Lares Cry

La Borinqueña

La Borinqueña is the national anthem of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The current official music and words were codified in 1903 and have since been taught in schools and generally adopted by the public. The music was officially adopted by the government in 1952, and the words in 1977. The title refers to the aboriginal Taíno name for the island of Puerto Rico, Boriken or Borinquen.

The music was originally credited to Félix Astol Artés in 1867 as an habanera danza, with romantic lyrics, but there is some evidence that Francisco Ramírez, a native of San Germán, wrote the music in 1860, and named it "La Almojábana". In 1868, Lola Rodríguez de Tió wrote a poem in support of Puerto Rican revolution, which was set to the Ramirez/Astol Artés music. When the Spanish authorities investigated, Ramirez, out of fear, asked Astol to claim authorship of the music, since Astol was a native of Catalonia and would therefore not raise any suspicion.

With the original lyrics deemed too subversive for official adoption, a non-confrontational set of lyrics was written in 1903 by Asturias-born Manuel Fernández Juncos and taught in the public schools. The tune was officially adopted as the Commonwealth's anthem in 1952, and continued to be sung with the Manuel Fernández Juncos words (which, however, were not officially adopted until 1977).

The official version is played as a slow march, without the original tune's initial paseo. Musical critics in Puerto Rico have raised their opposition to the rhythm change. Luis Miranda, the musical director of Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry Regiment Band, adapted the tune to be played as a march in 1922. Regino Colón rearranged the music in 1952, but left it as a march. The 1977 law that adopted the tune as an anthem merely stated that the anthem be played as a march, the tempo vaguely described as being in a "martial manner", but established no official arrangement for the music. An official revision made in 2003 leaves the tune as a march.

Both versions are given below. The Fernández Juncos version is the most familiar version; it is, for example, sung spontaneously to celebrate Puerto Rican successes in athletic events. As of 2004 the "revolutionary" version is associated with the Puerto Rican Independence movement (see Politics of Puerto Rico) and was sung at the Vieques Navy protests.

National Anthem of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

(words by Manuel Fernández Juncos, 1903)

La tierra de Borinquen
donde he nacido yo
es un jardín florido
de mágico primor.

Un cielo siempre nítido
le sirve de dosel
y dan arrullos plácidos
las olas a sus pies.

Cuando a sus playas llegó Colón
Exclamó lleno de admiración:
"Oh!, oh!, oh!, esta es la linda tierra
que busco yo".

Es Borinquen la hija,
la hija del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol.

The land of Borinquen
where I have been born
is a flowery garden
of magical beauty.

A constantly clear sky
serves as its canopy
and placid lullabies are sung
by the waves at its [Borinquen's] feet.

When at her beaches Columbus arrived
full of awe he exclaimed,
"Oh!, oh!, oh!, this is the lovely land
that I seek"

Borinquen is the daughter,
the daughter of the sea and the sun.
Of the sea and the sun,
of the sea and the sun,
of the sea and the sun,
of the sea and the sun.

Original 1868 revolutionary version by Lola Rodríguez de Tió

¡Despierta, borinqueño
que han dado la señal!
¡Despierta de ese sueño
que es hora de luchar!

[Arise, boricua! The call to arms has sounded! Awake from the slumber, it is time to fight!]

A ese llamar patriótico
¿no arde tu corazón?
¡Ven! Nos será simpático
el ruido del cañón.

[Doesn't this patriotic call set your heart alight? Come! We are in tune with the roar of the cannon.]

Mira, ya el cubano
libre será;
le dará el machete
su libertad...
le dará el machete
su libertad.

[Come, the Cuban will soon be free; the machete will give him his liberty, the machete will give him his liberty.]

Ya el tambor guerrero
dice en su son,
que es la manigua el sitio,
el sitio de la reunión,
de la reunión...
de la reunión.

[Now the war drum says with its sound, that the countryside is the place of the meeting.]

El Grito de Lares
se ha de repetir,
y entonces sabremos
vencer o morir.

[The Cry of Lares must be repeated, and then we will know: victory or death.]

Bellísima Borinquén,
a Cuba hay que seguir;
tú tienes bravos hijos
que quieren combatir.

[Beautiful Borinquén must follow Cuba; you have brave sons who wish to fight.]

ya por más tiempo impávido
no podemos estar,
ya no queremos, tímidos
dejarnos subyugar.

[Now, no longer can we be unmoved; now we do not want timidly to let them subjugate us.]

Nosotros queremos
ser libre ya,
y nuestro machete
afilado está.
y nuestro machete
afilado está.

[We want to be free now, and our machete has been sharpened.]

¿Por qué, entonces, nosotros
hemos de estar,
tan dormidos y sordos
y sordos a esa señal?
a esa señal, a esa señal?

[Why then have we been so sleepy and deaf to the call?]

No hay que temer, riqueños
al ruido del cañón,
que salvar a la patria
es deber del corazón!

[There is no need to fear, Ricans, the roar of the cannon; saving the nation is the duty of the heart.]

ya no queremos déspotas,
caiga el tirano ya,
las mujeres indómitas
también sabrán luchar.

[We no longer want despots, tyranny shall fall now; the unconquerable women also will know how to fight.]

Nosotros queremos
la libertad,
y nuestros machetes
nos la darán...
y nuestro machete
nos la dará...

[We want liberty, and our machetes will give it to us.]

Vámonos, borinqueños,
vámonos ya,
que nos espera ansiosa,
ansiosa la libertad.
¡La libertad, la libertad!

[Come, Boricuas, come now, since freedom awaits us anxiously, freedom, freedom!]

See also

References

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