29 October 2007

Just humming right along.

I am always thrilled to hear the National Anthem of the United States. It sends thrills up and down my spine and I just have to sing the words while the music plays. The Himno Nacional of Mexico is also a very stirring anthem and whenever it is played the Mexican people love to sing along with the music as well. I was astonished, however, to hear that although Spain has a national anthem it is just music and there are no words. The origins of Spain’s anthem are not clear. Supposedly it was composed by some German guy and given as a gift to King Carlos III in 1770 but some people argue that the composer was French. In any case the music is a bit slow and solemn and it doesn’t have the pizzazz of the U.S. anthem or the rousing spirit of the Himno Nacional of Mexico. Gen. Francisco Franco declared it the official anthem in 1942 but there were never any official lyrics assigned to it. It is my understanding that there is now a quest in Spain to find some suitable words for patriotic Spaniards to sing so that when it is time for the Olympics next year the Spanish people can belt out their anthem with pride and will no longer just have to hum along. If they can’t come up with suitable anthem in time for the Olympics I have a suggestion. All of the people from Spain who attend the Olympics should carry a kazoo. At least they will be heard better over the noise of the crowd.

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.