Argentine National Anthem

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Himno Nacional Argentino
English: Argentine National Anthem
Himno Nacional Argentino.jpg
The Argentine National Anthem being played for the first time in Mariquita Sánchez's house. Painting by Pedro Subercaseaux.

National anthem of  Argentina
Lyrics Vicente López y Planes, 1812
Music Blas Parera, 1813
Adopted 1813
Music sample

The "Argentine National Anthem" (Spanish: Himno Nacional Argentino) is the national anthem of Argentina. The name of the song originally was Marcha Patriótica (Patriotic March), and was later renamed Canción Patriótica Nacional (National Patriotic Song) and finally Canción Patriótica (Patriotic Song). A copy published in 1847 called it Himno Nacional Argentino and the name has remained ever since. Its lyrics were written by the Buenos Aires-born politician Vicente López y Planes and the music was composed by the Spanish musician Blas Parera.[1] The work was adopted as the sole official song on May 11, 1813, three years after the May Revolution; May 11 is therefore Anthem Day in Argentina.


Music sheet found in Santa Ana de Velasco, Bolivia. This is the oldest sheet found of the anthem outside Argentina.

The first anthem was the Patriotic March, published on November 15, 1810 in the Gazeta de Buenos Ayres. It had lyrics by Esteban de Luca and music by Blas Parera. This original anthem made no reference to the name of Argentina or an independentist will, and talked instead about Spain being conquered by France in the Peninsular War, the absolutist restauration began by the Council of Regency, and the need to keep the republican freedoms achieved so far in the Americas: "Spain was victim / of the plotting Gaul / because to the tyrants / she bent her neck / If there treachery / has doomed a thousands cities / let sacred freedom and union reign here / Let the father to the sons / be able to say / enjoy rights / that I did not enjoy".[2]

In mid-1812, the ruling triumvirate ordered the Buenos Aires Cabildo to commission a national song. Cayetano Rodríguez, a Franciscan friar, wrote a text that was approved on 4 August. The Catalan musician Blas Parera, music director of the local theater, set it to music and premiered it with the orchestra he conducted on 1 November.[3]

Less than a year later, the Assembly of Year XIII estimated that the song was not effective enough to serve as a national symbol. On 6 March 1813, several poets were asked to submit lyrics. The poem by the lawyer Vicente López y Planes was unanimously considered the best. It was approved as the "sole national march" (única marcha nacional) on May 11, 1813. Parera was asked to compose a new musical setting around the same date. He must have finished the piece in a few days. Oral tradition has it that the premiere took place on May 14, 1813 at the home of the aristocrat Mariquita Sánchez de Thompson, but there is no documentary evidence of that.[4] If this episode is true, then Parera, contrary to certain misconceptions, wrote quickly and under no visible coercion. He again conducted the official premiere in the theater on May 28, and was rewarded with 200 pesos.[5]

The song includes a line advancing part of the centralist views in Buenos Aires ("Buenos Aires opposes, and it's leading the people of the illustrious Union"), but in many other lines it goes beyond the Argentine theater of the Spanish American wars of independence and references the events taking place in Mexico, Central America, Northern South America, and Upper Peru.[6] The growing ideas of independence are reflected in lines such as "On the surface of Earth now rises a Nation glorious and new, her head is crowned with laurels, and a Lion lies at her feet". With it, it's not just the Spanish absolutism the enemy, but Spain itself.[7]

The composition was then known as Canción Patriótica Nacional (National Patriotic Song), and later simply as Canción Patriótica (Patriotic Song), but in Juan Pedro Esnaola's early arrangement, dated around 1848, it appeared under the title Himno Nacional Argentino, and the name has been retained until today.[8] In the complete version of the Anthem of May (as was christened by López) it is noted that the political vision portrayed is not only Argentine, but Latin American. The lyrics are ardently pro-independence and anti-Spanish, as the country was at that time fighting for its independence from Spain.[9]

The song became popular immediately. Within ten years, documented performances took place throughout Argentina, and in Chile, Peru, and Colombia, countries that employed the song until suitable replacements were created.[10] An unwanted consequence of this popularity was the emergence of different versions, negatively affecting mass singing. For this reason, several reforms were proposed. In 1860, Esnaola was commissioned to create an official version. He took the task at heart, introducing a considerable number of musical changes, including a slower tempo, a fuller texture, alterations to the melody, and enrichment of the harmony. In 1927, a designated committee produced a historicist version that undid several of Esnaola's changes, albeit introducing new problems in the sung line. After a heated public debate fueled by the newspaper La Prensa, this version was rejected and, following the recommendations of a second committee, Esnaola's arrangement was officially reinstated.[11] In 1944, it was confirmed as the official anthem.

Along the 19th century, the anthem was sung in its entirety. However, once the harsh feelings against Spain had disappeared, and the country had become home to many Spanish immigrants, a modification was introduced by a decree by President Julio Argentino Roca on March 30, 1900. The decree read as follows:

"Without producing alterations in the lyrics of the National Anthem, there are in it verses that perfectly describe the concept that nations universally have regarding their anthems in peaceful times, and that harmonize with the serenity and dignity of thousands of Spanish that share our living, those that can and must be preferred to be sung in official parties, for they respect the traditions and the law in no offense to anyone, the President of the Republic decrees that:

In official or public parties, as well as in public schools, shall be sung only the first and last verses and the chorus of the National Song sanctioned by the General Assembly on May 11, 1813."

In this way the lyrics which contained vivid attacks against Spain stopped being sung publicly.[12]


Performance of the anthem is mandatory during all official events, and Argentines in attendance are expected to stand up and sing it. Radio broadcasters voluntarily perform the anthem at midnight, while TV channels do so before closing down their daily broadcast. On national holidays, it is mandatory to perform the anthem at midnight and noon.

The anthem is ruled in Argentine law by Decree 10302/1944.[13]

The rock musician Charly García broke legal regulations dealing with the reproduction of the song when he included an idiosyncratic cover version in his 1990 album Filosofía barata y zapatos de goma, stirring much controversy.[14] In 1998 various Argentine artists reedited the anthem and other patriotic songs in the joint album El Grito Sagrado. Other singers followed on their footsteps recreating the piece in their own ways.

A line from the original anthem was used as the Argentine title of the 1928 film known in English as The Charge of the Gauchos.

The anthem appears at the beginning of the 1985 movie The Official Story, Academy Award winner.


Original version[edit]

The original version, Marcha Patriótica, is as follows:

Marcha Patriótica (1813)[15] English translation

¡Oíd, mortales!, el grito sagrado:
¡Libertad!, ¡Libertad!, ¡Libertad!
Oíd el ruido de rotas cadenas,
ved en trono a la noble igualdad.
Se levanta a la faz de la Tierra
una nueva y gloriosa Nación,
coronada su sien de laureles,
y a sus plantas rendido un león.

De los nuevos campeones los rostros
Marte mismo parece animar
la grandeza se anida en sus pechos:
a su marcha todo hacen temblar.
Se conmueven del Inca las tumbas,
y en sus huesos revive el ardor,
lo que ve renovando a sus hijos
de la Patria el antiguo esplendor.

Pero sierras y muros se sienten
retumbar con horrible fragor:
todo el país se conturba por gritos
de venganza, de guerra y furor.
En los fieros tiranos la envidia
escupió su pestífera hiel;
su estandarte sangriento levantan
provocando a la lid más cruel.

¿No los veis sobre México y Quito
arrojarse con saña tenaz
y cuál lloran, bañados en sangre,
Potosí, Cochabamba y La Paz?
¿No los veis sobre el triste Caracas
luto y llanto y muerte esparcir?
¿No los veis devorando cual fieras
todo pueblo que logran rendir?

A vosotros se atreve, argentinos,
el orgullo del vil invasor.
Vuestros campos ya pisa contando
tantas glorias hollar vencedor.
Mas los bravos, que unidos juraron
su feliz libertad sostener,
a estos tigres sedientos de sangre
fuertes pechos sabrán oponer.

El valiente argentino a las armas
corre ardiendo con brío y valor,
el clarín de la guerra, cual trueno,
en los campos del Sud resonó.
Buenos Aires se pone a la frente
de los pueblos de la ínclita unión,
y con brazos robustos desgarran
al ibérico altivo León.

San José, San Lorenzo, Suipacha,
ambas Piedras, Salta y Tucumán,
La Colonia y las mismas murallas
del tirano en la Banda Oriental.
Son letreros eternos que dicen:
aquí el brazo argentino triunfó,
aquí el fiero opresor de la Patria
su cerviz orgullosa dobló.

La victoria al guerrero argentino
con sus alas brillantes cubrió,
y azorado a su vista el tirano
con infamia a la fuga se dio.
Sus banderas, sus armas se rinden
por trofeos a la libertad,
y sobre alas de gloria alza el pueblo
trono digno a su gran majestad.

Desde un polo hasta el otro resuena
de la fama el sonoro clarín,
y de América el nombre enseñado
les repite: "¡Mortales, oíd!:
ya su trono dignísimo abrieron
las Provincias Unidas del Sud".
Y los libres del mundo responden:
"Al gran pueblo argentino, ¡salud!

Sean eternos los laureles,
que supimos conseguir.
Coronados de gloria vivamos...
¡o juremos con gloria morir!

Hear, mortals, the sacred cry:
"Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!"
Hear the noise of broken chains,
see the noble Equality enthroned.
On the surface of this land now rises
A Nation glorious and new,
Her head is crowned with laurels,
And a Lion lies at her feet.

From the new Champions their faces
Mars himself seems to encourage
Greatness nestles in their bodies:
at their march they make everything tremble.
The dead Inca are shaken,
and in their bones the ardour revives
which renews their children
of the Fatherland the ancient splendour.

Mountain ranges and walls are felt
to resound with horrible din:
the whole country is disturbed by cries
of revenge, of war and furore.
In the fiery tyrants the envy
spit the pestipherous bile;
their bloody standard they raise
provoking the most cruel combat.

Don't you see them over Mexico and Quito
throwing themselves with tenacious viciousness?
And how they cry, bathed in blood,
Potosí, Cochabamba and La Paz?
Don't you see them over sad Caracas
spreading mourning and weeping and death?
Don't you see them devouring as wild animals
all people who surrender to them?

To you it dares, Argentines,
the pride of the vile invader;
your fields it steps on, retelling
so many glories as winner.
But the braves, who united swore
their merry freedom to sustain,
to those blood-thirsty tigers
bold chests they will know to oppose.

The valiant Argentine to arms
runs burning with determination and bravery,
the war bugle, as thunder,
in the fields of the South resounds.
Buenos Aires opposes, and it's leading
the people of the illustrious Union,
and with robust arms they tear
the arrogant Iberian lion.

San José, San Lorenzo, Suipacha,
both Piedras, Salta and Tucumán,
La Colonia and the same walls
of the tyrant in the Banda Oriental.
They are eternal signboards that say:
"Here the Argentine arm found triumph,
here the fierce oppressor of the Fatherland
his proud neck bent".

Victory to the Argentine warrior
covered with its brilliant wings,
and embarrassed at this view the tyrant
with infamy took to flight.
Its flags, its arms surrender
as trophies to freedom,
and on wings of glory the people rise
the worthy throne of their great majesty.

From one pole to the other resounds
the sonorous bugle of Fame,
and of America the name showing
they repeat "Mortals, hear!:
For their most honorable throne have opened
the United Provinces of the South."
And the free ones of the world reply:
"To the great Argentine people, hail!"

May the laurels be eternal,
that we knew how to win.
Let us live crowned with glory...
or swear to die gloriously!

Modern version[edit]

The following is the modern version, adopted in 1924, without the vivid attacks against Spain.

Abbreviated modern version (1924) English translation

Oíd, mortales, el grito sagrado:
"¡Libertad! ¡Libertad! ¡Libertad!"
Oíd el ruido de rotas cadenas
ved en trono a la noble igualdad

Ya su trono dignísimo abrieron
las Provincias Unidas del Sud
y los libres del mundo responden:
"¡Al gran pueblo argentino, salud!"
"¡Al gran pueblo argentino, salud!"
Y los libres del mundo responden:
"¡Al gran pueblo argentino, salud!"
Y los libres del mundo responden:
"¡Al gran pueblo argentino, salud!"

Sean eternos los laureles,
que supimos conseguir,
que supimos conseguir.
Coronados de gloria vivamos
o juremos con gloria morir!
O juremos con gloria morir!
O juremos con gloria morir!

Hear, mortals, the sacred scream:
"Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!"
Hear the noise of broken chains
See the noble Equality enthroned

For their most dignified throne has opened
The United Provinces of the South.
And the free ones of the world reply:
"To the great Argentine people, hail!"
"To the great Argentine people, hail!"
And the free ones of the world reply:
"To the great Argentine people, hail!"
And the free ones of the world reply:
"To the great Argentine people, hail!"

May the laurels be eternal
the ones we managed to win
the ones we managed to win
Let us live crowned in glory
or let us swear in glory to die
Or let us swear in glory to die
Or let us swear in glory to die

Short instrumental versions[edit]

Due to the excessive length of the official version, in international events such as the Olympic Games, association football games, and the Rugby World Cup, only the instrumental introduction (which lasts 1 minute 6 seconds) is played. Another variation is to play the musical break that leads into the chorus, the chorus itself, and the coda. Although traditional, these arrangements are not recognized by Argentine law.


Recording by the United States Navy Band

Recording by the United States Navy Band

Problems playing these files? See media help.


  1. ^ "Símbolos Nacionales" [National Symbols] (in Spanish). Presidency of the Argentine Nation. Retrieved 21 November 2011. "La necesidad de tener una canción patriótica, que surgió con la Revolución de Mayo y que el Triunvirato supo comprender, se ve plasmada hoy en el Himno Nacional Argentino, con música de Blas Parera, letra de Vicente López y Planes, y arreglo de Juan P. Esnaola." 
  2. ^ Galasso, Norberto (2000). Seamos libres y lo demás no importa nada [Let us be free and nothing else matters] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Colihue. p. 103. ISBN 978-950-581-779-5. "España fue presa / del Galo sutil / porque a los tiranos / rindió la cerbiz. / Si allá la perfidia / perdió a pueblos mil / libertad sagrada / y unión reine aquí / El padre a sus hijos / pueda ya decir / Gozad de derechos / que no conocí." 
  3. ^ Vega, Carlos (1962). El Himno Nacional Argentino [The Argentine National Anthem] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Eudeba. pp. 15–18. 
  4. ^ Galasso, p. 102.
  5. ^ Vega, El Himno Nacional Argentino, pp. 22–27.
  6. ^ Galasso, pp. 102–103.
  7. ^ Galasso, p. 103.
  8. ^ Vega, El Himno Nacional Argentino, pp. 88–89.
  9. ^ "Argentina". Retrieved 21 November 2011. "The original lyrics of the anthem included harsh attacks on Spain, the former colonial power." 
  10. ^ Vega, El Himno Nacional Argentino, pp. 30–41.
  11. ^ Buch, Esteban (January 1994). O juremos con gloria morir: historia de una épica de estado [Or swear to die gloriously: history of a state epic] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana. pp. 103–114. ISBN 978-950-07-0964-4. 
  12. ^ Buch, O juremos con gloria morir, pp. 87–92.
  13. ^ "Decreto 10302/1944" [Decree 10302/1944] (in Spanish). Ministry of Economy and Production. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  14. ^ Buch, O juremos con gloria morir, pp. 147–156.
  15. ^ Pereyra, Fernando. "¡Oíd Mortales!..." [Hear mortals!...]. Dr. Jorge Horacio Gentile (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 November 2011. 

External links[edit]