Spain is one of the very few countries that doesn’t have lyrics to its national anthem; Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kuwait and San Marino are others. When I first found out, I wasn’t surprised and it made me laugh.
Few locals seem to have strong sentiments about this. When I asked my Spanish friends, reactions were mixed — some laughed about it, others were embarrassed but didn’t really dwell on it. Spain is quite ‘whatever’ when it comes to things like this — I suppose there are more important national issues at stake.
Set to a tune from the 18th Century, its words were unanimously abandoned when Spanish dictator Franco died (1978). Since then, all Spaniards manage to muster is a ‘la la la la’ when they win a national or international championship/trophy. Quite embarrassing when you have to hum from a podium because your national song doesn’t have any words.
So three months ago the government along with the Spanish Olympic Committee (SOC) launched a competition for the lyrics and they have received about 5,000 entries. The decision will be announced on December 19 — I can’t wait to see the country react to the decision. Madrid is bidding for the 2016 Olympics, which is a good excuse to sort itself out as soon as possible,
These random eccentricities of Spain is what makes me love the country.