Hymn of Bayamo, composed by Perucho Figueredo,
was sung in its original form for the first time in October
nowadays Day of the Cuban Culture,
when the Independentist Army seized the City of Bayamo, later
turned into ashes
by his inhabitants, before returning it to Spanish hands.
of the independence wars settled the Masonic Lodge Redención
(Redemption) in August 1st, 1867. Then they made the
oath to fight until death to make Cuba independent from the
Spanish colonial yoke. In August 13th they agreed to constitute
a Revolutionary Committee and when analyzing the
meeting, Francisco Maceo told Figueredo: "It can be said
that we are already gather in War Committee, now it´s
up to you to compose our Marsellaise” Next day Figueredo
made public La Bayamesa, to the
members of the Committee.
The Cuban anthem was conceived with more strophes, and it
is indissolubly related to the process of genesis of the first
Cuban liberation struggle.
The march was still to be orchestrated, so, in May, 8th,
1868, Perucho talked with music professor and conductor of
the municipal band Maestro Manuel Muñoz
Cedeño, who conducted one of the city orchestras,
and hiding his true aim, asked him to make it ank keep the
secret, because “it was a surprise to his friends”.
Later he succeded on presbyter Diego José Batista to
accept its first representation.
Its music was heard for the first time on Thursday, June
11th, 1868, at the Iglesia Parroquial Mayor of Bayamo, during
a solemn Te Deum and for the festivities of the Corpus
Christi, being present high personalities of the government.
Later it was played again on a Bayamo street procession.
The hymn was heard for the second time on the Day of Saint
Christine, when Figueredo and the revolutionary young people
from Bayamo, boldly, looked for Governor Udaeta and accompanied
him from his residence to the Philarmonic Society, when the
march was being played.
In October 18th, 1868, the Seizure of Bayamao by the Liberator
(Mambí) Army of the Republic of Cuba in Arms took place.
Spanish authorities signed in October 20th, 1868 at 11:00
P.M ,. Amidst the joy for victory and the continuous humming
of the music by the crowd. Figueredo put the already known
melody into verses and distributed it among the gathered people
who were joyfully singing. So, at the third time it was heard,
it was born the National Anthem of Cuba.
The Hymn kept on along all freedon struggles, and
when the war ended, in 1898, it was known as the “Hymn
of the Cubans” .
As times went by, and having not the original score, the
melody became altered. Even had 2 versions on harmonization
and introduction, one by Antonio Rodríguez
Ferrer and the other by José
Marín Varona. Finally the original, handwritten
by Figueredo, was found. This brought about analysis and speeches,
until it was agreed to keep Rodríguez Ferrer´s
version, althought it kept having dfferent interpretations.
I was not until 1983, when the researcher and musicologist
Odilio Urfé produced a report
to the National Assembly of the People´s Power with
the definite version of the Cuban National Antehem, which
was passed and it was imnmediately printed and recorded for
Present-day version of La Bayamesa,
officially legalized by the Ley
de los Símbolos Nacionales (Law of the National
Symbols) of 1983, is the one published by José
Martí in June 25th, 1892 in his newspaper Patria(*),
harmonized by Emilio Agramonte, and
checked in 1898 by Antonio Rodríguez Ferrer.
(*) Patria, No. 16, June 25th, 1892. It can
also be consulted in No. 50, February 22nd, 1893, and October