|Date(s):||May 11, 1813|
|Tag(s):||Latin America, National Anthem, Argentina's Anthem|
|Course:||“Latin America,” Texas Wesleyan University|
“Mortals! Hear the sacred cry: ‘Freedom, freedom, freedom!’ Hear the noise of broken chains, see the noble Equality enthroned.” The opening lines of Argentina’s national anthem, indicates the country’s citizen-driven political struggle for equality. Adopted on May 11, 1813, known as the Himno Nacional Argentino, the anthem becomes a siren for political independence from Spain.
Lyrics written by Vicente Lopez y Planes, a decorated military public official, advocated the action by the public. It was a call for unity and oneness. The chorus began, “May the laurels be eternal that we knew how to win,” it continued, “that we knew how to win, Let us live crowned with glory.” Crowned with glory the words evoke images of royal monarchies. The author demanded that all should wear the cherish halo of supremacy. Once subjects under the Spanish crown, they now become equal. Each person wearing independent crowns of glory under one empire. As the words suggested, the fight for freedom meant the fight for recognition. Liberation from Spanish rule meant everyone was worthy.
Imagery from the lyrics reveals Argentina’s historical ties to the Spanish conquest. Unlike previous territories exploited by the Spaniards, “the points of contact in Argentina centered north in the Río de la Plata”. Spanish colonization, Lopez y Planes’ words conjure images of the conquered past. Words like glory, laurels, and broken chains, bring to mind images of golden splendor, royalty, and Christ. His depictions are the echoes of the sixteenth century conquistadors’ search for gold, guns, and God.
The anthem’s demand for equality, freedom, and the chance to “die gloriously” bares the grass-root nature of Argentina’s struggle for independence. According to the Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, after famed military hero Jose de San Martin crossed the Andes Mountains into Chile it signaled the country’s soon to be won independence. “By 1820, Argentina had cemented their independence”. Pushing back from the instable rule of Span the country waged war, and earned its freedom.
With this freedom, came the ability to express it in an anthem meant to celebrate the precious moment. Himno Nacional Argentino, the national anthem of Argentina, remains a melodic reminder of Argentina’s past.