Brazil's National Anthem
The Brazilian National Anthem – or Hino Nacional Brasileiro as it is known to its citizens – is unique in that it was first adopted in the 1830s but has been readopted several times as changes have been made. The current version that is used today was officially adopted on September 6, 1922.
The melody that makes up the Brazilian National Anthem was first composed in 1831 by Francisco Manuel da Silva. Prior to this, a song written by Emperor Pedro I, the Independence Anthem, was used as the national song. However, once he abdicated the crown in 1831, da Silva took the opportunity to present his song to the public. This occurred on April 13, 1831. It is believed that the song was originally composed in 1822, while others say that it was written in 1823. Still others concede that it was written in 1831, the same year it was presented to the public.
The song was given lyrics but was not at this time made the national anthem. Instead, it was known as the “April 7 Hymn” that centered on the abdication of Pedro I and Pedro II taking over the throne. The lyrics that were originally used were found to be offensive, so they were dropped by 1837. The music remained, however, and was played during public ceremonies.
New lyrics were proposed in 1841 but were also abandoned. In 1889, a competition was held to choose a new anthem. However, protests against the new anthem led to the formalized adoption of the original composition by da Silva. Even after this, the national anthem did not have official lyrics. It wasn’t until 1922 when the lyrics of Joaquim Osorio Duque Estrada were made official through a presidential decree. This same year, radio broadcasts featured the National Anthem with the new lyrics followed by the first radio address from a Brazilian president. The lyrics have remained the same ever since and are sung in the nation’s official language, Portuguese.
The Brazilian National Anthem features two stanzas. However, in some cases like sporting events, only the first stanza is played. Most renditions played at these events do not include vocals. There are several theories as to the meaning behind this anthem. Some think that it was written solely for the coronation of Pedro II. Others believe that independence and liberty are the primary themes of this national song.