Cuba’s national anthem is known as “La Bayamesa.” It is also called “El Himno de Bayamo,” or “the Bayamo Anthem. The music for this national anthem was originally written in 1867. It was not performed until the next year, and it was not made the official national anthem until the 20th century.
The people of Cuba approached Perucho Figueredo to write an anthem. Figueredo wrote the lyrics of the anthem to go along with the humming of the people without even getting off of his horse. This version was actually longer than the official version used today. The song originally had six stanzas, but the last four were removed following the anthem’s adoption. In addition to writing the lyrics, Figueredo is also credited with writing the music, although introductory notes written by Antonio Rodreiguez-Ferrer are also used. The song was officially adopted in 1902 and was kept as the national anthem following the revolution of 1959. Because the anthem was first performed during the battle of Bayamo against Spain, the final stanzas were negative toward Spain and were removed in the version that is used today.
Hasten to battle, men of Bayamo,
For the homeland looks proudly to you.
Do not fear a glorious death,
Because to die for the country is to live.
To live in chains
Is to live in dishonour and ignominy.
Hear the clarion call,
Hasten, brave ones, to battle!