Al combate corred, bayameses,
que la patria os contempla orgullosa.
No temáis una muerte gloriosa,
que morir por la Patria es vivir.
En cadenas vivir, es vivir
en afrenta y oprobio sumido.
Del clarín escuchad el sonido.
¡A las armas valientes corred!
Since we are kids we know that every country has his own hymn, welcomed as a national symbol and is sung in solemn ceremonies accompanying the hoisting of the flag. Mostly this song pays tribute to a time in the history of the nation, either because of their independence or honor someone important figure. Every country has its anthem, with words and music as accompaniment –except the Spanish one that has no words.
Hymns are one of the oldest poetic forms that exist. They emerged with the birth of ancient civilizations because they created own songs or choral compositions, sung in praise of their gods. Over the years these compositions have gained structure specific to each country, but in its generality have a rule that the verses are arranged in rhyming verses and present. In turn, you should have a repeated chorus or refrain between verses.
The focus should revolve around a character, item, value or special event having a solemn tone. It should also have the use of literary figures to give greater poetic expressiveness which triggers emotions of the recipients and shall represent the feelings of a majority group of people.
The case of the Cuban anthem was not an addition to these features. In 1868, given at the beginning of the independence struggle, it was composed by Pedro Figueredo and implemented by Manuel Muñoz Cedeño. In the city of Bayamo, birthplace of Cuban nationalism, was sung for the first time October 20, hence its initial name is “The Bayamesa”. It’s an epic song and hymn of war and victory that should call the combat and exalt patriotic feelings.
His musical and poetic structure follows the rhythmic pattern of a march and complement the music from the melodic and formal point of view. It consists of six stanzas or quatrains of twenty verses, which transgress the classic mold of the quatrain.
The author uses Polarimetry, apart from closed metric structures and traditional rhymes. In the six stanzas relates loose or free verse: 1 and 4 with 2 and 3 of rhyme. Text in stanzas of four lines ten syllables corresponds to structures that were used in the nineteenth century for Cuban songs, although the language used was not the common speech of the Cuban did not stop their learning and their identification as Cuban anthem. When it was adopted as the National Anthem last four verses were deleted for no disrespect to the Spanish nation as alluded to combat that country.
The original scores of the hymn disappeared with the fire of Bayamo, but the author repeated writing the score for voice and piano at the request of a friend.
The current version of the Bayamesa is what José Martí published on June 25, 1892 in the newspaper Patria, harmonized by Emilio Agramonte, and was revised in 1898 by Antonio Rodríguez Ferrer.