Spain searches for words for national anthem

27th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

27 June 2007, MADRID - Spain has embarked on a thorny path toward trying to set words to a so far lyric-free national anthem.

27 June 2007

MADRID - Spain has embarked on a thorny path toward trying to set words to a so far lyric-free national anthem.

The wordless Spanish national anthem has often caused consternation among onlookers from other nations at international events like soccer matches and Olympic games because all Spaniards can do is hum along to its tune.

"It gives me a very odd feeling that people should sing 'La, la, la, or chunda, chunda, chunda,"' said Alejandro Blanco, president of Spain's Olympic Committee.

"Spain is a country with cheerful people who sing at any opportunity, so why shouldn't they be able to sing the words of a national anthem?" said Blanco.

As a staunchly Catholic country, Spain has for centuries intoned religious rites instead of rallying round an anthem, although one existed mainly for use at military occasions.

Paradoxically, during the military dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco _ 1939-1975 _ the national anthem was rarely heard and it has only re-emerged with a return to democracy in 1977.

Although the idea of setting words to the national anthem was first voiced by the Association of Victims of Terrorism, a group linked to the conservative opposition Popular Party, Blanco said the current initiative is free of politics.

"The politically independent Spanish Olympic committee put forward the idea," said Blanco, who added that many sectors of society have responded with enthusiasm.

Blanco said his committee expected there to be more than 5,000 suggested lyrics to the anthem by September, when candidates are to be assessed by parliament.

"The final choice will be left to lawmakers in government," said Blanco, who said he was convinced the outcome would unite rather than cause divisions in Spain.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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