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"Eviva España" (alternatively "Y Viva España") is a Belgian pop song, originally written by composer Leo Caerts and lyricist Leo Rozenstraten in Dutch. It was first recorded and performed by the Belgian singer Samantha (born Christiane Bervoets) in 1971. Musically, the song has a distinctly Spanish-sounding pasodoble style. The theme of the lyrics are about looking forward to a holiday in Spain.
|Song by Samantha|
|from the album Eviva Samantha|
While Spanish-sounding, the original song title (and chorus line) "Eviva España" does not make sense in Spanish. Although "España" is the correct name of the country in Spanish, there is no such word as "Eviva". The phrase "Que viva España" would have translated to "Long Live Spain", and is probably the meaning that the (non-Spanish-speaking) authors were aiming for. It is not known whether the misspelling was a mistake, or just intended for alliteration.
After widespread success in Dutch-speaking countries, the song was picked up by songwriters in several other European countries. As was the custom of the time, it was translated and performed by local artists for the various markets, achieving mainstream success in numerous countries between 1972 and 1977. Notable versions include the first Spanish version (performed by Hanna Aroni and later by Manolo Escobar), the German version (performed by Hanna Aroni), and the English version (performed by Sylvia).
The Spanish songwriters tasked with adapting the song into Spanish, naturally found it necessary to change the "Eviva España" line. They opted to rename the song "Y Viva España", meaning "And Long Live Spain"—thereby keeping the phrasing of the chorus while having it make sense. The song was extremely successful both in the original 1972 version, and in later versions such as the 1973 version by Manolo Escobar, and became so ubiquitous it is now considered part of Spanish cultural heritage.
The creators of the English version also opted for the Spanish title, rather than the original one. It also became very successful, spending six months in the UK Singles Chart and reaching the number four spot. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
The song was adapted for Fulham Football Club by Tony Rees and the Cottagers to "Viva el Fulham" for their run to the 1975 FA Cup Final—a song which is still sung at games to this date.
|1972||Viva España||Dutch||Imca Marina|
|1972||Viva España||French||Georgette Plana|
|1972||Eviva España||German||Hanna Aroni|
|1972||Eviva España||Norwegian||Gro Anita Schønn|
|1973||Eviva Espana||Arabic||Milhem Barakat|
|1973||Eviva España||Danish||Elisabeth Edberg|
|1973||Eviva Espanja||Finnish||Marion Rung|
|1973||Y viva España||Spanish||Manolo Escobar|
|1973||Y viva España||Spanish||Los Zafiros|
|1973||Y Viva España||English/Swedish||Sylvia Vrethammar|
|1974||Yaşa Fenerbahçe||Turkish||Nesrin Sipahi|
|1975||Viva el Fulham||English||Tony Rees and the Cottagers|
|1992||Eviva Espana||Hungarian||Kovács Kati|
|2013||Viva Lasagne||English||Michael Lejour|