Location: North America
Capitol: Mexico (Distrito Federal)
Geographic coordinates: 23 00 N, 102 00 W
Area total: 1,972,550 sq km
land: 1,923,040 sq km
water: 49,510 sq km
Border: total: 4,353 km
border countries: Belize 250 km, Guatemala 962 km, US 3,141 km
Coastline: 9,330 km
Population: 103,400,165 (July 2002 est.)
Density of population: person/km sq
Nationality: noun: Mexican(s)
Languages: Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages
Ethnic groups: mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, white 9%, other 1%
Religions: nominally Roman Catholic 89%, Protestant 6%, other 5%
Life expactancy at birth
total population: 72.03 years
male: 68.99 years
female: 75.21 years (2002 est.)
Currency: Mexican peso (MXN)
Government: federal republic
The lyrics for the National Anthem of Mexico or Himno Nacional Mexicano (spanish), was written by Francisco González Bocanegra, and the music by Jaime Nunó.
In 1853, President Antonio López de Santa Anna announced a competition to write a national anthem. The competition offered a prize for the best poetic composition worthy of representing a truly patriotic anthem. A deadline of twenty days was set.
Francisco González Bocanegra, a talented poet, was at first not interested in participating in the competition. He argued that writing love poems involved very different skills from the ones required to write a nation's anthem. His fiancée, Guadalupe González del Pino (Pili), with undaunted faith in her fiancé's poetic skills and unsatisfied with his constant refusals to participate in spite of constant prodding from her and from their friends, decided to take measures. Under false pretenses, she lured him to a secluded bedroom in her house, locked him in, and refused to let him out until he produced an entry for the competition. After four hours of fluent, albeit forced inspiration, Francisco was able to regain his freedom by slipping his creation out under the door. His submission won the competition unanimously.
Later, in August 1854, music written by Spanish-born Jaime Nunó, a military band inspector, was chosen. The anthem was officially adopted on Independence Day, September 16 of that same year. The inaugural interpretation was directed by Jaime Nunó himself and sang by soprano Balbina Steffenone and tenor Lorenzo Salvi. Francisco González Bocanegra and Pili, now married, also attended this event.
The fact that it was written by a Mexican poet and composed by a Spanish musician makes it the more nostalgic, for it symbolizes the cultural blend that created this country.
The original full version of the National Anthem of Mexico is presented. After the country's defeat in the Mexican American War some modifications were implemented. Stanzas IV and VII were forbidden because the first one refered to Antonio López de Santa Anna, blamed for the defeat, and the Stanza VII refered to the first Mexican Emperor Agustín de Iturbide, who was sent to exile and immediately executed after his return to the country.
The anthem was written in a period of conservative ruling and when the liberal party returned to government, they implemented the changes mentioned above.
Notes: In the chorus when referring to "centros la tierra" it isn't meaning the Earth core, but the various important points around the globe at that time (e.g. cities, military bases). Also, Patria is a female noun in Spanish; in English it is translated as "Fatherland".
Mexicanos al grito de guerra
el acero aprestad y el bridón.
Y retiemble en sus centros la tierra,
al sonoro rugir de el cañón.
¡Y retiemble en sus centros la tierra,
al sonoro rugir de el cañón!
Ciña ¡oh Patria! tus sienes de oliva
de la paz el arcángel divino,
que en el cielo tu eterno destino
por el dedo de Dios se escribió.
Mas si osare un extraño enemigo
profanar con su planta tu suelo,
piensa ¡oh Patria querida! que el cielo
un soldado en cada hijo te dio.
En sangrientos combates los viste
por tu amor palpitando sus senos,
arrostrar la metralla serenos,
y la muerte o la gloria buscar.
Si el recuerdo de antiguas hazañas
de tus hijos inflama la mente,
los recuerdos del triunfo tu frente,
volverán inmortales a ornar.
Como al golpe del rayo la encina,
se derrumba hasta el hondo torrente,
la discordia vencida, impotente,
a los pies del arcángel cayó.
Ya no más, de tus hijos la sangre,
se derrame en contienda de hermanos;
sólo encuentre el acero en sus manos
quien tu nombre sagrado insultó.
Del guerrero inmortal de Zempoala
te defiende la espada terrible,
y sostiene su brazo invencible,
tu sagrado pendón tricolor.
Él será del feliz mexicano
en la paz y en la guerra el caudillo.
porque él supo sus armas de brillo
circundar en los campos de honor.
Guerra, guerra sin tregua al que intente
de la Patria manchar los blasones,
Guerra, guerra, los patrios pendones
en las olas de sangre empapad.
Guerra, guerra. En el monte, en el valle,
los cañones horrísonos truenen,
y los ecos sonoros resuenen
con las voces de ¡Unión! ¡Libertad!
Antes, Patria, que inermes tu hijos,
bajo el yugo su cuello dobleguen,
tus campiñas con sangre se rieguen,
sobre sangre se estampe su pie.
Y tus templos, palacios y torres
se derrumben con hórrido estruendo,
y sus ruinas existan diciendo:
De mil héroes la Patria aquí fue.
Si a la lid contra hueste enemiga,
nos convoca la trompa guerrera,
de Iturbide la sacra bandera,
mexicanos, valientes seguid.
Y a los fieles bridones les sirvan
las vencidas enseñas de alfombra;
los laureles del triunfo den sombra
a la frente del Bravo Adalid.
Vuelva altivo a los patrios hogares,
el guerrero a cantar su victoria,
ostentando las palmas de gloria
que supiera en la lid conquistar.
Tornaránse sus lauros sangrientos
en guirnaldas de mirtos y rosas,
que el amor de las hijas y esposas,
también sabe a los bravos premiar.
Y el que al golpe de ardiente metralla,
de la Patria en las aras sucumba,
obtendrá en recompensa una tumba
donde brille, de gloria, la luz.
Y, de Iguala, la enseña querida
a su espada sangrienta enlazada,
de laurel inmortal coronada,
formará de su fosa una cruz.
¡Patria, Patria! tus hijos te juran
exhalar en tus aras su aliento,
si el clarín, con su bélico acento,
los convoca a lidiar con valor.
¡Para ti las guirnaldas de oliva!
¡Un recuerdo para ellos de gloria!
¡Un laurel para ti de victoria!
¡Un sepulcro para ellos de honor!
Mexicans, at the cry of war,
Grasp the steel and the bridle,
And let the earth centers tremble
To the roar of the cannon.
And let the earth centers tremble
To the roar of the cannon!
Oh Fatherland! may your brow be wreathed with the olive
By the divine archangel of Peace
For in heaven, your eternal destiny
has been written by the finger of God.
But if a foreign enemy should dare
To profane your ground with his step,
Think, oh beloved Fatherland! that heaven
Gave you a soldier in each son.
In bloody combats you have seen them,
Love for you beating in their breasts,
Serenely facing the shrapnel,
And seeking death or glory.
If the memory of the ancient exploits
Of your sons inflames the mind,
The memory of triumph will become
Immortal to crown your brow.
As the lightning bolt blasts the oak
Into the deep torrent,
Vanquished and impotent discord
Fell at the feet of the archangel.
May the blood of your sons never again
Be spilled in fights between brothers;
May only he encounter the steel in their hands
Who has insulted your sacred name.
The terrible sword of the immortal
warrior of Zempoala defends you,
And his invincible arm sustains
Your sacred tricoloured flag.
He will be in peace and war
The leader of the joyous Mexican,
Because he surrounded his weapons
With brilliance in the fields of honour.
War, war without truce upon him who means
To sully the blazon of the Fatherland;
War, war! Soak our homeland's flags
In the waves of blood.
War, war! In the mountains and the valley,
The dreadful cannons thunder,
And the deafening echoes resound
The cries of Union! Liberty!
O Fatherland, before your unarmed sons
Bend their necks under the yoke,
Your countrysides will be watered with blood
And in blood will be their footprints.
And your temples, palaces, and towers
Will fall with terrible thunder,
And their ruins shall live to say,
"This was the fatherland of a thousand heroes."
If to the struggle against a hostile host
The warrior trumpet calls us,
The sacred banner of Iturbide,
O Mexicans, follow valiantly.
And to the faithful war horses,
Let the vanquished ensigns be a carpet;
Let the laurels of triumph give shade
To the forehead of the great captain.
Let the warrior return proud to his native home
To sing his victory;
Waving the palms of glory
That he captured in the fight.
Let his bloody laurels turn
To garlands of myrtle and roses,
Which the love of daughters and wives
Also award to the brave.
And he who, to the burning shrapnel's stroke
Falls in the altars of the Fatherland,
Will in reward obtain a tomb
Where the light of glory shines.
And, from Iguala, the beloved ensign
Laced to his bloody sword,
Crowned with immortal laurel,
He will make a cross of his grave.
Fatherland, Fatherland! Your sons swear
To breathe out their breath on your altars,
If the clarion with its warlike tone
Calls them to struggle with valour.
For you the garlands of olive!
For them a memory of glory!
For you a laurel of victory!
For them a tomb of honour!
Current Official Version
According to Mexico's Law of Use of the Patriotic Symbols, the current version of the National Anthem includes only the Chorus and Stanzas number I, V, VI and X. The Chorus is sung at the beginning, between each Stanza and at the end.
For international events the Anthem is compound only by the Chorus, Stanza I and the Chorus again.
It is also stated in the Law of Use of the Patriotic Symbols that radio and television must broadcast the Anthem at the beginning and ending of the transmissions. The broadcasted version can be the official one or compound by the Chorus, Stanza I, Chorus, Stanza X and Chorus.