patrick_townson (patrick_townson) wrote,

The National Anthem (Star Spangled Banner) for Mexican Immigrants


[Blog Editor's Note: Some big news as we aim for May 1, the International Workers Day is the translation into Spanish of our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. Written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, this became our national anthem by a work of congress in 1931. Translations of existing works are sometimes difficult to do, so Gerald Erichsen will begin by presenting us with four translations, equally valid, then we will continue the discussion.]


'The Star-Spangled Banner' in Spanish
From Gerald Erichsen,Your Guide to Spanish Language.

El himno nacional de los Estados Unidos

Works of literature can be especially hard to translate well, as the majesty of the language and connotations of certain words can be lost. That is especially true of songs, where the rhythm and poetry of the original language can be lost as well. But that doesn't keep translators from trying. No fewer than four translators have made serious, recognized attempts to translate "The Star-Spangled Banner," although not all have tried to make the words singable.
How well did they do? Judge for yourself by selecting any of the next four versions.

First, note the tune we use for 'Star Spangled Banner' here in the USA when it is used with the lyrics we use when we sing it



Versión por Francis Haffkine Snow
Amanece: ¿no veis, a la luz de la aurora,
Lo que tanto aclamamos la noche al caer?
Sus estrellas, sus barras flotaban ayer
En el fiero combate en señal de victoria,
Fulgor de cohetes, de bombas estruendo,
Por la noche decían: "!Se va defendiendo!"

Coro:
!Oh, decid! ¿Despliega aún su hermosura estrellada,
Sobre tierra de libres, la bandera sagrada?


En la costa lejana que apenas blanquea,
Donde yace nublada la hueste feroz
Sobre aquel precipicio que elévase atroz
¡Oh, decidme! ¿Qué es eso que en la brisa ondea?
Se oculta y flamea, en el alba luciendo,
Reflejada en la mar, donde va resplandeciendo


Coro:
!Aún allí desplegó su hermosura estrellada,
Sobre tierra de libres, la bandera sagrada!


¡Oh así sea siempre, en lealtad defendamos
Nuestra tierra natal contra el torpe invasor!
A Dios quien nos dio paz, libertad y honor,
Nos mantuvo nación, con fervor bendigamos.
Nuestra causa es el bien, y por eso triunfamos.
Siempre fue nuestro lema "¡En Dios confiamos!"


Coro:
!Y desplegará su hermosura estrellada,
Sobre tierra de libres, la bandera sagrada!

=====================

(Traducido por Francis Haffkine Snow, 1919)


Versión anónima
Oh, decidme, ¿veis a la primera luz de la aurora
La que izamos con orgullo al último rayo del crepúsculo,
Cuyas anchas bandas y brillantes estrellas, en la fiera lucha
Contemplamos ondeando gallardas sobre las murallas? El resplandor rojizo de los cohetes y el fragor de las bombas
Probaban que por la noche nuestra bandera aún estaba allí.
Oh, decidme, ¿flota todavía la enseña estrellada y listada
Sobre la tierra de los libres y la patria de los valientes?
En la costa apenas perceptible entre las nieblas del mar
Donde la altiva hueste enemiga reposa en temeroso silencio,
¿Qué es lo que la brisa al soplar oculta en parte
Y en parte descubre su elevado pedestal? Ahora recibe el destello del primer rayo matutino
Reflejado en todo su esplendor, y ahora se destaca en el aire
¡Es la enseña estrellada y listada! Que ondee largos años
Sobre la tierra de los libres y la patria de los valientes.

¿Y dónde está aquella banda que engreída juraba
Que el torbellino de la guerra y la confusión del combate
Nos privaría para siempre de patria y hogar?
La sangre ha lavado la mancha de sus pasos desleales. Ningún refugio pudo salvar al mercenario y al esclavo
Del terror de la fuga o de la lobreguez del sepulcro.
Y la enseña estrellada y listada ondea triunfante
Sobre la tierra de los libres y la patria de los valientes.

Así sea siempre, cuando los hombres libres se interpongan
Entre sus amados hogares y la desolación de la guerra:
En la victoria y la paz, este país, socorrido por el cielo,
Alabe al Poder que nos creó y conservó como Nación. Hemos de triunfar, pues nuestra causa es tan justa,
Y sea nuestra divisa: "¡En Dios está nuestra confianza!"
Y la bandera estrellada y listada flotará triunfante
Sobre la tierra de los libres y la patria de los valientes.

(Traductor desconocido)

===========================

Versión por Manuel Fernández Juncos
El día renace y alegra la aurora
Transmite al oriente su vivo color,
¿No ves la bandera que ayer saludamos
Al último tenue reflejo del sol?
Ondeaba en el muro durante la lucha
De franjas y estrellas luciendo el matiz. Y al fuego rojizo de bombas marciales
La vimos de noche tremolando allí. ¿Qué es eso que al aire se agita y flamea,
Allí sobre el monte cercano al mar
Cual signo que anuncia cordial despedida
Al fuerte enemigo que triste se va?
¡Es nuestra bandera!
El sol de la gloria la envuelve y la baña en vívida luz. Mirad como ahora se extiende arrogante
Mostrando su blanco, su rojo y su azul. La turba enemiga que en local jactancia
Juró despojarnos de patria y hogar
¿A dónde se ha ido?
Ya cruza las olas;
Se siente pequeña donde hay libertad.
¡Que así siempre sea; cuando un pueblo digno
El yugo sacude de fiera opresión! ¡El cielo liberte los pueblos que luchan
Si es justa su causa y esperan en Dios! La paz y el trabajo propicios nos hagan
Llegar a la meta de nuestro deber..
Llevando por guías la ciencia y la gloria
Llevando por lema "virtud y poder."
De estrellas y franjas la noble bandera
Manténgase libre de mancha y baldón. Y alcemos al cielo, por nuestra victoria
De pueblos honrados la grata oración. (Traducido por Manuel Fernández Juncos)

========================
Versión por Guillermo F. Hall
Oh, decid: ¿podeis ver, al rayar de la aurora lo
Que vimos anoche orgullosos flotar?
La estrellada bandera, tremolando altanera, encumbrada en
La torre y excitando luchar!
Y a la luz de la roja, fulgurante centella, la
Bandera ondeaba, ondeaba más bella;
Y a través de la densa humareda inflamada,
Con qué orgullo miramos la bandera ondear! ¡El pendón de la Patria, la bandera estrellada,
Encumbrada en la almena convidando a luchar! Oh! decid, ¿todavía contemplais la bandera,
La estrellada bandera,
Sobre suelo de libres que defienden su hogar?
A través de la niebla, de la mar a la orilla
Iracundo enemigo nos atisba a marchar.
¿Qué es aquello que ondula, que flamea y simula
Un enjambre de estrellas refulgiendo en el mar?
Ya del alba recoge la primer llamarada;
Ya se oculta en la niebla, ya aparece inflamada;
Ya ostentando sus glorias se refleja en el río;
Ya sus franjas y estrellas nos deslumbran al par. ¡El pendón de la Patria, tremolando bravio
Y flamenado en la almena nos incita a luchar! ¡El pendón de la Patria, la estrellada bandera,
Tremolando altanera
Sobre suelo de libres que defienden su hogar!

¿Dónde está la falange enemiga y aleve
Que con vana porfía se atreviera a jurar
Que al fragor de la guerra, en la lucha que aterra,
Perderíamos patria y familia y hogar?
¡Con su sangre lavara la verguenza inferida
De su paso a la hulla por la tierra querida!
Encontrar no podría un refugio el taimado,
Que en su fuga oprobiosa la pudiera salvar
Del terror de esa fuga, del morir angustiado
Con el ansia del triunfo que no pudo alcanzar.
Mientras tanto tremola la estrellada bandera
Y triunfante, altanera,
Sobre suelo de libres nos custodia el hogar
Siempre así, cuando altivo se levante el patriota
Defendiendo su suelo, su familia y su hogar.

La radiante victoria lo circunde de gloria,
¡Y bendiga al Eterno que lo hiciera triunfar!
Y pues Dios nos asiste y la lucha es tan santa,
Y el pendón de la Patria nos alienta y levanta,
Conservemos la Patria, el hogar que adoramos,
Y adoptamos por lema, sacrosanto y sin par:
¡"Sea Dios nuestro guía; en su apoyo confiamos!" ¡Justiciera es la causa que nos manda a luchar,
Y el pendón de la Patria, la estrellada bandera,
Tremolando altanera,
Sobre suelo de libres nos conserve el hogar!

=======================
(Traducido por Guillermo F. Hall)

[Editor's Note: So, the way it winds up -- the 'official version' if you will of the Spanish/Mexican version of the Star Spangled Banner is the way it will be heard in the NPR news report from Friday morning, as shown and heard below. President Bush of course says he does not like it, and when President Bush does not like something, then of course the Fox Broadcasting Network does not like either. But I hope you will read the lyrics and listen to the music of our National Anthem (both in the version done on NPR as 'spanish' and also the 'American' original version. First, some comments from National Public Radio about it, then the Spanish/(modified as needed) English. PAT]

Day to Day, April 28, 2006 · A Spanish-language version of the U.S. National Anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," is getting huge airplay on Spanish-language radio stations across the nation ahead of pro-immigration rallies slated for Monday, May 1.

But the great-great grandson of the original songwriter, Francis Scott Key, is not pleased with the interpretation of the song, which features artists such as Wyclef Jean, hip-hop star Pitbull and Carlos Ponce and Olga Tanon from Puerto Rico.

==============================

Lyrics to 'Nuestro Himno' ('Our Hymn')
Amanece, lo veis?, a la luz de la aurora?

lo que tanto aclamamos la noche caer?

sus estrellas sus franjas

flotaban ayer

en el fiero combate

en señal de victoria,

fulgor de lucha, al paso de la libertada.

Por la noche decían:

"Se va defendiendo!"

Oh decid! Despliega aún

Voz a su hermosura estrellada,

sobre tierra de libres,

la bandera sagrada?

Sus estrellas, sus franjas,

la libertad, somos iguales.

Somos hermanos, en nuestro himno.

En el fiero combate en señal de victoria,

Fulgor de lucha, al paso de la libertada.

Mi gente sigue luchando.

Ya es tiempo de romper las cadenas.

Por la noche decían: "!Se va defendiendo!"

Oh decid! Despliega aún su hermosura estrellada

sobre tierra de libres,

la bandera sagrada?

--------------------

English translation (of the Spanish lyrics):

By the light of the dawn, do you see arising,

what we proudly hailed at twilight's last fall?

Its stars, its stripes

yesterday streamed

above fierce combat

a gleaming emblem of victory

and the struggle toward liberty.

Throughout the night, they proclaimed:

"We will defend it!"

Tell me! Does its starry beauty still wave

above the land of the free,

the sacred flag?

Its stars, its stripes,

liberty, we are the same.

We are brothers in our anthem.

In fierce combat, a gleaming emblem of victory

and the struggle toward liberty.

My people fight on.

The time has come to break the chains.

Throughout the night they proclaimed, "We will defend it!"

Tell me! Does its starry beauty still wave

above the land of the free,

the sacred flag?

[Editor's Note continued): People who write words for music based on an already written text have to sometimes 'take liberties' with the original words of the author occassionally in order to get the words to fit into the 'meter' or cadence of the tune. You will see this frequently in hymns which were written in church music books (hymnals). Established tunes (or the tune decided upon as the best to use with the poem in question) do not always fit exactly with the words as they were written. Or maybe they do fit, but then a later translation of the words -- to a different language -- will not work to that tune's meter or cadence. With hymns, the hymn publishers get away with occassionally repeating a phrase, or repeating or changing a word, not the way the original poet did it, but 'close enough' and without changing the original meaning at all. That is what the translators above were trying to do: convey the MEANING of the Star Spangled Banner, and holding as close as possible to the original tune used. PAT]

Bush pans Spanish "Star-Spangled Banner"
By Matthew Robinson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The "Star-Spangled Banner" debuted on Friday with new Latin beat and Spanish lyrics but it did not win a glowing review from President George W. Bush, who said the cherished national anthem should be sung in English.

Latin American artists recorded "Nuestro Himno" (Our Anthem) to stir immigrants to turn out for a national boycott and marches for rights across the country on May 1. Instead they stirred up the ire of those who see it as further polarizing Americans. One Internet columnist dubbed it "The Illegal Alien Anthem."

Bush told reporters at a White House Rose Garden news conference the anthem would not have the same value sung in Spanish.

"The national anthem ought to be sung in English. And I think people who want to be citizens of this country ought to learn it in English. They ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English."

The artists on the song include Gloria Trevi, Ivy Queen, Carlos Ponce as well as Haitian American singer Wyclef Jean. It was released through Urban Box Office.

The buildup to the May 1 immigrants' rights event has fuelled a debate that has divided Congress, the Republican Party, and public opinion.

Conservatives want the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants deported and a fence built along the border with Mexico. Bush has risked the ire of his own Republican party by supporting a guest-worker program and a path to citizenship.

SPANISH TRANSLATION

The idea of translating the U.S. national anthem into Spanish followed an April rally for immigrants in Washington when Spanish-speakers were handed cards printed with the words to the anthem printed in English and with a phonetic pronunciation guide underneath.

"We wanted to teach the anthem and the Pledge (of Allegiance), so we came up with the idea of the national anthem in Spanish," said Juan Carlos Ruiz, the general coordinator of the National Capital Immigration Coalition, which will receive a portion of the proceeds from the CD the song will appear on.

"There are people who are going to attack us no matter what we do. We want to be a part of this country," Ruiz said. "We want to improve America."

He said the Spanish version attempts to convey the meaning of the lyrics rather a direct translation.

"We tried to show the meaning of the song," he said. "It has a Latin beat and a Reggaeton beat which are basically our cultural music," Ruiz added.

Internet columnist Michelle Malkin, who has called it the "The Illegal Alien Anthem" in blogs this week, and others complain that that the lyrics are rewritten, adding phrases like "We are brothers, that's our anthem."

[Michelle Malkin has no idea what problems there are with attempting not only to translate one language into another -- that part is easy! -- but in translating it in such a way as to choose words to use with the proper meter (or syllables) to match with the accepted tune. For example, some tunes will meter out at 8.7.8.7 meaning 8 syllables followed by 7 syllables followed by 8 more then by 7 more. You have got to make the syllables (of the various words) work out that way or the whole thing comes out lopsided when you attempt to sing it. A good artist, which Michelle obviously is not, knows how to properly select words and phrases to use which flow 'smoothly' with a tune. To make matters worse, 'Anchreon in Heaven', the tune used for the poem 'Star Spangled Banner' was almost impossible to work with even for its original (our anthem) purpose. Many critics of (the original) Star Spangled Banner have said that poem is 'mostly unsingable' owing to the high notes in it and the belabored placement of some of the syllables, etc. Those same critics often times say 'America the Beautiful' (poem by Katherine Lee Bates) sung to the hymnn-tune 'Materna' or 'My Country Tis of Thee' (a poem which we sing to the ripped off British hymn tune 'God Save the King (Queen)' would be better choices for our anthem instead of 'Anchreon in Heaven' which melody of course we use with Francis Scott Key's 'Star Spangled Banner' poem. Oh well, maybe Michelle's main complaint are all those people sneaking in undocumented. And by the way, a good artist, in the process of changing a song in one language to another language while attempting to retain the original tune at least _attempts_ to convey the same thoughts and ideas of the original (poem's) author, which these people did. PAT]

The "Star-Spangled Banner" was written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 during the War of 1812 with Britain and was sung to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven," a British drinking song. It became the national anthem in 1931.

(c) Reuters 2006. man.com

To hear an audio version of 'Star Spangled Banner' sung in Spanish as it is being presented to the men and women and children of Mexico who have immigrated to the United States, listen here

Now the version we use in the USA when singing the anthem in English here.

They are quite similar; I cannot see what Mr. Bush's beef is about, nor Michelle Malkin's either, for that matter. In her case at least, we know she has a grudge against people who have not filled out all the paperwork she feels is important.
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