Y Viva España

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"Eviva España"
Song by Samantha
from the album Eviva Samantha
Language Dutch
Released 1971
Genre Pasodoble
Length 3:33
Label Basart
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 are about looking forward to 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 "Viva España" would have translated 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, or just intended to make the two words rhyme.

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 Aroni), the German version (performed by Hanna Aroni), and the English version (performed by 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, and became so ubiquitous it is now considered part of Spanish cultural 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 song was adapted for Fulham Football Club by Tony Rees and the Cottagers to "Viva el Fulham" for their run to the 1975 FA Cup Final - a song which is still sung at games to this date.

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

The Sylvia Vrethammar Swedish-language version became a Svensktoppen hit for 11 weeks between 3 June-12 August 1973, peaking at first position.[4]

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 Aroni
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 English/Swedish Sylvia Vrethammar
1974 Yaşa Fenerbahçe Turkish Nesrin Sipahi
1975 Viva el Fulham English Tony Rees and the Cottagers
1992 Eviva Espana Hungarian Kovács Kati
2013 Viva Lasagne English Michael Lejour

References[edit]

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