Eviva España

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"Eviva España"
Song by Samantha
from the album Eviva Samantha
Composer(s)Leo Caerts
Lyricist(s)Leo Rozenstraten

"Eviva España" (alternatively "Y Viva España") is a Belgian pop song, originally written by composer Leo Caerts and lyricist Leo Rozenstraten in Dutch. It was first recorded and performed by the Belgian singer Samantha (born Christiane Bervoets) in 1971.[1] Musically, the song has a distinctly Spanish-sounding pasodoble style. The theme of the lyrics is anticipation of a holiday in Spain.

While Spanish-sounding, the original song title (and chorus line) "Eviva España" does not make sense in Spanish. Although "España" is the correct name of the country in Spanish, there is no such word as "Eviva". The phrase "Que viva España" translates to "Long live Spain", and is probably the meaning that the (non-Spanish-speaking) authors were aiming for. It is not known whether the misspelling was a mistake (such as confusion with the Italian exclamation evviva, also meaning "long live..."), or just intended for alliteration.

After widespread success in Dutch-speaking countries, the song was picked up by songwriters in several other European countries. As was the custom of the time, it was translated and performed by local artists for the various markets, achieving mainstream success in numerous countries between 1972 and 1977. Notable versions include the first Spanish version (performed by Hanna Ahroni and later by Manolo Escobar), the German version (performed by Hanna Ahroni), and the English version (performed by Sylvia Vrethammar as "Sylvia").

The Spanish songwriters tasked with adapting the song into Spanish, naturally found it necessary to change the "Eviva España" line. They opted to rename the song "Y Viva España", meaning "And Long Live Spain"—thereby keeping the phrasing of the chorus while having it make sense. The song was extremely successful both in the original 1972 version, and in later versions such as the 1973 version by Manolo Escobar.

In 1974 the long standing latin and dance orchestra Billo's Caracas Boys from Venezuela, with the voice of Guillermo "Memo" Morales and in a perfect Pasodoble rhythm, became one of the most recognizable pasodobles in the whole Latin America region and specially in Venezuela.

This Billo's Caracas Boys version is so well known and played, even today (Spain included) that it was used/played by the stadium DJ in the final match of 2010 FIFA World Cup to celebrate the triumph of Spain that year.

The song became so ubiquitous on Latin America and specially Spain, that it is now considered part of both cultures musical heritage.[2]

The creators of the English version also opted for the Spanish title, rather than the original one. It also became very successful, spending six months in the UK Singles Chart and reaching the number four spot. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[3]

The Swedish version, also performed by Sylvia Vrethammar, became a Svensktoppen hit for 11 weeks between 3 June and 12 August 1973, peaking at number 1.[4]

The song was adapted for Fulham Football Club to "Viva el Fulham", performed by Tony Rees and the Cottagers, for the club's run to the 1975 FA Cup Final. This version is still sung at club matches to this date.

In Turkey, the song has been re-written and turned into "Yaşa Fenerbahçe", the official song of the Fenerbahçe S.K. football club.

Language versions[edit]

Year Title Language Singer
1971 Eviva España Dutch Samantha
1972 Viva España Dutch Imca Marina
1972 Viva España French Georgette Plana
1972 Eviva España German Hanna Ahroni
1972 Eviva España German Heino
1972 Eviva España Norwegian Gro Anita Schønn
1973 Eviva Espana Arabic Milhem Barakat
1973 Eviva España Danish Elisabeth Edberg
1973 Eviva Espanja Finnish Marion Rung
1973 Y viva España Spanish Manolo Escobar
1973 Y viva España Spanish Los Zafiros
1973 Y Viva España English/Swedish Sylvia Vrethammar
1974 Yaşa Fenerbahçe Turkish Nesrin Sipahi
1974 Y Viva España Spanish Billo's Caracas Boys Orchestra
1975 Viva el Fulham English Tony Rees and the Cottagers
1980 Vždyť já už jsem vdaná ("I'm already married") Czech Ladislava Kozderková
1992 Eviva Espana Hungarian Kovács Kati
2013 Viva Lasagne English Michael Lejour


  1. ^ Samantha: Biography
  2. ^ "Y Viva Espana singer dies aged 82". BBC News. 2013-10-25. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (second ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 351. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  4. ^ "Svensktoppen: 1973" (TXT). Sr.se. Retrieved 2015-08-27.