Known as the Bayamo Anthem, the Cuban national anthem was first heard during the Battle of Bayamo in 1868.
Bayamo, the capital of Granma province, was the site of many key battles in Cuba's independence wars against Spain and the revolution Castro led to overthrow Batista's government.
It was also where Cuba's national anthem was written in 1868 as the island struggled to free itself from Spanish rule.
Pedro Felipe Figueredo was a lawyer, poet and musician, and a General during the Ten Years’ War against Spain. He had written the melody in 1867.
When the Cuban commander received the surrender of the Spanish at Bayamo on October 20, 1868, the people asked Figueredo to write a celebratory anthem.
Two years later Figueredo was captured by the Spanish. As he stood to be executed by firing squad, he shouted the words from his anthem...
Al combate corred bayameses
En cadenas vivir es vivir
Hasten to battle, men of Bayamo
To live in chains