I have heard the term thrown around, usually about songs I might not think would qualify as anthems. Tonight I was listening to Tool's Eulogy. I had a sense it might be so I looked it up on Wikipedia.
Its roots, it seems, stem from Anglican England. But the rest of the article seems a bit narrow. Other than Queen's contributions to the anthem, it cites only songs whose title contain the word.
My sense of an anthem is that it should elicit inspiration. For this reason I would think there are many other modern songs that should be shown as examples. Ones which have reached a greater audience.
While lyrically the song Eulogy is not inspirational, I would argue that the music itself is. The transition from verse through the chorus evokes grandeur and pride. Now...after the bridge the song turns dark and I think we're out of the running to qualify as an anthem. But, before that turn I would say this is the kind of music that is anthemic.
My question, at long last, what defines a song as being an anthem, or at least somewhat anthemic?