I didn’t think you were.
I was mentioning the eras to illustrate that both melodies have been crafted in different times, and under different influences. But, as we will see later in this brief message there are similarities.
The original melody of the Wilhelmus (that’s the name of our anthem) is nicked from a French protest song that dates back to 1568 at the latest. In those days, it was a typical baroque melody, entirely in 4/4.
In the late 16th or early 17th century, the melody was decorated in a typical baroque style with melisma (the stretching of single syllables over a cluster of notes).
A rendition of the old version can be heard here:
The rendition above shows how the melody works in what is assumed its original tempo.
Adriaen Valerius slowed it down considerably, some say to make it fit to be sung in a church…
I don’t know when it was rearranged to its current melodic and rhythmic structure.
Stylistically, the orange anthem, originally a protest song against the Spanish at the start of the 80 year war, seems to be an outlier – according to Wikipedia, “The majority of national anthems are marches or hymns in style. The countries of Latin America, Central Asia, and Europe tend towards more ornate and operatic pieces, while those in the Middle East, Oceania, Africa, and the Caribbean use a more simplistic fanfare.”
Something that has always puzzled me is why the national anthems of many countries that have a vastly different musical tradition still seem to be firmly grounded in Western music. Bit of a missed opportunity, methinks.
The melody of the US national anthem was originally English: “The Anacreontic Song”, first referenced in 1773. allegedly composed by a chap called John Stafford Smith, an English musicologist and student of renaissance music… from roughly the same era as where the original version of the melody of the Dutch anthem dates back to. Which may explain the similarity.