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...
“Morir por la Patria es vivir.”
(To die for the country is to live.)
Spanish Lyrics for La Bayamesa
Al combate corred bayameses
Que la patria os contempla orgullosa
No temais una muerte gloriosa
Que morir por la patria es vivir
En cadenas vivir es vivir
En afrenta y oprobio sumidos
Del clarin escuchad el sonido
Alas armas valientes corred.
Hasten to battle, men of Bayamo
For the homeland looks proudly to you
You do not fear a glorious death
Because to die for the country is to live.
To live in chains
Is to live in dishonor and ignominy
Hear the clarion call
Hasten, brave ones, to battle.