18 January 2008

oh say can you see...

can you imagine if our national anthem didn't have words and we just sang LA-la la la la LA instead? sort of fun i think.
MADRID (Reuters) - Proposed new lyrics for Spain's national anthem have stirred national divisions rather than pride and have been scrapped, the Spanish Olympic Committee said Wednesday.

Spain's "Royal March" national anthem has been played without words since 1978, when lyrics approved by right-wing dictator Francisco Franco were ditched.

With the Beijing games approaching, Spain's Olympic committee held a competition to find new words for the anthem rather than see its athletes hum along or chant "la, la, la," as has long been the case.

Spanish opera star Placido Domingo was to be the first to sing it.

But the winning version was leaked and met derision in the Spanish media and among members of parliament responsible for approving the lyrics.

The anthem's opening words, "Long live Spain!" had an authoritarian ring to them and one prominent left-wing leader said they "stank" of the Franco era.

The nationalistic tone did not appeal to separatists in the Basque Country and Catalonia.

Not even the political right showed much enthusiasm for the words written by an unemployed 52-year-old, Paulino Cubero, who said he wanted lyrics that would appeal to ordinary Spaniards.

"The words needed to unite and have a general consensus. But we have seen the controversy they have caused and have decided to withdraw them," Spanish Olympic Committee Chairman Alejandro Blanco told a news conference.

"We are continuing with the idea that the hymn will have words and that Placido Domingo will sing them at the presentation."

Domingo said he backed the decision.

"If these words aren't generally acceptable, we have marvelous writers that will be able to come up with something. But I don't want to go with something that causes controversy," he said

The Olympic committee will next meet on January 22 to see if it is possible to find national anthem lyrics that get all Spaniards singing off the same song sheet.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jonah. Greetings from Spain.
    Congratulations. Your post is really good documented, and yes, it´s true: for us spaniards is so hard to put something in common. Division is in our very recent history, and many of us don´t believe in that stuff of proud, delusions of grandeur and unbounded patriotism that are so usual on national anthems all over the world.
    In my opinion, is kind of stupid to write a lyric for spanish anthem. It only generates more division, and if someone try to do it politically correct, trying not to offend any sensibilities, it will be almost ridiculous. But whatever, they´ll do what the want to, and we won´t care...