Archive for 5 de junio de 2012

“Himno de Riego”, Anthem of the II Spanish Republic

Portrait of Rafael del Riego; anonymousIn 1808, the Spanish people rebels against Napoleon, who wanted his brother Joseph to be king of Spain (thanks to the permission of Ferdinand VII, the rightful king). In 1812, a group of Spanish men, generally of the Enlightenment, draw up in Cadiz the Spanish constitution, popularly named “La Pepa”. But when Napoleon is defeated, and Ferdinand VII get back to Spain, acclaimed as king, he broke up the Constitution elaborated by the wise Liberal men and set up the Absolute Monarchy as model of State. In 1819, Lieutenant-colonel Rafael del Riego uprised the troops in Cabezas de San Juan (Seville), demanding the back of the Constitution and the model of Constitutional Monarchy. The revolt spreaded along the Spanish territory, so Ferdinand VII accepted their conditions: the Liberal Triennium instaured in Spain, and Riego was designed as marshal. But, in secret, king Ferdinand was comploting with foreigners forces, and so, the Hundred Thousand sons of Saint Louis, an army of the French monarchists, invaded Spain to depose the legitimate government. Riego fall back to Cadiz, where the legitimate government was meeting, to organize the ressitance against the new French invasion, sponsored by the king, and is defeated in the Battle of Jódar (Jaén); betrayed and hurted, he was imprisoned. The king didn’t want to listen his petition for mercy, and so he was sentenced to die. In 1823, november 7th, he was hanged from the gallows pal… But the rebellion still went on.

During the uprising in Cabezas de San Juan, the troops of Riego sung a kind of anthem of battle that became in one of the most famous Spanish rebel songs. Writen by Evaristo Fernández de San Miguel, with music attributed to José Melchor Gomis (some studies uphold that melody is originally a kind of traditional dance from the Pyrenees zone), the “Himno de Riego” (Anthem of Riego) was the chant against the reactionarists along many times:

Himno de Riego

Soldados, la patria
nos llama a la lid,
juremos por ella
vencer o morir.

Serenos, alegres,
valientes, osados,
cantemos, soldados,
el himno a la lid.
Y a nuestros acentos
el orbe se admire
y en nosotros mire
los hijos del Cid.

Soldados, la patria (etc.)

Blandamos el hierro
que el tímido esclavo
del fuerte, del bravo
la faz no osa a ver;
sus huestes cual humo
veréis disipadas,
y a nuestras espadas
fugaces correr.

Soldados, la patria (etc.)

¿El mundo vio nunca
más noble osadia?
¿Lució nunca un día
más grande en valor,
que aquel que inflamados
nos vimos del fuego
que excitara en Riego
de Patria el amor?

Soldados, la patria (etc.)

Su voz fue seguida,
su voz fue escuchada,
tuvimos en nada
soldados, morir;
Y osados quisimos
romper la cadena
que de afrenta llena
del bravo el vivir.

Soldados, la patria (etc.)

Rompímosla, amigos,
que el vil que la lleva
insano se atreva
su frente mostrar.
Nosotros ya libres
en hombres tornados
sabremos, soldados,
su audacia humillar.

Soldados, la patria (etc.)

Al arma ya tocan,
las armas tan solo
el crimen, el dolo
sabrán abatir.
Que tiemblen, que tiemblen,
que tiemble el malvado
al ver del soldado
la lanza esgrimir.

Soldados, la patria (etc.)

La trompa guerrera
sus ecos da al viento
horror al sediento,
ya muge el cañón;
y a Marte sañudo
la audacia provoca,
y el genio se invoca
de nuestra nación.

Soldados, la patria (etc.)

Se muestran, volemos,
volemos, soldados:
¿los veis aterrados
su frente bajar?
Volemos, que el libre
por siempre ha sabido
del siervo vendido
la audacia humillar.

Soldados, la patria (etc.)

(in the English version of the page, there is other translations)

Anthem of Riego

Soldiers, homeland/ calls us to the fight,/ let us swear by her/ to win or to die.// Serenes, cheerfuls,/ braves, bolds,/ let’s sing, soldiers,/ the anthem to the fight./ And of our accents/ the orb admires/ and may see in us/ the sons of the Cid.// Let us brandish the iron,/ that the shy slave/ of the strong’s, of the brave’s/ face doesn’t dare to watch;/ his hosts/ as the smoke/ you’ll see dissipated,/ and, in front of our swords,/ run fugacious.// Did the world ever/ see such audacity?/ Did a day ever/ shines greater in courage/ than that in which, afflame/ in fire we found ourselves/ that might excite to Riego/ the love for homeland.// His voice was taken,/ his voice was heard,/ we had at all/ soldiers, to die.// We broke it, friends,/ may the vile that carries it,/ morbid shall dare/ to show his front./ We, already free,/ turned in honest men,/ shall know, soldiers,/ to put down his boldness.// They are calling to arm,/ just the weapons/ the crime, the fraud/ shall know to bring down./ Let them shiver, let them shiver,/ let the wicked shiver/ as he sees the soldier/ wildes the lance.// The warrior horn/ gives its echoes to the wind,/ horror to the thirsty,/ already the cannon is mooing; and vicious Mars/ get provoked by boldness,/ and is invocked/ our nation’s temperament.// They come out,/ let’s fly,/ let’s fly soldiers:/ don’t you see them terrified/ bowed their fronts?/ Let’s fly, for the free one/ always has known/ how to put down the boldness/ of the sold out serf.

Evaristo Fernández de San Miguel – José Melchor Gomis

Evaristo Fernández de San MiguelIn 1932, the Constituent parlament of the Second Spanish Republic, considering themeselves as heirs of the ancient liberals of Riego, decided to make out of the “Himno de Riego” the Spanish national anthem. But many of the left-wing republicans felt awkward with the belicist lyric (the traditional tone of the XIX century rebel songs), and along the years of the Republic (including the years of war), were made attempts to change it or make a new anthem (one of them, was one made by Antonio Machado and Óscar Esplá). Those attempts never had success; actually, the Republicans don’t sing the lyrics or sing one of this popular versions, elaborated by the people since the days of Alphons XIII:

Si los curas y frailes supieran
la paliza que les van a dar,
subirían al coro cantando:
"Libertad, libertad, libertad!"

Si los Reyes de España supieran
lo poco que van a durar,
a la calle saldrían gritando:
"¡Libertad, libertad, libertad!"

If the priests and monks might know/ the thrashing they’re gonna get,/ they would get up the chorus singing:/ “Freedom, freedom, freedom!”// If the kings of Spain may know/ how short they’re gonna last,/ they would get out to the street crying:/ “Freedom, freedom, freedom!

People of Catalonia (republicans, anarchists and, perhaps, soberanists) sang these lyrics:

La Reina vol corona
que vingui a Barcelona
Corona li darem
i el coll li tallarem

The queen wants a crown/ let her come to Barcelona/ we shall give her a crown/ and her neck we shall cut off.

(Spanish translation of these verses:

And one last, a little more scatological:

Un hombre estaba cagando
y no tenía papel
pasó el Rey Alfonso XIII
y se limpio el culo con él.

A man was shitting/ and he had no paper/ King Alphons XIII passed by/ and he cleaned up his ass with him.

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