National Anthem

Colombia


Himno Nacional de la República de Colombia (National Anthem of the Republic of Colombia) is the official name of the national anthem of Colombia. Some times it is also referred by the first verse: ¡Oh Gloria Inmarcesible! ("O Unfading Glory!"), however this name is neither official nor in common use in Colombia.

By law, radio and TV broadcasts must play the national anthem at 6am and 6pm in the following manner: Chorus, first verse and chorus once again. This is also how it is customarily performed in all public, sports, political, and other official events. Although the first verse is usually sung in between choruses, any of the eleven verses may be used. The anthem must be played chorus-verse-chorus regardless of which verse is selected.

In 1887, José Domingo Torres, combined his two passions of theatrical music and his love for his country to push for the creation of a national anthem for Colombia. He decided to use as the lyrics of the anthem an inspirational poem written by the then President Rafael Núñez commemorating the city of Cartagena, and asked his friend Oreste Sindici, an Italian opera teacher, to compose the music. (One common characteristic of Latin American epic anthems such as Colombia's is that the music often resembles Italian operas.) The anthem, containing eleven verses in total, was first performed in November of that year in a music hall in the public school where Sindici taught. The anthem was officially adopted by Congress in 1920, and an official transcription was made in 1946.


Spanish lyrics

Coro

¡Oh gloria inmarcesible!
¡Oh júbilo inmortal!
En surcos de dolores
el bien germina ya.

Cesó la horrible noche,
la libertad sublime
derrama las auroras
de su invencible luz.
La humanidad entera,
que entre cadenas gime,
comprende las palabras
del que murió en la cruz.

"¡Independencia!" grita
el mundo americano;
se baña en sangre de héroes
la tierra de Colón.
Pero este gran principio,
"El rey no es soberano"
resuena, y los que sufren
bendicen su pasión.

Del Orinoco el cauce
se colma de despojos,
de sangre y llanto un río
se mira allí correr.
En Bárbula no saben
las almas ni los ojos,
si admiración o espanto
sentir o padecer.

A orillas del Caribe,
hambriento un pueblo lucha,
horrores prefiriendo
a pérfida salud.
¡Oh, sí!, de Cartagena
la abnegación es mucha,
y escombros de la muerte
desprecian su virtud.

De Boyacá en los campos,
el genio de la gloria,
con cada espiga un héroe
invicto coronó.
Soldados sin coraza
ganaron la victoria;
su varonil aliento
de escudo les sirvió.

Bolívar cruza el Ande
que riegan dos océanos,
espadas cual centellas
fulguran en Junín.
Centauros indomables
descienden a los llanos,
y empieza a presentirse,
de la epopeya el fin.

La tropa victoriosa
en Ayacucho truena,
que en cada triunfo crece
su formidable son.
En su expansivo empuje
la libertad se estrena,
del cielo americano
formando un pabellón.

La virgen sus cabellos
arranca en agonía
y de su amor viuda
los cuelga del ciprés.
Lamenta su esperanza
que cubre loza fría,
pero glorioso orgullo
circunda su alba tez.

La patria así se forma,
termópilas brotando;
constelación de cíclopes
su noche iluminó.
La flor estremecida
mortal el viento hallando,
debajo los laureles
seguridad buscó.

Mas no es completa gloria
vencer en la batalla,
que el brazo que combate
lo anima la verdad.
La independencia sola
el gran clamor no acalla;
si el sol alumbra a todos,
justicia es libertad.

Del hombre los derechos
Nariño predicando,
el alma de la lucha
profético enseñó.
Ricaurte en San Mateo,
en átomos volando,
"Deber antes que vida,"
con llamas escribió.


English Translation

Chorus
O unfading glory!
O immortal joy!
In furrows of pain
goodness germinates now.

The horrible night has ended,
the sublime liberty
pours the dawns
of its invincible light.
The whole humanity,
crying in its chains,
understands the words
of the One who died on the Cross.

"Independence!" cries
the American world;
bathed in the blood of its heroes
the land of Columbus.
Still, one great principle,
"The king is not sovereign",
resounds, and those who suffer
bless its passion.

The Orinoco's bed
fills with the remains,
of blood and a river crying
is there seen.
In Bárbula they don't know
the souls nor the eyes,
if admiration or horror
feel or suffer.

On the shores of the Caribbean,
famished the people fight,
horrors preferring
to treacherous health.
O, aye! for Cartagena
the abnegation is much,
and the remains of death
despises its virtue.

From Boyacá in the fields,
the genius of glory,
for every ear a hero
undefeated crowned.
Soldiers without breastplate
won victory;
their virile breath
as shield served.

Bolivar crosses the Andes
that two oceans bathe,
swords as sparks
shine in Junín.
Untameable centaurs
descend to the plains,
and a prescience begins to be felt,
of the epic the end.

The victorious troop
in Ayacucho thunders,
that in every triumph grows
its formidable sound.
In its expansive thrust
Liberty is worn for the first time,
from the American sky
a pavilion forming.

The virgin her hairs
pulls out in agony
and from her love widowed
hangs them on a cypress.
Regretting her hope
covered by a cold headstone,
but glorious pride
hallows her fair complexion.

Thus the mother land is formed,
Thermopylaes are breaking forth;
constellation of cyclops
its night brightened.
The trembling flower
finding the wind mortal,
underneath the laurels
safety sought.

But it's not complete glory
to defeat in battle,
that the arm that fights
is encouraged by truth.
Independence alone
The great clamour doesn't silence;
if the sun illuminates everyone,
justice is liberty.

From men the rights
Nariño preaching,
the soul of struggle
prophetically taught.
Ricaurte in San Mateo,
in atoms flying,
"Duty before life,"
with flames he wrote.



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