|Music has long since been used as a tool to disseminate patriotic messages to audiences. Since the early stages of colonisation in Southern Africa, Afrikaner activists have been striving for a uniquely Afrikaans language and musical idiom to express their culture with. Political and cultural events that happen during the composers' lives are mirrored in their music. This means that songs can be studied to understand the past. Marthinus Lourens de Villiers, who today is mostly known for his composition of the former South African national anthem, Die Stem van Suid-Afrika (The Call of South Africa), and Stephen Harry Eyssen, who was at the forefront of the Afrikaans art/folk music scene, were both composers as well as cultural activists during their lifetimes. Therefore, the current study was undertaken to understand what motivated them to write patriotic songs and how the theme of patriotism is reflected in the selected works from their respective oeuvres. Art songs consist of different musical elements that form the final piece. The elements are melody, harmony, accompaniment, rhythm, and text. Content analysis of these individual elements was conducted and then compiled into a style sheet. Style sheets are tools that aid in understanding how different musical elements function together to create a song and convey the message/s inherent in the songs. Style sheets aided in the understanding of how individual elements as well as how they function together, express patriotic messages in the selected songs. The selected pieces are all based on poetry with a patriotic theme and were chosen to understand how the theme of patriotism is reflected in the songs. The selected works for De Villiers are Soet is die stryd (Sweet is the struggle) by I.D. du Plessis, Triomflied (Triumph song) by A.G. Visser, and Trou (Loyalty) by Celliers. The songs by Eyssen that were studied are Segelied (Song of triumph) by Piet du Toit and A.B. Wessels as well as Die Lewerkie by J. Pienaar. Both composers set music to the poem Komaan! by Celliers and the songs were included into the study. The following four patriotic themes were identified in the analysis conducted for the study: action, culture, hope, and ethics and values. Common elements used by the composers to reflect the four identified patriotic themes include word-painting in the form of melodic contouring, melismas and dissonance. Other elements are rhythm, as well as performance directions and indications, such as tenuti and accents on emotive words and descriptive terminology.