Contramaestre, October 20 is instituted in Cuba as National Culture Day. It is already traditional on the island to celebrate the Jornada of Cuban Culture from October 10 to 20, to pay tribute to throughout the country, the beginning of the wars for independence of Cuba and the first time that the National Anthem was sung.
On October 20, but 1868, only ten days after the Ten-Year War began, under the initiative of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, La Bayamesa, composed by Perucho Figueredo, the current National Anthem of the Republic of Cuba,was sung.
Very close to Bayamo, in La Demajagua’s sugar mill, Céspedes, its owner had given freedom to his slaves, to begin the fight for Cuba’s freedom. A hymn calling for war and containing the essence of the summons was necessary.
This excellent piece of music with a deep patriotic sense accompanied Cubans in times of war and now in peace, but with the same conviction of defending with heroism and courage what we have and for what so many sacrificed their lives without enjoying success.
Here is the lyrics of the Cuban National Anthem:
Al combate corred, bayameses, (Make haste, Bayamese*, and join the fight)
Que la Patria os contempla orgullosa (While your fatherland watches you filled with pride)
No temáis una muerte gloriosa (Do not be afraid of a glorious death.
Que morir por la Patria es vivir. (Since to die for your homeland means to live)
En cadenas vivir es vivir (While Your´re in chains, living is living)
En afrenta y oprobio sumido, (While you´re under ofense and opprobrium)
Del clarín, escuchad el sonido, (From the bugle, just listen to the sound)
A las armas valientes corred. (Go to the weapons, brave warriors, just run!)
Traducido por :Jorge Luis Lora Moran
*Bayameses: inhabitants from Bayamo city. Current capital of Granma province in eastern Cuba.