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El Himno de Bayamo (The Bayamo Anthem) is the national anthem of Cuba. The anthem was first performed during the Battle of Bayamo in 1868. Perucho Figueredo, who took part in the battle, wrote and composed the song. The melody, also called La Bayamesa, was composed by Figueredo in 1867.

El Himno de Bayamo
English: The Bayamo Anthem
La bayamesa.gif

National anthem of  Cuba
Also known asLa Bayamesa (English: The Bayamo Song)
LyricsPerucho Figueredo
MusicPerucho Figueredo (Antonio Rodriguez-Ferrer musical introductory notes), 1867
Audio sample
"La Bayamesa" (instrumental)



On October 10, 1868, the Cuban forces obtained the capitulation of the Spaniard 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, which was longer than the current official version. Figueredo was captured and executed by the Spaniards two years later. Just before the firing squad received the Fire command, Figueredo shouted the line from his anthem: "Morir por la Patria es vivir" ("To die for one's country is to live"). Officially adopted in 1902, the anthem was retained after the revolution of 1959. The Cuban composer Antonio Rodriguez-Ferrer, was the author of the musical introductory notes to the Cuban national anthem.[1]

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


Originally, the song had six stanzas. The last four stanzas were removed in 1902 because the lyrics hurt the pride of the Spanish. Also, the section was too long compared to the other stanzas.

Spanish lyrics Translation
First stanza

¡Al combate, corred, bayameses!,
Que la patria os contempla orgullosa;
No temáis una muerte gloriosa,
Que morir por la patria es vivir.

To arms, quickly, ye Bayamesans!
As the homeland looks proudly to you;
do not fear a glorious death,
For to die for the homeland is to live

Second stanza

En cadenas vivir es vivir
En afrenta y oprobio sumidos.
Del clarín escuchad el sonido:
¡A las armas, valientes, corred!

To live in shackles is to live
Mired in shame and disgrace,
Now hear the sound of the bugle;
Quickly, ye brave, to arms!

Third stanza (removed)

No temáis los feroces íberos,
Son cobardes cual todo tirano.
No resisten al bravo cubano;
Para siempre su imperio cayó.

Fear not the vicious Iberians
They are cowards as is every tyrant
They cannot oppose spirited Cubans
Their empire has forever fallen.

Fourth stanza (removed)

¡Cuba libre! Ya España murió,
Su poder y su orgullo ¿do es ido?
Del clarín escuchad el sonido:
¡A las armas, valientes, corred!

Free Cuba! Spain has already died,
Their power and pride, where did it go?
Hear the sound of the bugle
Run, brave ones, to battle!

Fifth stanza (removed)

Contemplad nuestras huestes triunfantes,
Contemplad a ellos caídos.
Por cobardes huyen vencidos;
Por valientes, supimos triunfar!

Behold our triumphant troops
Behold they that have fallen
As cowards they flee defeated:
We triumphed because of our bravery.

Sixth stanza (removed)

¡Cuba libre! podemos gritar
Del cañón al terrible estampido.
Del clarín escuchad el sonido:
¡A las armas, valientes, corred!

Free Cuba! we can shout
From the cannon's terrible boom.
Hear the sound of the bugle,
Run, brave ones, to battle!


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