"A Portuguesa" ("The Portuguese [song]", Portuguese pronunciation: puɾtuˈɣezɐ]) is the national anthem of Portugal. The song was composed by Alfredo Keil and written by Henrique Lopes de Mendonça during the resurgent nationalist movement ignited by the 1890 British Ultimatum to Portugal concerning its African colonies. Used as the marching song of the failed republican rebellion of January 1891, in Porto, it was adopted as the national anthem of the newborn Portuguese Republic in 1911, replacing "Hino da Carta" (Hymn of the Charter), the anthem of the deposed constitutional monarchy.[citation needed]

A Portuguesa
English: The Portuguese
Music and lyrics (1957)

National anthem of Portugal
LyricsHenrique Lopes de Mendonça, 1890
MusicAlfredo Keil, 1890
Adopted5 October 1910
Audio sample
Official instrumental recording by the Orquestra da Presidência da República

History edit

1890 sheet music

On 11 January 1890, the United Kingdom issued an ultimatum demanding that Portugal refrain from colonizing land lying between the Portuguese colonies of Angola, on the west coast of Africa, and Mozambique, on the east coast, thereby forming one contiguous polity (as proposed on the Pink Map). Despite a popular uproar, the Portuguese government accepted their demands. This contributed to the unpopularity of King Carlos I and the monarchy, and it garnered support for the increasingly popular republican movement in Portugal.[1]

The night after the ultimatum was accepted, composer Alfredo Keil, at the suggestion of a group of friends that included Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro and Teófilo Braga, wrote the melody for "A Portuguesa" as a patriotic protest march. Inspired by the outrage felt by the Portuguese people, the lyricist, Henrique Lopes de Mendonça, accepted Keil's request to create words to suit his melody. Mendonça said "A Portuguesa" was a song "in which the fatherland's wounded soul would merge with its ambitions of freedom and revival"; he hoped it would be an anthem, embraced by the people, that could express their yearning for national vindication. Such expressions are epitomized by "La Marseillaise", the Portuguese fado, and "Hino da Maria da Fonte".[2] The march was quickly disseminated; several thousands of copies of the sheet music were freely distributed, together with fliers and posters. The song's popularity also spread across national borders, and verses were translated into other languages.[2]

On several stages in Lisbon, "A Portuguesa" drew special attention. On 29 March 1890, the march was performed at the Great Patriotic Concert, held at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (Saint Charles National Theatre), as well as at every other theatre in the capital. Beyond its use in cultural displays, "A Portuguesa" was also exploited for commercial gain. Several food products, including canned sardines and cookies, were named for this song.[2]

However, the song was perceived as a political weapon, and it was soon converted into a republican hymn. This political co-option of the theme's original meaning forced both authors to disavow this vision and stress its purely non-partisan sentiments.[2] On 31 January 1891, a republican-inspired rebellion broke out in the northern city of Porto and "A Portuguesa" was adopted by the rebels as their marching song. The rebellion was crushed, and the song was banned. However, it was never forgotten, and, on 5 October 1910, a new and stronger rebellion developed as "A Portuguesa" played in the background. A year later, the first session of the Constituent Assembly officially proclaimed it as the national anthem.[1]

In 1956, the emergence of melodic variants of the anthem forced the government to create a committee whose aim was to define an official version. On 16 July 1957, the current version was proposed, and it was approved by the Council of Ministers.[1]

Lyrics edit

The anthem's official version consists of the first stanza and the chorus from Mendonça's poem only.[3]

Portuguese original IPA transcription[a] English translation

Heróis do mar, nobre povo,
Nação valente, imortal,
Levantai hoje de novo
O esplendor de Portugal!
Entre as brumas da memória,
Ó Pátria, sente-se a voz
Dos teus egrégios avós,
Que há-de guiar-te à vitória!

Às armas, às armas!
Sobre a terra, sobre o mar,
Às armas, às armas!
Pela Pátria lutar!
Contra os canhões, marchar, marchar!

Desfralda a invicta Bandeira,
À luz viva do teu céu!
Brade a Europa à terra inteira:
Portugal não pereceu
Beija o solo teu jucundo
O Oceano, a rugir d'amor,
E teu braço vencedor
Deu mundos novos ao Mundo!


Saudai o Sol que desponta
Sobre um ridente porvir;
Seja o eco de uma afronta
O sinal do ressurgir.
Raios dessa aurora forte
São como beijos de mãe,
Que nos guardam, nos sustêm,
Contra as injúrias da sorte.


[e.ˈɾɔjʒ‿du maɾ ˈnɔ.βɾɨ ˈpo.vu]
[nɐ.ˈsɐ̃w̃ vɐ.ˈɫẽt(ɨ) i.muɾ.ˈtaɫ]
[ɫɨ.vɐ̃.ˈtaj ˈo.ʒɨ dɨ ˈno.vu]
[u‿(ɨ)ʃ.pɫẽ.ˈdoɾ dɨ puɾ.tu.ˈɣaɫ]
[ˈẽ.tɾ(i)‿ɐʒ‿ˈbɾu.mɐʒ‿dɐ mɨ.ˈmɔ.ɾjɐ]
[ɔ ˈpa.tɾjɐ ˈsẽ.tɨ si‿ɐ vɔʃ]
[duʃ tewz‿i.ˈɡrɛ.ʒjuz‿ɐ.ˈvɔʃ]
[ki‿ˈa.ðɨ ɡi.ˈaɾ.t(i)‿a vi.ˈtɔ.ɾjɐ]

[az‿ˈaɾ.mɐʃ az‿ˈaɾ.mɐʃ]
[ˈso.bɾ(i)‿ɐ ˈtɛ.ʁɐ ˈso.bɾ(i)‿u maɾ]
[az‿ˈaɾ.mɐʃ az‿ˈaɾ.mɐʃ]
[ˈpe.ɫɐ ˈpa.tɾjɐ ɫu.ˈtaɾ]
[ˈkõ.tɾɐ‿uʃ kɐ.ˈɲõj̃ʒ‿mɐɾ.ˈʃaɾ mɐɾ.ˈʃaɾ]

[dɨʃ.ˈfɾaɫ.d‿a‿ĩ.ˈvik.tɐ bɐ̃.ˈdɐj.ɾɐ]
[a luʒ‿ˈvi.vɐ du tew sɛw]
[ˈbɾa.d‿ɐ‿ew.ˈɾɔ.pɐ‿a ˈtɛ.ʁɐ‿ĩ.ˈtɐj.ɾɐ]
[puɾ.tu.ˈɣaɫ nɐ̃w̃ pɨ.ɾɨ.ˈsew]
[ˈbɐj.ʒɐ‿u ˈsɔ.ɫu tew ʒu.ˈkũ.du]
[u‿ɔ.ˈsjɐ.nu‿ɐ ʁu.ˈʒiɾ d(i)‿ɐ.ˈmoɾ]
[i tew ˈbɾa.su vẽ.sɨ.ˈðoɾ]
[dew ˈmũ.duʒ‿ˈnɔ.vuz‿aw ˈmũ.du]


[saw.ˈðaj u sɔɫ kɨ dɨʃ.ˈpõ.tɐ]
[ˈso.bɾi‿ũ ʁi.ˈðẽ.tɨ puɾ.ˈviɾ]
[ˈsɐ(j).ʒɐ‿u ˈɛ.ku di‿ˈu.mɐ‿ɐ.ˈfɾõ.tɐ]
[u si.ˈnaɫ du ʁɨ.suɾ.ˈʒiɾ]
[ˈʁaj.uʒ‿ˈdɛ.sɐ‿aw.ˈɾɔ.ɾɐ ˈfɔɾ.tɨ]
[sɐ̃w̃ ˈko.mu ˈbɐj.ʒuʒ‿dɨ mɐ̃j̃]
[kɨ nuʒ‿ˈɡwaɾ.ðɐ̃w̃ nu(ʃ)‿suʃ.ˈtɐ̃j]
[ˈkõ.tɾ‿ɐz‿ĩ.ˈʒu.ɾjɐʒ‿dɐ ˈsɔɾ.tɨ]


Heroes of the sea, noble people,
Brave, immortal nation,
Raise once again today
The splendor of Portugal!
Among the mist of memory,
Oh Fatherland, one feels the voice
Of your distinguished forefathers,
That shall lead you on to victory!

To arms, to arms!
Over land, over sea,
To arms, to arms!
For the Fatherland, fight!
Against the cannons, march on, march on!

Hoist the undefeated flag,
In the lively light of your sky!
May Europe cry out to the whole Earth:
Portugal has not perished
Kiss your merry ground
The ocean, roaring with love,
And your victorious arm
Gave new worlds to the world!


Salute the Sun that rises
Over a gleeful future;
Let the echo of an offense
Be the sign for a comeback.
Rays of this strong dawn
Are like a mother's kisses,
That keep us, sustain us,
Against the injuries of fate.


Protocol edit

Within Portugal, the anthem is played at both civilian and military ceremonies where the country, flag, or head of state (the President of the Republic) is honoured. It is also played at receptions for foreign heads of state, following that of the visitor, and in ceremonies during official presidential visits to other countries.[1]

Notes edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "Antecedentes históricos do Hino Nacional" (in Portuguese). Governo da República Portuguesa. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
  2. ^ a b c d "Hino Nacional". Simbolos Nacionais (in Portuguese). Museu da Presidência da República. Archived from the original on 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
  3. ^ "Hino Nacional". Presidência da República Portuguesa (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2020-11-11. Retrieved 2020-09-21.

External links edit