The National Anthem of Guatemala
The lyrics of the National Anthem of Guatemala are original by the Cuban poet José Joaquín Palma, and the music was composed by the master composer Rafael Álvarez Ovalle in 1897, on the occasion of the of the Central American Exhibition of the government of General José María Reina Barrios.
The lyrics and the score were printed for the first time in the cultural magazine La Ilustración Guatemalteca, where the author of the lyrics appeared as Anonymous. It was not until 1910, when he was already at the end of his life, that the Cuban poet and diplomat José Joaquín Palma confessed that he was the author; the government of lawyer Manuel Estrada Cabrera awarded both him and Rafael Álvarez Ovalle with gold laurel crowns at the Minervalias Festival of that year.
By order of President General Jorge Ubico, in 1934, some changes were made by the pedagogue José María Bonilla Ruano to the lyrics of the hymn since it was very warmongering and reflected more the Cuban war of independence -in which Palma had actively participated – than to the Independence of Central America.
Lyrics of the Guatemalan National Anthem
Happy Guatemala…! that your sakes
never profane the executioner;
nor are there slaves to lick the yoke
nor tyrants who spit in your face.
If tomorrow your sacred ground
foreign invasion threatens him,
free to the wind your beautiful flag
to win or die he will call.
Free to the wind your beautiful flag
to win or to die he will call;
that your people with fierce soul
before dead than slave will be.
From your old hard chains
you forged with a wrathful hand,
the plow that fertilizes the soil
and the sword that saves honor.
Our fathers fought one day
lit in patriotic burning,
and they succeeded without bloody clash
place you on a throne of love.
And they managed without bloody clash
place you on a throne of love,
that of homeland in energetic accent
they gave life to the redemptive ideal.
It is your teaching piece of heaven
in which a cloud ignites its whiteness,
and oh! of the one who with blind madness
the colors of him intended to stain.
Well, your brave and haughty sons,
who venerate peace as it may,
they never dodge the tough fight
if they defend their land and home.
They never dodge the tough fight
if they defend their land and home,
that it is only the honor his soul idea
and the altar of the homeland its altar.
Lying on the superb Ande,
from two seas to the sonorous noise,
under the wing of scarlet and gold
you fall asleep from the beautiful quetzal.
Indian bird that lives on your shield,
palladium that protects your soil;
I hope that her flight will come back,
more than the condor and the golden eagle!
I hope that he will fly back,
more than the condor and the golden eagle
and on his wings he lifted up to the sky,
Guatemala your immortal name.!