the anthem transformed when the country became the People’s Republic of Benin in 1975. The words “Dahomey” and “Dahoméen” were replaced with “Bénin” and “Béninois” to reflect the new name and identity of the nation.

Throughout the years, “L’Aube nouvelle” has remained a symbol of national pride and unity in Benin. It has been performed at official occasions, cultural events, and sports competitions, instilling a sense of patriotism and belonging among the people. The anthem continues to inspire generations of Beninese citizens, reminding them of their shared history and aspirations.

The Significance in Benin

“L’Aube nouvelle” holds immense significance for the people of Benin, serving as a powerful expression of their national identity and values. The anthem embodies the spirit of freedom, resilience, and unity that has defined Benin’s journey as an independent nation. It reminds the citizens of Benin of their rich heritage and the sacrifices made by their ancestors to secure a better future.

The lyrics of “L’Aube nouvelle” inspire a sense of hope and determination, urging the people of Benin to work together towards a prosperous and abundant future. The anthem is a rallying cry for unity and progress, fostering a sense of belonging and pride among the diverse communities that make up the nation. It serves as a constant reminder of the shared values and aspirations that bind the people of Benin together.

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