Argentine National Anthem
|English: Argentine National Anthem|
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|
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. 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.
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".
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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 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. 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 original version, Marcha Patriótica, is as follows:
|Marcha Patriótica (1813)||English translation|
¡Oíd, mortales!, el grito sagrado:
Hear, mortals, the sacred cry:
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:
Hear, mortals, the sacred scream:
Short instrumental versions
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.
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- "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."
- 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."
- Vega, Carlos (1962). El Himno Nacional Argentino [The Argentine National Anthem] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Eudeba. pp. 15–18.
- Galasso, p. 102.
- Vega, El Himno Nacional Argentino, pp. 22–27.
- Galasso, pp. 102–103.
- Galasso, p. 103.
- Vega, El Himno Nacional Argentino, pp. 88–89.
- "Argentina". NationalAnthems.me. Retrieved 21 November 2011. "The original lyrics of the anthem included harsh attacks on Spain, the former colonial power."
- Vega, El Himno Nacional Argentino, pp. 30–41.
- 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.
- Buch, O juremos con gloria morir, pp. 87–92.
- "Decreto 10302/1944" [Decree 10302/1944] (in Spanish). Ministry of Economy and Production. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- Buch, O juremos con gloria morir, pp. 147–156.
- Pereyra, Fernando. "¡Oíd Mortales!..." [Hear mortals!...]. Dr. Jorge Horacio Gentile (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- Argentina: Himno Nacional Argentino - Audio of the national anthem of Argentina, with information and lyrics
- Argentine National Anthem MP3
- Argentine National Anthem MP3
- Argentine National Anthem (vocal) MP3
- Argentine National Anthem MP3
- Argentine National Anthem with English subtitles on YouTube.
- Listen in the Quechua language