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")
LyricsPerucho Figueredo
MusicPerucho Figueredo and Antonio Rodriguez-Ferrer, 1867
Adopted1902, 1909
Audio sample
National Anthem of Cuba (Instrumental)

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


On October 20, 1868, the Cuban forces obtained the capitulation of the Spanish colonial 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,[1] which was longer than the current official version. Figueredo was captured and executed by the Spanish two years later. Just before the firing squad received the Fire command, Figueredo shouted the line from his song: "Morir por la Patria es vivir" (English: "To die for one's country is to live").[2]

Officially adopted by Cuba as its national anthem in 1902, upon the foundation of the Republic, it was retained even after the revolution of 1959. The Cuban composer Antonio Rodriguez-Ferrer contributed the musical introductory notes to the Cuban national anthem.[3]

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.[4] After 1868, during the Cuban war, a "mambí" version of "La Bayamesa" became popular. It has the same melody but different lyrics.[5] 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".[6]


Originally, the song had three stanzas. The last two stanzas were excluded when the anthem was officially adopted in 1902, because the lyrics were seen to be excessively anti-Spanish[7] and too long compared with the other stanzas.

Spanish original[8][9] English translation

¡Al combate, corred, bayameses!,
Que la patria os contempla orgullosa;
No temáis una muerte gloriosa,
Que morir por la patria es vivir.
(𝄆) En cadenas vivir es vivir
En afrenta y oprobio sumido.
Del clarín escuchad el sonido:
¡A las armas, valientes, corred! (𝄇)

II (excluido)
No temáis los feroces íberos,
Son cobardes cual todo tirano.
No resisten al bravo cubano;
Para siempre su imperio cayó.
(𝄆) ¡Cuba libre! Ya España murió,
Su poder y su orgullo ¿do es ido?
¡Del clarín escuchad el sonido:
¡A las armas, valientes, corred! (𝄇)

III (excluido)
Contemplad nuestras huestes triunfantes,
Contempladlos a ellos caídos.
Por cobardes huyeron vencidos;
¡Por valientes, sabemos triunfar!
(𝄆) ¡Cuba libre! podemos gritar
Del cañón al terrible estampido.
¡Del clarín escuchad el sonido:
¡A las armas, valientes, corred! (𝄇)

To combat, run, Bayamesans!
For the homeland looks proudly upon you;
Do not fear a glorious death,
For to die for the homeland is to live.
(𝄆) To live in chains is to live
Mired in shame and disgrace.
Hear the sound of the bugle:
To arms, brave ones, run! (𝄇)

II (excluded)
Fear not the vicious Iberians,
They are cowards like every tyrant.
They cannot oppose the spirited Cuban;
Their empire has forever fallen.
(𝄆) Free Cuba! Spain has already died,
Its power and pride, where did it go?
Hear the sound of the bugle:
To arms, brave ones, run! (𝄇)

III (excluded)
Behold our triumphant troops,
Behold those who have fallen.
Because they were cowards, they flee defeated;
Because we were brave, we knew how to triumph.
(𝄆) Free Cuba! we can shout
From the cannon's terrible boom.
Hear the sound of the bugle,
To arms, brave ones, run! (𝄇)


  1. ^ Cuba '67: Image of a Country. Book Institute. 1967. p. 60.
  2. ^ Agency, Central Intelligence (2015-11-24). The CIA World Factbook 2016. Simon and Schuster. p. 1350. ISBN 978-1-5107-0089-5.
  3. ^ "Symbols of the cuban nation". Archived from the original on 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2022-01-13.
  4. ^ Sublette, Ned (February 2007). Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo. Chicago Review Press. p. 236. ISBN 978-1-56976-420-6.
  5. ^ Kennedy, William (2011-09-29). Chango's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes. Simon and Schuster. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-84983-831-3.
  6. ^ BARREIRO, ELIAS (2011-03-11). Music of Latin America for Acoustic Guitar. Mel Bay Publications. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-61065-639-9.
  7. ^ Coe, Andrew (1995). Cuba. Passport Books. p. 233. ISBN 978-0-8442-8950-2.
  8. ^ "Law No. 128" (PDF). 2019-09-19. Retrieved 2022-01-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ La Enciclopedia de Cuba: Historia (in Spanish). Enciclopedia y Clásicos Cubanos. 1973. p. 473. ISBN 978-84-359-0094-2.

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