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Spain struggles for harmony over anthem lyrics

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Spain struggles for harmony over anthem lyrics


Are they stirring sentiments or loathsome lyrics. The jury is out on new words that have been penned for Spain’s national anthem. The new version of the song, the “Royal March”, is the result of a competition that attracted thousands of entries.

The winner, Paulino Cubero, said his main concern was to avoid controversy: “I wrote this anthem in such a way that if it’s sung in a stadium no one will think that the person on the left or the right is singing it for a political reason”.

The original lyrics were dropped in 1975 after General Franco’s death because they were felt to reflect his regime. But with phrases like “long live Spain” and “love the fatherland” the updated rendition has not struck a chord with everyone.

One leading Socialist politician said she did not like at all. And there was a mixed public reaction. “It’s like a school poem,” said one man in interviewed on the streets of Madrid. But another said: “If it helps our football team then it’s OK with me”.

Spanish sports stars could soon be having to learn it, if it gets parliamentary approval. The words were to have been revealed in a performance by Placido Domingo but the press were not singing from the same hymn sheet and leaked them in advance.

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