La Bayamesa

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El Himno de Bayamo
English: The Bayamo Anthem
La bayamesa.gif

National anthem of  Cuba
Also known as La Bayamesa
English: The Bayamo Song
Lyrics Perucho Figueredo
Music Perucho Figueredo (Antonio Rodriguez-Ferrer musical introductory notes), 1867
Adopted 1902
Music sample

El Himno de Bayamo (The Bayamo Anthem) is the national anthem of Cuba. It was first performed during the Battle of Bayamo in 1868. Perucho Figueredo, who took part in the battle, wrote and composed the song. The melody, also called La Bayamesa, was composed by Figueredo in 1867.


On October 10, 1868, the Cuban forces obtained the capitulation of the Spaniard authorities in Bayamo, the jubilant people surrounded Figueredo and asked him to write an anthem with the melody they were humming. Right on the saddle of his horse, Figueredo wrote the lyrics of the anthem, which was longer than the current official version. Figueredo was captured and executed by the Spaniards two years later. Just before the firing squad received the Fire command, Figueredo shouted the line from his anthem: Morir por la Patria es vivir. Officially adopted in 1902, the anthem was retained after the revolution of 1959. The arrangement commonly used, without credit in Cuba, is believed to be that of José Norman, author of Cuban Pete [1]. The Cuban composer Antonio Rodriguez-Ferrer, was the author of the musical introductory notes to the Cuban national anthem.[1]

In addition to the Himno de Bayamo, there are two other well-known Cuban songs called La Bayamesa. The first Bayamesa was composed in 1851 by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and José Fornaris at the request of their friend Francisco Castillo Moreno, who is sometimes also credited with the lyrics. After 1868, during the Cuban war, a "mambí" version of La Bayamesa became popular. It has the same melody but different lyrics. Many years later, in 1918, the composer and trovador Sindo Garay, from Santiago de Cuba, composed a song that he called Mujer Bayamesa; popular usage shortened the title to La Bayamesa.


Originally, the song had six stanzas. The last four stanzas were removed in 1902 because the lyrics hurt the pride of the Spanish. Also, the section was too long compared to the other stanzas.

Spanish lyrics Translation
First stanza

¡Al combate, corred, Bayameses!,
Que la patria os contempla orgullosa;
No temáis una muerte gloriosa,
Que morir por la patria es vivir.

Run to battle, men of Bayamo!
The motherland looks proudly to you;
Do not fear a glorious death,
Because to die for the motherland is to live.

Second stanza

En cadenas vivir es vivir
En afrenta y oprobio sumidos,
Del clarín escuchad el sonido;
¡A las armas, valientes, corred!

To live in chains it's to live
Mired in shame and disgrace,
From the bugle hear the sound;
Run, brave ones, to battle!

Third stanza (excluded)

No temáis; los feroces íberos
Son cobardes cual todo tirano
No resisten al bravo cubano;
Para siempre su imperio cayó.

Fear not; the fierce Iberian
Are cowards as every tyrant
Do not resist the angry Cuban
Forever their empire fell.

Fourth stanza (excluded)

¡Cuba libre! Ya España murió,
Su poder y su orgullo ¿do es ido?
Del clarín escuchad el sonido
¡A las armas, valientes, corred!

Free Cuba! Spain already died,
Their power and pride, where did it go?
From the bugle hear the sound
Run, brave ones, to battle!

Fifth stanza (excluded)

Contemplad nuestras huestes triunfantes
Contemplad a ellos caídos,
Por cobardes huyen vencidos:
Por valientes, supimos triunfar!

Behold our triumphant troops
Behold them that have fallen
As cowards they flee defeated:
As braves, we knew how to triumph!

Sixth stanza (excluded)

¡Cuba libre! podemos gritar
Del cañón al terrible estampido.
Del clarín escuchad el sonido,
¡A las armas, valientes, corred!

Free Cuba! we can shout
At the cannon's terrible boom.
From the bugle hear the sound,
Run, brave ones, to battle!


  1. ^ Symbols of the Cuban nation

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