" Zwischen Hochmut und Demut steht ein Drittes, dem das Leben gehört,

und das ist ganz einfach der Mut"

Theodor Fontane

The melody that would become the national anthem of Germany was composed by Joseph Haydn in 1797 to honor Emperor Franz II on his 29th birthday. Franz II was the last emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.

It was first played in Vienna, and the melody, which was called "Das Kaiserlied" spread quickly in combination with changing texts across German speaking states. It became "Das Lied der Deutschen" (Song of the Germans).
The official text for the national anthem was written by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben, who promoted the idea of a unified Germany during the time of the German Confederation, in which Germany consisted of 39 German states.

In its original version, the national anthem included three verses in 1922, the year in which the melody and verses became Germany's official anthem.
In 1949 only the third verse was able to hold an official status as West Germany's national anthem. In 1990 the anthem was sung by all Germans.