Els Segadors

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Els Segadors
English: The Reapers
Senyera (Pl. Octavià, S. Cugat del Vallès) 01.jpg
Senyera (flag of Catalonia)

National anthem of  Catalonia
Lyrics Emili Guanyavents, 1899
Music Francesc Alió, 1892
Adopted 1993
Audio sample
Els Segadors

Els Segadors (Eastern Catalan: [əls səɣəˈðos]; "The Reapers") is the official national anthem of Catalonia,[1] nationality and autonomous community of Spain.


Portrait of Francesc Alió

Though the original song dates in the oral tradition to 1640, its modern lyrics were written by Emili Guanyavents, who won a competition convened by the political party Unió Catalanista in 1899. The music was standardized by Francesc Alió in 1892.[2] The song is based on the events of 1640 known as Corpus de Sang during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) between Spain, England, France and Austria, the event that started the Catalan Revolt or Guerra dels Segadors (Reapers' War)[2] where Catalans fought against the Count-Duke of Olivares, the chief minister of King Philip IV of Spain.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Els Segadors became one of the symbols of catalanism and Catalonia itself, increasing its popularity during the Second Spanish Republic and the Civil War.

After decades used de facto, sometimes alongside the Cant de la Senyera, the Catalan government adopted "Els Segadors" as the national anthem of Catalonia in 25 February 1993, by law of its parliament. The official version was made in 1994. The new Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of 2006 confirms this decision by its article 8.4.


Original version of Els Segadors,
by the Orfeó Català, c. 1900
Els Segadors (Catalan)
Catalunya triomfant,
tornarà a ser rica i plena.
Endarrera aquesta gent
tan ufana i tan superba.
Bon cop de falç!
Bon cop de falç, defensors de la terra!
Bon cop de falç!
Ara és hora, segadors.
Ara és hora d'estar alerta.
Per quan vingui un altre juny,
esmolem ben bé les eines.
Que tremoli l'enemic,
en veient la nostra ensenya.
Com fem caure espigues d'or,
quan convé seguem cadenes.
The Reapers (English translation)
Catalonia triumphant
shall again be rich and bountiful.
Drive away these people,[3]
Who are so conceited and so arrogant.
Strike with your sickle!
Strike with your sickle, defenders of the land!
Strike with your sickle!
Now is the time, reapers.
Now is the time to stand alert.
For when another June comes,[4]
Let us sharpen our tools well.
May the enemy tremble,
upon seeing our symbol.
Just as we cut golden ears of wheat,
when the time calls we cut off chains.[5]

Recordings and variations[edit]

Contemporary Catalan composer Jordi Savall made a version of the folk song, using the original narrative (which dates back to the seventeenth century) combined with the modern lyrics and refrain, which were added later.[citation needed] The song has also been recorded and interepreted by major artists, included on albums such as Traditional Catalan Songs (Victoria de los Ángeles).

In October 2017, American band A Sound of Thunder released a heavy metal variation of the anthem, using a mix of English and Catalan lyrics.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.parlament.cat/document/cataleg/48089.pdf
  2. ^ a b Generalitat de Catalunya: National symbols Archived October 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "These people" the oppressors of the Catalan people, who back in that time invaded Catalonia
  4. ^ the Segadors Revolt which the song references took place in June.
  5. ^ The verb in the Catalan original—seguem—is from the same root as segadors; that is, they will cut the chains as they cut the crops.
  6. ^ https://www.asoundofthunderband.com/single-post/2017/10/05/Hola-Catalunya

External links[edit]