1. United States Star Spangled Banner for sentimental reasons alone! Tied for first is Mexicanos al Grito de Guerra: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg9Z4ULVBeA
2. Italy's current one Il Canto degli Italiani, but I like the unofficial anthem better, "Va Pensiero" from Verdi's Nabucco. At the time Nabucco was written there was a groundswell of nationalism and a push for Italain unification and elimination of the city state system and the papal States. Verdi's name became an acronym: "Vittorio Emmanuele Re Di Italia" and a cry for unification. Va Pensiero or "Canto di schiavi ebrei" from Nabucco is gorgeous: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K68tdN3fYw
3. Germany's current anthem was lifted off a Franz Joseph Haydn quartet's second movement of his Emperor Quartet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udPddgVKzLg
4. "Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin" (English: "War Song for the Army of the Rhine"
or La Marseillaise is considered by many the best. I place it fourth simply because it is oddly named, renamed, misplaced and Marseilles is a hell hole! Also, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle is no Verdi or Haydn. My favorite version is "La Marseillaise" arranged for soprano, chorus and orchestra by Hector Berlioz. I also love, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's quote of "La Marseillaise" to represent the invading French army in his 1812 Overture. He also quoted the Russian national anthem he was familiar with, to represent the Russian army. However, neither of these anthems was actually in use in 1812. Schumann's quote in his "Two Grenadiers lied" on a poem of Heinrich Heine is stunning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTLFye44Li8!
5. Soft spot for "God Save the Queen" which we all learned in school as "My Country 'Tis of Thee", of unknown composer and oldest of the anthems since it dates from around 1619. However, Rule Britannia makes me think of England or the UK more than their current anthem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sgd9nYqVz2s.