sábado, 17 de agosto de 2019


Comparative Anthems: What the Subaltern Sings

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Será mejor hundirnos en el mar que antes traicionar
la gloria que se ha vivido,[1]
Pablo Milanés.


          When I was a 5 year-old child in Cuba, every Friday morning I was persuaded “to run to combat” so that “the homeland stares proudly at you.” I needed not “to fear a glorious death,” of course, because “to die for the homeland is to live.”
           It was not only me. Not only my classroom. Not only the whole elementary school, which like dozens of schools and factories in Cuba were rebaptized after the Vietnamese martyr Nguyen Van Troi (1940–1964),[2] a young man who was shot with his eyes blindfolded against his will, shouting political slogans to the very end. We were told that Van Troi refused to accept the absolution from a Western priest and, according to the huge mural painted at the entrance of our homonymous school, he uttered this phrase ―I haven’t found it in any other source―: “If there is life after death, I will keep on fighting.”
           We were reminded of his sacrifice on each political session before classes, the matutino. At those early hours, when dreams were still terrorizing our minds, we also learned that the Cuban flag couldn’t touch the ground under our feet, or it would have to be burned to ashes for the sake of honor. And that the red color of our uniforms and handkerchiefs, like the red color of the triangle in the national banner, stood for the blood shed by martyrs not so remote like Nguyen Van Troi, but young Cubans like we were supposed someday to be.
           These were not metaphors for us in our patriotic ―and life― initiation, particularly during the intonation of the Cuban national anthem. These were facts: there was a real “combat” waiting for us “to run to”. There was a real “homeland staring proudly” at us, who really needed not to fear a “glorious death” because to “die for our homeland” was not literarily but literally “to live”.
           This necroculture was not only endemic of my land, as I chauvinistically thought. Like many national anthems in our hemisphere, the Cuban one is a living fossil from the colonial XIX century. In a sense, most national symbols were born colonial. Ours is called La bayamesa.[3] The gentilic bayamesa refers to women born in Bayamo, a city in Eastern Cuba where this song was composed in October 1868, almost in the battlefield, a few days after the onset of the first independence war against Spain.
           The author of La Bayamesa was eventually captured by the Spain authorities and executed by firing squad, in August 1870. His name was “Perucho” Figueredo, and dozens of schools and factories in Cuba inevitably also bear it. Before being shot, he electrified his executioners by shouting one of the lines of his composition: morir por la patria es vivir (to die for the homeland is to live).
           Such a radical embodiment of a text remained sacred in Cuban cultural field, both throughout the Republican period (1902-1959) and after Castro’s revolutionary overtake on January 1st 1959. But, at a not well determined point in the early 1980s, a young Cuban poet ―a writer of comedian scripts too― dared to write down and read aloud in Havana this tautological appropriation of our national anthem: Morir por la patria no es vivir / es morir por la patria.[4]
           The scene was then open for a number of more or less respectful resemantizations of Cuban national songs. But, with the collapse of the socialist system in East Europe and the Soviet Union, the survival instinct of president Fidel Castro instituted a death downpour upon Cuba: he announced his new slogan Socialism or Death in 1991, as a necrologic coda to his classic Homeland or Death from 1960. And only in 2010 a Cuban musician versioned the Cuban anthem again, in this case as a lullaby: a nana.[5] A late touch of tenderness in the times of totalitarianism: the historical bloodshed was finally washed out by the love for our little ones to inhabit a less fossilized future: Yes, wake up, my little girl, wake up. / I was watching over the track of the torment. / If you had seen it when I opened the door: / not even the least weeping was heard. / It has ceased falling, it has already stopped. / What seemed to be dead is now alive. / Come and listen to sounds of the street / and let's go outside running the two of us.[6]
           The name of the poet and writer of comedian scripts is Ramón Fernández-Larrea, he lives now exiled in Miami. The name of the musician is Alejandro Frómeta, he lives now exiled in Madrid. Only Fidel Castro remained until his death in Cuba in November 2016, fostering his own state (and taste) of necrocubanness and posting online to the very end, warning the world about the imminence of apocalypse: “It would disappear the human species like the dinosaurs have disappeared. Perhaps there would be time for new forms of intelligent life or maybe the sun’s heat will increase until melting all of the planets of the solar system and their satellites, as many scientists agree.”[7]


           “Can the subaltern speak?,” asked twice Gayatri Spivak from the very title of her paradigmatic essay, originally published in 1988[8] and then rewritten before its republication in 1999.[9] The answer is not a Boolean variable which must be responded with Yes or No, because Spivak was concerned with words as much as with “measuring silences,” those symptomatic silences of the subjects “marked” by any “epistemic violence,” including “law and education”, at a “margin” that “one can just as well say the silent, silenced center”.
           Spivak’s rationale could have also raised the question of whether the subaltern can do anything else but, precisely, speak. The hegemonic Other may silently record or discard the speeches of subalternity. And, although it’s also true that is “only in their death that they enter a narrative for us, they become figurable,” like in a ceaseless ancestral melody, the subaltern subjectivities still keep an aura of orality upon them. Whether half-illiterate or half-illustrated, illegal or untouchables, with tongues endangered or already going extinct, the subaltern can only speak. By hearsay or by heart, the subaltern speaks like singing a parental, patriotic repertoire.   
           Clicking around the internet I found the website National Anthems,[10] a digital page with the goal “to offer the most comprehensive source on anthem information on the Internet.” It conforms a collection of “over 400 anthems past and present, as well as anthems of other entities”, plus a brief “background on the history of the anthem,” including “the anthem’s title, its lyricist and composer, year the anthem was adopted, first used, or length of use, sheet music (if available), a music file in MP3 format, and lyrics (usually with an English translation as well).”
           The editors of “National Anthems” are eager to declare that “the information provided here is done so as a scholarly study on anthems.” To avoid misinterpretations, they claim academic neutrality: “The inclusion of a particular anthem should not be taken as an expression of political beliefs of the editors of the site. We strive for the information on this page to be fair and balanced, even in the dealing of anthems some may find ‘controversial’”.
           How can national anthems be controversial? On which grounds: melodic or linguistic? Do anthems reverberate in the heads of the people as much as in their throats? Did the editors receive political pressures against the inclusion of a specific country? Even if a digital domain can be assumed as a non-national niche, are they still subject to the practice of methodological nationalism?[11]
           “We truly believe that knowledge of other nations and cultures will help lead to further peace and understanding in the world, and learning about other anthems is a good beginning.” This digital mea culpa of National Anthems web is their eloquent Ansatzpunkt, to employ the terminology of Erich Auerbach.[12] With this rather intransitive beginning, as Edward Said would call it in his book devoted to analyze literary beginnings,[13] the webmasters use anthem ecumenism as a handle to deal with the whole spectrum of lyrics and necrolyrics.
           I wonder if this message is a bottle of bytes for the inhabitants of the future. How will the newer generations read the National Anthem album of atrocities? What will they think of their ancestors, compelled to sing as an identity and idiosyncratic ritual, in order to announce allegiance to a given territory elevated to the category of homeland?


           “¡República o muerte!” is the shout that startled me when I randomly started my search with the national anthem of Paraguay, in a failed attempt to evidence the exceptionality of my Cuban childhood and its cult to a glorious death in which no adult believed, but to which all children are exposed. Written in 1846 by Francisco Esteban Acuña de Figueroa (1791-1862) ―and officially adopted that year by Paraguay―, this anthem made the slogans of Fidel Castro look like a devaluated version of necrolyricism. Like in most of its fellow hymns, the independence thanatic raptures seem to emerge here from the landscape itself: Let it sound the cry “Republic or Death”! / Let our chests exhale it with faith, / and their echoes be repeated by the mountains / like giants arising.[14]
           Acuña de Figueroa was also the lyricist of Uruguay’s anthem, which was officially adopted as early as 1833. He was already an enthusiastic author with the use of exclamation marks: Eastern landsmen: our country or the grave! / Freedom or with glory to die! […] In the battle we shall clamor for liberty / and, yet dying, liberty still![15] His original lyrics included a passage ―not sung anymore― where the redemptive sacrifice is legitimized by making it emanate from the grave of Inca Atahualpa (c.1502-1533), a “tomb that is opened” given “the battle blast all around”, and then the “skeleton” of the hero itself “blows with wrath the palm trees” as he “screams for vengeance.”[16]
           The music of the Uruguayan anthem is typically epic, as in a number of Latin American anthems of operatic nature, in this case “reminiscent of works by Italian composers Donizetti, Verdi, Bellini or Rossini”, according to National Anthems website. Like many others, it was composed by a foreigner, Francisco José Debali (1791-1859), a Hungarian who moved to Uruguay in 1838 after having served as a military band master in the Piedmont area of Italy. The exalted magnificence of its music made this anthem uncomfortably long to perform, even when only one of the stanzas is officially sung nowadays: with 105 music bars and almost five minutes in length, the Uruguayan anthem constitutes the longest of all compiled by National Anthems.
           The concert of South American neighboring countries tunes in the same line. The Chilean anthem, for example, repeats several times: Either you’ll be the tomb of the free / or the refuge against oppression.[17] While in the Argentinean are not the palms but another tree the one evoked for the sake of victory (or else, death): May the laurels be eternal / the ones we managed to win. / Let us live crowned in glory… / Or let us swear in glory to die![18] The classic heritage of the laurel recurs in at least eight of the national anthems of the American hemisphere, including Brazil.
           The music of the Bolivian anthem, composed by the Italian Leopoldo Benedetto Vincenti (1815-1914), again resembles an Italian opera. Eurocentric emotions demonstrated to be effective to stir the secessionist spirit against Europe. This lyric, written by José Ignacio de Sanjinés (1786-1864) gives little space for specificity, beyond the gross generalities of necrolyricism: And, on its altars, once more we shall swear: / to die rather than to live as slaves.[19] And then it recycles the invocation of the sacred dead, in this case no less than “El Libertador” Simón Bolívar (1783-1830): For the sons of the mighty Bolívar / have sworn thousands and thousands of times: / to die rather than to see humiliated / the Homeland’s majestic banner.[20]
           Regarding the “mighty Bolívar” and the power he could confer to those who invoke his spirit, many are still shocked by the images of former president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez (1954-2013), with most of his ministers, during the exhumation of Simón Bolívar in July 2010,[21] with the pretended purpose of finding out if Bolívar had been poisoned to death two centuries before, and also to reconstruct with more forensic accuracy his face, in order to paint a perfect portrait for Chávez’s presidential office in Caracas. Chávez posted in his Twitter account back then that he broke into tears, for he could feel the “flame” of Bolívar’s “sacred skeleton.”[22]  
           In the national anthem of Ecuador is God himself who saw and accepted the holocaust, and the blood was the fertile seed / for other heroes whom the world in astonishment saw / arising in thousands around you.[23] The lyrics by Juan León Mera (1832-1894) included a stanza[24] ―not sung anymore― where the notion of holocaust is to “prevent the death of the Homeland and all of her sons” under the rule of those who might be “preparing the new chains” with “injustice of barbarian fate,” a prayer then launched to the “mighty Pichincha” volcano, for it to “suddenly sink deep in your entrails / whatever exists on your land,” so that “the tyrant cannot tread but on ashes, / while in vain looking for traces of any being around you.”
           How not to remember here as Cuban (my Cubacentrism, like Spivak’s warning about her not being a South Asianist, is only because “I have some accident-of-birth facility there” too) the epigraph ―or epitaph― which opens this approach (see footnote 1)? A morbid memorandum from one of the ballads by Pablo Milanés, the world-acclaimed Cuban troubadour: It will be better to sink ourselves under the sea / rather than betraying / the glory that we have lived.[25]
           In the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean a similar impulse prevails throughout the national anthem’s anthology. From the Colombian “land of Columbus soaking in the blood of heroes”[26] to the Mexican “War, war! Let the homeland banners / in waves of blood be soaked”[27] to the Salvadorian “day when on its lofty banner / it was written with blood: Liberty!”[28] From the Guatemalan “people, with a fierce spirit, / that would rather die than be enslaved”[29] to the Dominican “invincible coat of arms, as our right; / with its motto: to be free or to die”[30] to the Honduran “we shall march, O Homeland, to death. / Generous shall be our fate / if we die thinking of your love.”[31]
           Can we envision now such a trans-national army of children, singing simultaneously this cult of dying not without causing death first? Latin America may then be interpreted as a musical war zone, where all of our national anthem’s commonplaces, from El Río Bravo to La Patagonia, explain much better the despotic populisms, corrupt democracies, and criminal dictatorships of the region.
           Is this the long-sought dream of Ernesto “Ché” Guevara (1928-1967): to create not one but “two, three or many Vietnams flourish throughout the world with their share of deaths and their immense tragedies”.[32] Namely, to create not one but a thousand martyrs like Nguyen Van Troi, each one uttering “if there is life after death, I will keep on fighting.” No wonder then that the mortal remains of Ché Guevara were also disinterred, like Bolívar’s, in this case in 1997 and following instructions given by Fidel Castro in Cuba, who brought back the skeleton to a holy memorial at the geographical center of the Island.[33]
           Whether or not there is life after death, millions of Latin American future citizens will keep on singing altogether, irrespective of ideology and political economy, in a continent congenitally choral.


You can hear their brains rattling in their skulls.
God! It’s become like a national anthem!
J. Hartley Manners.[34]

           Besides being a synchronic phenomenon of modernity in the Americas, are national anthems modern at all in our hemisphere? Are there modernist patterns identifiable in their lyrics or in the imported sumptuousness of their music? A national anthem is conceived to suit a newborn nation but, aren’t they more akin to the Ancien Régimes they claim to overcome? Are national anthems the first of a series of post-imperial melancholic returns to the Metropolis?
           In a 2012 book, the Australian music historian Jane Southcott says that “patriotic songs and national anthems have been a staple of school musical activity since the inception of the modern school approximately two centuries ago.”[35] In the same book, professor Carlos Abril[36] explains that “national anthems function as malleable and dynamic symbols of the collective unity of a country” and that “unlike more static national symbols that have clearly defined boundaries, such as monuments or flags, anthems are dependent on the interpretation and realization by a performer or performers.”
           Southcott believes that “demonstrations such as flag flying and the singing of the national anthem are designed to inculcate patriotic fervor in the citizens of the future.”[37] Yet, she mentions that in her country Australians “no longer have school ceremonies with quasi-militaristic overtones” and they “do not salute the flag” nor “pledge allegiance” to symbols. Still, they do keep singing the national anthem with enthusiasm.
           Kari Veblen[38] adds the idea that “it is commonly believed that a national anthem indicates what is important to a society and elicits feelings of patriotism and unity.” And then she quotes Ehud Bodner and Avi Gilboa in extenso:[39] “it is commonly held that people react to the playing of their national anthem with feelings of patriotic pride,” so “that anthems have a unifying power, so much so that people singing or listening to their anthem will connect to similar images, feelings and associations, and that this contributes to national socialization. Music is known to act as a unifying factor in many social contexts and national anthems seem to be a powerful demonstration of this function.”
           Matthew Perry[40] in his student’s piece National Anthems: A Call to Arms, remarks that this is so because national anthems bring the “message, sometimes hidden, at other times quite obvious” that there “is no greater honor than to lay aside all that you love to do, as your ancestors did before you, and fight for your country,” thus giving “people sense of something larger than life,” and being “able to link the individual with the collective, to make one feel part of the whole.” To fulfill this transcendentalist role, “war has the power to unite countries unlike anything else, and many countries have capitalized on that fact and used war in their anthems.” Certainly, this “can be compared to instilling guilt in many ways,” for “to hear what those men long ago did to insure your freedom today” bounds you as a listener to the moral mimesis that now “it is your duty to risk your life for those who have yet to come.” This would explain the abuse of “words such as glorious, tyranny, liberty, bravery, victory, noble” in order to “give a chivalric image of one’s country.”
           As Eugene Dairianathan and Chee-Hoo Lum[41] conclude, “songs, like the pretexts, contexts, and subtexts that comprise them, acquire iconic value, to transcend situation, context, space and time. Songs fulfill the two chief senses of the word burden as used by Spivak [in The Burden of English, 1993], and have relevance for the perception and reception not only of the music within the community but also among diverse communities.” And to support their viewpoints they quote Ron Eyerman:[42] “Songs are more than texts… they are also performances… This gives more force to music as carrier of collective memory, tradition… with meaning more than the cognitive, literal level… can empower, help create collective identity, a sense of movement, in an emotional and almost physical sense.”
           A national anthem embodies the need of a border for each nation. Thus, their universality is illusory, for they operate only within the limits of their respective nationalisms: a sort of musical anti-Weltliteratur. They occupy the local and, at most, they conquer the neighbor by making it indistinguishable from their own melody, just as Edward Said describes that a “colonial space must be transformed sufficiently so as no longer to appear foreign to the imperial eye.”[43]
           In a way, part of the power of national anthems relies on this intrinsic untranslatability, on their reluctance to translation. We can then imagine the sonic map of national anthems as walls of words, as well as waves that melt into air ―for sound is air in motion, energized― while they perform their function of bringing certain people together by putting certain people apart.
           National anthems are also mnemotechnical machines: it seems so easy to sing ours by heart, while it’s a tour de force to sing others in a naturalized manner. This hyper-territorialization condensates geography around them, even when they all employ the same basic bricks in their composition: it is as if their uniqueness were a product of their mutual predictability.
           Of course, all anthems are openly methodological in their nationalism. They are the last proof “that the nation/state/society is the natural and political form of the modern world,”[44] to employ the terminology of Andreas Wimmer and Nina Glick Schiller. Despite the “dramatic statement that ‘we are all migrants now’” quoted by these authors[45], it remains “true that 95 per cent of the people of the world are not migrants,” just as “despite global media and rapid flows of information, national identities remain silent in many localities around the world.”[46] Here it lays largely the captive and very vulnerable audience for the pandemic persistence of national anthems: those who, in turn, can only sing as a mode of participation.
           Wimmer and Schiller value the impact of “long distance nationalism” nowadays, an effect/affect that “links together people living in various geographic locations and motivates them to action in relationship to an ancestral territory and its government,” in a sort of “trans-border enterprise” made up by “a fragile, but vocal trans-border citizenry.”[47] These diasporic subjects are reached by their respective national anthems for the reconstitution of local rituals abroad, mainly through televised and webcasted events like international sports, diplomatic ceremonies, changes of government back home, official funerals of national personalities, global success of local celebrities, and others hallmarks of belonging to and longing for.


           Is there a predetermined body posture to listen and sing the national anthem assigned to you at birth? Are we bound by law ―or is it just a domestic tradition― to stand up and hold our right hand on the left side of our chest, in order to anticipate the circulation/emanation of blood as we listen and sing?
           On August 30th 2016, the editors of National Anthems posted in their Facebook page a note[48] about “the trending story” of “an American (gridiron) football player named Colin Kaepernick who refused to stand for the US national anthem at a game that he was playing in.” As Kaepernick declares to be African-American, “his stated reason for doing so was to protest the oppression of African-Americans in the US,” and therefore “he does not wish ‘to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour’ according to comments he made.”
           The editors added that “probably the most important fact we can contribute is that there is no law in the United States that requires one to stand up, place the hand over the heart, or to show another sign of respect to the national anthem (though it may be considered in bad taste to not do so).” As “the US officially lacks any disciplinary system, possibly because of the concept of free speech that is one of that country’s most cherished rights, which includes the right to protest,” for the National Anthems editors “Kaepernick cannot be charged with any law. However, performing these protests as an employee of a private company (the National Football League), he could face sanctions and/or fines from the league; which, as of yet, has not happened.”
           The keyword for the web editors is respect. They emphasize that “we mention that all national anthems, regardless of your thoughts of the nation that it represents, should be treated equally and with respect.” And, although “Mr. Kaepernick has stated that he has no respect for the nation the anthem represents, prompting him to sit during the anthem, his protests so far have been relatively respectful, as he has not hindered those who wish to stand for the anthem by booing or causing a disturbance during it.” Their conclusion “after this incident,” is that “in an action of protest, respect is still being shown at this point by both sides for whichever side they are taking, as Kaepernick is free to protest, and his teammates that choose to are free to still stand and respect the anthem.”
           As their Facebook post continues, “comments on social media” ―as well as those that I heard in the establishments of Saint Louis where they show several footballs games at a time― “have people divided with some supporting his taking a stand, and others angry that he is not showing respect for the country that he lives in and is a citizen of.” In those days of late August 2016 I had just landed in Saint Louis, from faraway Iceland, where I had ended up as refugee with a literary scholarship[49] after a season of political repression in faraway Cuba. It was a scorching month in Missouri. In many gardens I could read not only the world-known motto Black Lives Matter, but the much more compelling: We Must Stop Killing Each Other.
           During my first weeks in the city I found extremely difficult the act of breathing. It could have been the weather, too dry. It could have been a friend who committed suicide in Cuba, the poet Juan Carlos Flores (1962-2016). It was my first long-distance death mediated by Facebook, not glorious at all, like his arid anti-lyrical verses:[50] But liberty is one per, though among militarized camps.
           I soon found that Kaepernick was not the first case. In July 2009, for example, in his article Honoring the Anthem or Free Speech?,[51] Scott Jaschik mentions the former football player Jacob Bond, who filed a lawsuit against Macalester College, charging that he was “kicked off the football team there in 2006 for refusing to remove his helmet while the national anthem was being played ―an act he says was an act of protest over the Bush administration’s war in Iraq.” According to Jaschik, “Bond said that he kept his helmet on and turned away, as an act of protest, leading Babcock [his coach] to scream at him: Why do you always have to be different?” And “the next day Bond was off the team.”
           Jaschik then quotes a number of norms that must be respected (norms that the National Anthems web editors obviously ignore): “United States Code specifies how people should act when the Star-Spangled Banner is played: ‘All present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart; men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart…’ The uniform in question is military, not athletic.”
           Likewise, Carlos Abril[52] refers to the Code for the National Anthem of the United States of America (2005),[53] with norms that “can be viewed on at least two levels: the musical and the behavioral”. The first ones are: “triple meter, moderate tempo, an unembellished and unaltered melody, simple harmonies, singing accompanied by a traditional ensemble (i.e., orchestra or concert band), and English-language lyrics.” And the second ones are: “standing as a sign of respect when the music is playing, facing the US flag or a sound source, singing along to the melody, and expressing solemnity and respect through facial affect and appropriate body positioning.” All this stems from a 1942 Code for the National Anthem of the United States of America, which was created by a committee with members of the Music Supervisors National Conference, the U.S. military, and music industry representatives ―said Code regained visibility in 2005 when the National Anthem Project website was launched (see below).
           Perhaps a series of incidents like these guided the founders of the National Anthem Project,[54] chaired by Laura Bush and supported by military and corporate sponsors: a “public awareness campaign launched in 2005” as a major initiative of the Music Education National Conference [MENC], which “boldly declared” their intention “to revive America’s patriotism by educating Americans about the importance of The Star-Spangled Banner ―both the flag and the song―,” and “what it means to our nation’s heritage.” A goal which later changed to: “restore America’s voice through music education” (after the 2016 presidential campaign this reads in my head as a sort of “make America sing again”).
           The MENC executive director John Mahlmann believes that “learning patriotic songs helps our children form bonds with their communities and instills pride in the American ideals we all hold close to our hearts ―freedom, liberty and equality.”54 MENC could also have been reacting to a Harris Interactive survey, which in 2004 detected that “nearly two out of three Americans (61 percent) are unable to recall all of the words to The Star-Spangled Banner, and three in four Americans indicate that school is where they learned the anthem and other patriotic songs,” while “only 39 percent of Americans could complete the third line of The Star Spangled Banner correctly.”54
           The National Anthem Project toured the United States in 2006-2007, making Road Show stops in every state of the country, with music performances by student bands and interactive education centers with advocacy materials. Visitors were encouraged to sing The Star-Spangled Banner and the best singer in each town was rewarded with $1000, to donate it to a local school music program. It has been estimated that only the “Grand Finale” of the tour, celebrated in the capital of the United States, “garnered more than 220 news stories, reaching 26 million people.”54
           Obviously, The National Anthem Project has been subject to criticism. To begin with, to place “emphasis on the patriotic and historical music genre, and one song in particular”, could be “displacing study of other areas such as peace studies, multiculturalism, and international education.”54 Following Amy Beegle’s 2004 documentation of musical propaganda in U.S. schools during World War II, it has been raised the question that music educators should “reflect upon the experiences of past generations,”[55] while in 2006, Jere Humphreys stressed that “the National Anthem Project sends questionable messages during this time of controversy during a foreign war and the reduction of civil liberties at home and abroad.”[56] Carlos Abril publicly warned that most of said Project’s initiatives “propel absolutist views in which declared truths take a front seat to divergent understandings and discoveries.”[57] And Estelle Jorgensen in 2007 wrote that “selecting The Star-Spangled Banner as the focus of a national campaign to teach the nation to sing can be read as too narrow an objective in that it forwards the limited claims of nationalism to the exclusion of building international and local affiliations and identities.”[58]
           The book Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education,[59] edited in 2012 by David Hebert and Alexandra Kertz-Welzel ―dedicated “to all the young people throughout time who were persuaded through the power of music education to sacrifice their lives for governments that never offered them freedom to enjoy the creative pleasures of music and life that we so greatly appreciate”―, studies different countries regarding their patriotic songs: Germany, Australia, Taiwan, South Africa, Singapore, Canada and the United States of America. In the Foreword by Simon Keller,[60] patriotism is defined as “a passionate, emotionally driven commitment” involving psychological issues that one “does not simply choose to possess.” Therefore, “to make a person patriotic, you need to affect her passions, and her manner of thinking about herself, her country and the world.” Hence the importance of “music teachers,” given that “through shared musical experiences, many think, emotional attachments to a country can be formed and nurtured, and identities can be created and expressed.”
           Talking about the evolution of the meanings of the word “passion,” Erich Auerbach[61] recalls that “for us, the passions are violent, heated affairs. For this reason, they are also always attractive,” and he demonstrates how in different historical moments “passion” has been used in opposition to both “praxis” (action) and “reason” (thought). Passions, then, must be handled with precaution when it comes to nationalism.
           David Hebert and Alexandra Kertz-Welzel, in their Introduction[62] to this 2012 “international-comparative” compilation, expressed their “contention that there is an appropriate time and place for patriotic music, and that music of this kind may serve as an important form of cultural heritage,” but they acknowledge that “patriotism has often been inappropriately used as a rationale or objective for music teaching,” leading to “the emergence of erroneous assumptions and related pressures.” In their Conclusions and Recommendations, these authors “assert that rather than embracing a socially assigned role to fan the flames of nationalism through patriotic songs (particularly during war time), music teachers should alternatively consider offering music lessons that entails the promotion of reconciliation in the relationships between ethnic groups or nations that share a history of political tensions or even hostility of armed conflict.”[63]
           The chapter dedicated to Germany[64] recalls that “Hitler strengthened music education in public schools,” and that “the main music education philosophy during the III Reich, the Musische Erziehung, proclaimed similar visions about changing and redeeming the world through the power of music,” even by “referring to Plato’s ideas about music as a means of transforming human beings and society,” in a trend revisited by writers like Thomas Mann, who “emphasized in his novel Doktor Faustus the demonic power of music and the German tendency to irrationalism.”
           After decades of apartheid, and as a strong sign of “reconciliation, tolerance and intercultural understanding,” South Africa managed to adopt two national anthems since “the proclamation by the first democratically-elected president, Nelson Mandela, in 1994 that both anthems would serve as the national anthems of the country:” Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika and Die Stem van Suid Afrika (for practical reasons, nowadays both are unified in “a shortened, combined version” of each original).[65]
           Carlos Abril[66] explains how “after the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, a patriotic fervor swept the country” and some states of the Union even “passed laws requiring a US flag in every public school classroom and many school districts expected children to show reverence for the flag and be led in reciting the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ and/or singing the national anthem each school day.” In “many schools, music teachers were expected to do their part by teaching the national anthem” and “school boards that failed to comply with patriotic teachings and behaviors were labeled un-American or communist by some.”    
           English language and American nationalism are much more allied than expected for a society that hosts massive number of immigrants every year, and that promotes multicultural values. English language can certainly be quite more difficult to forget than what has been hinted by some thinkers, who has posed the question of “can humanism ever be monolingual?,” after discussing how “the social situation (and power) of English worldwide” allows this language to “assume an aura of universality and transparency,” thus functioning as a “vanishing mediator.”[67]
           The bridge between English and Nation in the U.S. was manifest in 2006, when a Spanish version of The Star-Spangled Banner was recorded,[68] and “quickly many expressed their opposition to a translation of the song.” President George W. Bush himself “issued an statement soon after its release, saying: ‘I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English, and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English’.” President Bush was not alone in this Anglophone crusade, for also in 2006 the “US Senator Lamar Alexander[69] introduced a resolution in the Senate that the anthem should only be sung or recited in English,” while a public poll[70] conducted at the time “reported that 69 percent of US citizens said it is only appropriate to sing the national anthem in English.”  
           It would be interesting to explore if the monolingualism of national anthems is what makes them so persistent, even when their lyrics might be mispronounced in the worst possible way: in the case of the Cuban national anthem, for example, a large number of people during their whole life pronounces the expression “oprobio sumido” (subjected to opprobrium) as “lo propio sumido” (subjected to one’s own), making a very funny short-circuit out of the stiff belligerency of La bayamesa.
           Curiously enough, other translations of the The Star-Spangled Banner do exist in the U.S., and several examples throughout history are provided by Carlos Abril:66 “given the number of German immigrants in the U.S. at the time, the song was translated into German in an 1894 version called Das Star-Spangled Banner,” while “in 1919, the U.S. Bureau of Education commissioned a Spanish version of the SSB called La Bandera de las Estrellas,” and it has even been translated into the American Sign Language (ASL).[71] Besides, without any scandal similar to the 2006 Spanish remake, in many mainstream newspapers the American national anthem with frequency is criticized in its broader context, where “most national anthems are lousy music.”[72]
           It is true that the lyrics of the 2006 Spanish version[73] of The Star-Spangled Banner encompass less poetical density than the original in English by poet Francis Scott Key (1779-1843). In some passages, the Spanish ballad might result reminiscent of a Hispanic musical hit, as those listed in the most commercial Latino billboards of the United States. In fact, Nuestro Himno (Our Anthem)[74] was “an unlikely collaboration between dozens of pop stars you may never have heard of,”[75] including the Mexican pop star Gloria Trevi and several reggaeton stars from Puerto Rico: so that in compliance with the political correctness that aims to the inclusion of differences, “where the original version described, among other things, ‘the havoc of war’ (as any patriot zealous enough to have memorized the third verse could tell you), the new version evokes a nonviolent struggle for freedom, not a war.”
           According to the New York Times collaborator Kelefa Sanneh, the only explanation that “President Bush and others object to Nuestro Himno, it’s not because of the lyrics but because of the language.” Namely, Spanish. Maybe that’s why “Jimi Hendrix’s[76] famous instrumental version of The Star-Spangled Banner,” a “version with guitar pyrotechnics echoing the battlefield pyrotechnics in the lyrics” but without any singing during its performance in the late 1960s, “was once seen as a provocation” while “now it’s often treated as an exuberant expression of patriotism.”[77] Sanneh concludes that “in a different context —in a Florida detention center filled with Cuban dissidents praying for refugee status, for example— a Spanish-language Star-Spangled Banner might have a very different political meaning,” for “the power of protest songs usually has more to do with context than content” and “what matters more, most times, is who’s singing the song, and to whom.”
           I wonder who those imagined Cuban dissidents are. I know and I have collaborated with most of them and, on the verge of 2017, I still haven’t heard of any “praying for refugee status” in any detention center in the U.S. or elsewhere. Those who do it are mainly common citizens who escape from Castro after having being complicit of Castro their whole lives. But this is another debate on the topic of re-presentation versus self-representation of the Cuban Revolution and its Exile, as subtitled by The New York Times.


           In 2006 there were two other moments of “inappropriate” appropriations of national anthems, both of which I would like to describe with some detail, since they constitute interventionist interpretations of a cultural product —national anthem— which is over-semantized to the point of becoming an empty signifier. The first example comes from the European Union music scene, and the second one is from the United States cinematography.
           Volk: a monosyllable that sounds like a gunshot and it means “people” in German and “wolf” in Slovene. Volk: the seventh studio album by the Slovenian industrial music band Laibach,[78] recorded in 2006 in collaboration with another Slovenian band: Silence. Volk: a “collection of thirteen songs inspired by national or pan-national anthems, plus the anthem of the NSK State, a virtual state to which Laibach belong.”[79]
           As credit is given to Wikipedia as the sole source of the national anthems featured, are these songs occupied, vandalized or revitalized by the four members of Laibach: Eber, Saliger, Dachauer and Keller? They have declared that “Laibach does not believe in originality” and that in consequence no other imitator/competitor band could “steal much” from them: furthermore, they assure being “glad” with the “legitimate process” of their music being an inspiration for others, for thus they have “proven once again that a good ‘copy’ can make more money on the market than the ‘original’.”[80]
           Laibach in their 2006 album Volk[81] included the following 14 tracks of national anthems: Germania (Das Lied der Deutschen, Germany), America (The Star-Spangled Banner, United States of America), Anglia (God Save the Queen, United Kingdom), Rossiya (The International, Union of Socialist Soviet Republics), Francia (La Marseillaise, France), Italia (Il Canto degli Italiani, Italy), España (Marcha Real and El Himno de Riego, Spain), Yisra’el (Hatikvah and Fida’I, Israel and Palestine, respectively), Türkiye (Istiklâl Marsi, Turkey), Zhonghuá (March of the Volunteers, China), Nippon (Kimi ga Yo, Japan), Slovania (Hey, Slavs, former Yugoslavia), Vaticanae (Inno e Marcia Pontificale, Vatican City), and NSK (the national anthem of a sovereign self-proclaimed nation called Neue Slowenische Kunst[82] —in German: New Slovenian Art—, where the musicians of Laibach claim to belong beyond any other nationality, in an imaginary communion and collective commitment that, since the 1990s, have maintained consulates in several cities and has even issued passports and postage stamps).
           In the hendrikje1966 YouTube channel, it is posted that “Laibach are uncovering a common ground linking the nations, a shared patriotic sentiment based around the bloody and violent foundations of nation,” so that “by reinterpreting the music and translating the lyrics of each anthem, the band have not only shown us this common ground, they have also offered up a very pertinent comment on today’s political situation and a warning for future.”[83]
           The intertextual intentions of Laibach installs a very incisive insight with the new lyrics of each national anthem “sequestered.” All of political palimpsests from their album Volk can be freely consulted on the internet.[84] It is noticeable their criticism to the globalized logic of inter-imperiality, from the old colonial powers, like Spain — Gloria, Gloria, crown of the poor. / Brave is your Jesus, El Toreador. / Gloria, Gloria, crown of the poor. / Dark was your Jesus, El Conquistador— and England —So, you still believe you are ruling the world, / using all your tricks to keep the picture blurred?—, to much more recent reigns and Reichs, like Italy —Avanti Italia, / Italia from dusk till dawn. / Where is now / your Victory? / For God made you / the slave of Rome—, the United States —How blind can you get / for your country, right or wrong. / America, the melting pot: / praise the Lord / and praise the Holy Spirit / to save us from your freedom— and Germany —There will be no memory / or there will be no home. / It is the lesson you have to learn / now and in the future. / Do you think you can make it, Deutschland?
           For Laibach, the national anthems of Turkey and of the former Yugoslavia somehow embody two opposing faces at the limits of their polipatriotic battleground. From the East —in the melancholic Istanbul at the crossfire of civilizations—, the West may be armored with steel, / but we have the faith and belief. / Freedom is my people’s right. / We worship God and seek the might. While from the West —in Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana, which under German domination was denominated precisely “Laibach”—, we stand alone in history, / facing East in sacrifice.
           The second 2006 appropriative moment —“momentum” mathematically means “mass multiplied by speed”— is a radical representation of The Star-Spangled Banner in the American film Shortbus,[85] a polemic fiction written and directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Its final script was the result of an audition website which “elicited half a million hits and 500 audition tape submissions,” so that “the film's characters and story were created collaboratively over 2.5 years through improvisation workshops with the cast,” including that “40 people were called in for improv auditions and nine actors were cast, all before there was any story in mind.” It was, before the beginning, an exercise of summing up subalternities, brought from the cosmopolitan margins to the spotlights of cinematographic focus. 
           Only after this collection process, the director “wrote the screenplay from the raw material generated by the workshops and rehearsals,” resulting in an fiction-documentary artwork who employed real-life characters, dozens of cameos with New York underground celebrities, and “a variety of explicit scenes containing non-simulated sexual intercourse with visible penetration and male ejaculation,” to deploy a plot that “revolves around a sexually diverse ensemble of colorful characters trying desperately to connect in New York City.”
           According to its director, Shortbus attempts to “employ sex in new cinematic ways because it’s too interesting to leave to porn.” His poetics deals with “the ethics/politics of sexuality” and the “issue on homosexuality’s existence in laws and in the political sphere,”[86] engaging more in self-representation that in re-presentation, to use the distinction of Edward Said[87] (dealing with “some version of the truism that if the Orient could represent itself”) and Chandra Talpade Mohanty[88] (comparing “the distinction between Western feminist re-presentation of women in the third world, and Western feminist self-presentation”), as well as similar approaches of Homi Bhabha[89] (in his re-reading of the ideas of Fanon and Derrida about the representational speeches of otherness).
           In a climactic scene in Shortbus, the young gay couple of James and Jamie meet an ex-model and aspiring singer named Ceth, and soon they go into a sexual relationship, unknowing that their encounters are monitored by an across-the-street voyeur, Caleb. Jamie, “in a particularly playful gay threesome scene, leans over and asks Ceth: This is the first time someone sung the national anthem in your ass?[90] For he had just been inspiredly singing no less than The Star-Spangled Banner using Ceth’s intestines as a sort of inverted loudspeaker, for the amusement of the three lovers, and the panic of the voyeur from the next building. An ecstatic Ceth then joins the choir using James’ penis as a microphone, while they rouse one another into climax.
           I haven’t found any reaction of the National Anthem Project to the film Shortbus. Does the crossing-over of The Star-Spangled Banner and analingus implies disrespect to the song, or to sexuality? Doesn’t this interpretation ―interpenetration― introduce us to the pride of being oneself in a nation where open windows, open mouths, and open bodies shouldn’t lead to stigmatization, prison, and death penalty? Could this be a different lust/love/life song to America, despite the fact that one of the lovers ―James, virgin just until that night― is self-shooting a video-diary intended to be his suicide note? (Spivak’s essay Can The Subaltern Speak? is like a recurrent curse cast upon the subalterns, who again use their silence or their decease as a manifesto.)
           In this minimal orgy, what was supposed to remain repressed within the ambit of personal intimacy, is spread ―like real semen is spread in many somatic sequences― and it is projected aloud as human voice, a capella over the dehumanized/dehumanizing neighborhood. This is why Christopher Frizzelle finds that “the movie’s prevailing theme is the relationship between interiors and exteriors, and it’s filled with characters stuck somewhere in the middle.”[91] The link between both spatialities is reconstituted thanks to the readily recognizable lyrics of the U.S. national anthem and its political potential through the wide-open window of the apartment: a substantive sign of emancipation that, like “the politics of the climactic scene near the film’s end, meant to symbolize liberation and a new beginning”, in a “deliciously, transparently naïve” fashion.90 Bodies are always naïve. Only language is capable of perversion, salvation, and other planetary mythologies.
           According to the author of a 2009 op-ed, “what this means then, is that Shortbus practices what it preaches; genuine curiosity, sex-positivism and a shot at redemption. I wouldn’t be surprised if even those conservatives, so ashamed about having secretly enjoyed their sneak-peak at the wild side, could get in on the redemption thing.”90 Thus, this columnist is convinced that many viewers of Shortbus ―like repressed people which in turn become repressors― are in practice like the voyeur of the film: a role that results critical after “the line ‘voyeurism is participation’ served up as a profundity.”[92]
           Commenting the “connection between sexual gratification and patriotism,” in a post from 2016[93] it is proposed that with their singing of the national anthem during sexual intercourse “they’re not mocking patriotism but embracing it, incorporating it into their other world. They are rediscovering the sense of freedom and abandon that was lost when the planes struck the towers. Mitchell wants the audience to understand, sex can be more than the pursuit of an orgasm. Sex can be transcendent, transformative. Physical intimacy doesn’t have to be contained or restricted by physical, emotional, or social boundaries. Sex can be an expression of lust, love, identity, and even patriotism.”
           However, other commentators have found this scene to be counterproductive. One argues with irony that “there are underprivileged people in third world nations who have no one to sing American patriotism up their bum when you, in such a highly privileged nation, are swimming in rimjob giving patriots.”92 While other takes it personal to “understand that Mitchell wants to argue that sexually experimental individuals are good citizens [but] if I was being given a rimjob by a person, and he started singing The Star-Spangled Banner into my ass, I would not be filled with sex-positive patriotic fervor. I would politely ask him to stop, because it would be weird”.92
           Some scholars[94] have approached Shortbus from the perspectives of Trauma Studies, as the “pervasive affliction in the post-9/11 environment” of New York establishes a link “between the individual struggles of the characters on the one hand, and whatever affliction is affecting the city as a whole on the other.” For “it is at this intersection of the personal and the social where a collectively shared experience of a singular traumatic event is registered” and where “the notion of permeability” arises in its relation “to fear and redemption”: “fear has driven people to become impermeable, led them to cocoon themselves in a protective shell that blocks all interpersonal connections” and makes them “cultivating a culture of impermeability.” It is indeed significative that James is penetrated —physically and emotionally— only during the anthem interplay. Before that night, between the dawn’s early light and the twilight’s last gleaming, even “in reference to the adoration showered on him by his partner [Jamie], James says: It stops at my skin. I can’t let it inside me.”
           Others, like Bevin Yeatman in 2008,[95] rationalize on the relief effect of laughter, specifically during the intonation of the national anthem, for it is a scene that “does generate a level of humor, both through the awkwardness that many of us can identify with in the initial meeting of any relationship of desire, heterosexual or homosexual, and through the dialogue,” which is a unique moment of convergence that “positions the audience” to “laugh with the characters (it is the only time when the characters seem to laugh without control).” Such laughing “could be identified, using Paton’s[96] term, as transgressive, in the sense that what is viewed has a multiplicity of transgressive representations.”
           I clandestinely spied, sobbed and smiled with this sexual supernova played in the quasi-Calvinist Castro’s Cuba: a country considered impenetrable and military uniformed for nearly six decades, with the consequence of camouflaging all basic biological impulses; a social system built on guilt as the basis of governance (communism is much about keeping citizens in the closet). When I wrote about these New York nightmares and miracles in Old Havana, I became the target of the G-2 State Security ―the Cuban effective epigone of Soviet KGB, German Stasi, Romanian Securitate, etc.
           Ultimately, my unwanted writing led me by force to exile, and exile led me by choice to this recapitulation, over a thousand miles away from the men and women who in Cuba committed their existences to delete my literature from the cultural field, and to displace my biography from the national map. Dictatorships are much about deletion and displacement, concepts explored by Kenneth Goldsmith in his experimental approach to translation theory.[97] In this sense, dictatorships are a terminal type of translation, where bodies are regurgitated to the rhythm of a revolutionary anthem, dissected into compartmentalized functions ―each organ belonging to an organization―, so that singing is attached to vowel strings and not to bowels, for example, just as pleasure is tied to reproduction and not to redemption, for example, just as history loses all of its human histology.


What was the body but a vessel,
and what was the store but another, bigger, vessel?
The keys sang in my numb fingers.
The flag applauded in the wind.
Kevin Prufer.[98]
           Night is the territory of the anti-national. The body prevails at night, with all its daring, endangering, endearing desires. At night the nation seems to be sunken under the individual impulses of spirit: light-years away from the socializing sun and our more or less oedipal childhoods. Dusk and dawn are much like frontiers that open and close to the unknown human soul, to its animal avidity. No wonder that the word lunatic refers to the moon, the Lune ―a mirror that reflects what’s left from the civilizing daytime during the no-nation of the nights.
           A Latin proverb that has been appropriated by many thinkers and men of action ―isn’t thinking the first of our actions?― says: Man is Wolf to Man.[99] At night every creature on Earth recalls their cosmic nature, their anguish lost in language: the hidden wolves that dwell within us, disguised as dreams, desires, despairs, dementias, différances from our diurnal self. If we were to force “Man is Wolf to Man” into the musical cut-ups of the German-inspired Slovenian band Laibach [wolf, people], could we translate it now as Man is People to Man?[100] Man not as an island, but as infinitude: the infinitesimal multiplicity of each individual, which the Nation-State homogenizes and humiliates with its totalizing symbols: one foundational narrative (including or excluding the notion of one good god), one flag, one anthem, and the invention of one national calendar.
           After decades of daily discipline, with the nocturnal death of Fidel Castro on a 2016 November Friday, the remains of the Cuban Revolution are now ready to inaugurate an era of “post-revolutionary melancholy,” in analogy with the post-colonial[101] and post-imperial[102] melancholies referred for other geopolitical contexts. In such a sudden post-Castro vacuum, I can foresee a sort of Castroism hüzün, to use a term in Turkish from the Literature Nobel Prize Orhan Pahmuk about his native city Istanbul,”[103] making reference to that “communal feeling” of “deep spiritual loss” and “worldly failure” in a people who “simply carry on with their lives amid the ruins,” “as they resign themselves to poverty and depression” but “with an air of dignity”: it’s the vision “of everything being broken, worn out, past its prime” and, in the case of Cuba today, past its Prime Minister.
           This inertial “illness,” this “poetic license to be paralyzed,” is not the “melancholy of a solitary person but the black mood shared by millions of people together,” and in my country is already being fostered by the fascination of foreigners when they travel to Cuba as ideological flâneurs ―including academics in the search of archeology―, as well as by the solvent foolishness of Cuban exiles experiencing extreme nostalgia.
           In turn, if Pahmuk feels that in Istanbul “the hüzün is so dense you can almost touch it, almost see it spread like a film over its people and its landscapes,” in Havana I felt this uprooted belonging by films smuggled into the Island from abroad, in digital format. That’s how I watched Shortbus in 2008 and immediately I decided to post a parody in my blog[104] about Cuban natio(a)nal anthem and the night as a last redemption from the Revolution.
           It was called Cantar el himno en tu culo.[105] I uploaded the column around midnight, the time span where I could sneak into an illegal internet connection with less risk of being detected by the authorities (which do not offer private internet service at all). A few days later, in March 2009, I was taken to a police station for an interrogatory with two officers of the Cuban Ministry of Interior.[106] They warned me that they were considering filing judicial charges against me, for desecration of the Cuban national anthem. Then, as the closest conceivable readers of my counter-revolutionary literature, as they called it, they notified me that, if trialed, I could be sentenced up to two years in prison for “state of dangerousness.” And, once in prison, as they casually commented between them, they both would personally make sure that some other prisoner did sing the Cuban national anthem inside me, exactly as in the film Shortbus that I was so enthusiastic to write about. 
           According to the categorization of Joseph Kahne and Ellen Middaugh,[107] this rape threat goes beyond all “active” and “constructive” patriotism to fall into what they define as “blind” and “authoritarian” patriotism: the “unquestioning endorsement” and “loyalty to a cause determined by a centralized leader or leading group,” “denying the value of critique and analysis and generally emphasizing allegiance and symbolic behaviors.” It was an elementary lesson of limitless literacy for me as a Cuban intellectual: first, Power teaches People its symbols as early as possible in life (I see myself singing the national anthem at age 5, almost willing to terrorize the others); second, for the rest of life Power uses said symbols to terrorize those People whose initial learning goes far beyond their control (I see myself in a putative prison, in a rape reenacting scene of Shortbus with copyright by the Cuban State).


           Several months after his first national anthem protest, the American football star Colin Kaepernick still keeps kneeling during the public performances of The Star-Spangled Banner. Other athletes have joined him. But some press reports are now calling this protest as “anti-police, anti-military and anti-American,” while pondering the possibility that the National Football League should “pass an NBA-style rule mandating all players stand for the presentation of the flag/anthem” or even to have “Kaepernick and other protesting players kicked out of the league — unless they stand for Old Glory and The Star-Spangled Banner.”[108]
When asked in a press conference about the T-shirt of Fidel Castro with Malcom X that Kaepernick was wearing, which bore the phrase “Like minds think alike,” he ended up saying: “One thing that Fidel Castro did do is they have the highest literacy rate because they invest more in their education system than they do in their prison system.”[109]
 I really read that Kaepernick’s statement with satisfaction. Regardless of the pertinence of his civic demonstration, for me he was just opening a perverse perspective for comparative subalternativies: what poses as dissent within one national niche, passes as despotism within another national niche, and vice versa.

[1] It will be better to sink ourselves under the sea / rather than betraying / the glory that we have lived.
[2] Nguyen Van Troi from images. Bui Hue YouTube channel. Published on February 11, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF1tWznOLNU
[4] To die for the homeland is not to live / it is to die for the homeland. Ramón Fernández-Larrea (personal communication by e-mail, raferlarrea@hotmail.com, November 2nd 2016).
[5] Bayamesa 2.0 (Himnana). Boris Larramendi Música YouTube channel. Published on January 6, 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_0tvNb8BfE
[6] Sí, despierta, mi niña, despierta. / Yo vigilaba el paso a la tormenta. / Si lo vieras, cuando abrí la puerta: / ni el más mínimo llanto se oyó. / Ya cesó de caer, ya paró. / Lo que parecía muerto ahora está vivo. / Ven y escucha en la calle el sonido / y salgamos los dos a correr.
[7] Castro, F. El pueblo cubano vencerá. CubaDebate, La Habana, 19 Abril 2016. http://www.cubadebate.cu/opinion/2016/04/19/fidel-castro-el-pueblo-cubano-vencera
[8] Spivak, G. C. Can the Subaltern Speak? In: Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (Nelson, C. and Grossberg, L., editors). Macmillan Education: Basingstoke, 1988, pp. 271-313.
[9] Spivak, G. C. Can the Subaltern Speak? Reflections on the history of an Idea (Rosalind Morris, editor). Columbia University Press, New York, 2010.
[10] National Anthems website. http://www.nationalanthems.info
[11] Wimmer A. and Schiller N.G. Methodological nationalism and beyond: nation-state building, migration and the social sciences. Global Networks 2, 4, 2002.
[12] Auerbach, E. Philology and Weltliteratur. In: The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature. From the European Enlightenment to the Global Present (Edited by Damrosch, D., Melas, N. and Buthelezi, M.), Princeton University Press. (2009) pp. 125-138.
[13] Said, E. Beginnings: intention and method. Basic Books, New York, 1975.
[14] Suene el grito: ¡República o muerte! / Nuestros pechos lo exhalen con fe / y sus ecos repiten los montes, / cual gigantes poniéndose en pie.
[15] ¡Orientales: la Patria o la Tumba! / ¡Libertad o con gloria morir! […] Libertad en la lid clamaremos. / ¡Y muriendo, también libertad!
[16] Al estruendo que en torno resuena / de Atahualpa la tumba se abrió, / y batiendo sañudo las palmas, / su esqueleto “¡venganza!” gritó.
[17] Que o la tumba serás de los libres / o el asilo contra la opresión.
[18] Sean eternos los laureles / que supimos conseguir. / Coronados de gloria vivamos… / ¡O juremos con gloria morir!
[19] Y en sus aras de nuevo juremos: / ¡morir antes que esclavos vivir!
[20] Que los hijos del grande Bolívar / hayan mil y mil veces jurado: / morir antes que ver humillado / de la Patria el augusto pendón.
[21] BBC News. Venezuela’s Chavez exhumes hero Simon Bolivar's bones. July 17 2010.
[22] @ChavezCandanga Twitter account, July 15 2010. “Confieso que hemos llorado, hemos jurado. Les digo: tiene que ser Bolívar ese esqueleto glorioso, pues puede sentirse su llamarada. Dios mío.” https://twitter.com/chavezcandanga/status/18662723365
[23] Dios miró y aceptó el holocausto, / y esa sangre fue germen fecundo / de otros héroes que, atónito el mundo / vio en tu torno a millares surgir.
[24] Y si nuevas cadenas prepara / la injusticia de bárbara suerte, / ¡gran Pichincha! prevén tú la muerte / de la Patria y sus hijos al fin; / hunde al punto en tus hondas entrañas / cuanto existe en tu tierra, el tirano / huelle sólo cenizas y en vano / busque rastro de ser junto a ti.
[25] Milanés, P. Cuando te encontré. Lucía Jorge YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYHbHPNUOoQ
[26] Se baña en sangre de héroes / la tierra de Colón.
[27] ¡Guerra, guerra! Los patrios pendones / en las olas de sangre empapad.
[28] Desde el día que en su alta bandera / con su sangre escribió: ¡Libertad!
[29] Que tu pueblo con ánima fiera / antes muerto que esclavo será.
[30] Y es su escudo invencible, el derecho; / y es su lema: ser libre o morir.
[31] Marcharemos, Oh Patria, a la muerte. / Generosa será nuestra suerte / si morimos pensando en tu amor.
[32] Guevara, E. Message to the Tricontinental. In: Marxist Internet Archive website. https://www.marxists.org/archive/guevara/1967/04/16.htm
[34] Manners, J. H. The National Anthem, a drama in four acts. Samuel French, Ltd. New York and London, 1922.
[35] Southcott, J. Nationalism and School Music in Australia. In: Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education, Hebert D. and Kertz-Welzel A. (editors), Ashgate Publishing Limited, England and USA, 2012.
[36] Abril, C. R. A National Anthem: Patriotic Symbol or Democratic Action? In: Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education, Hebert D. and Kertz-Welzel A. (editors), Ashgate Publishing Limited, England and USA, 2012.
[37] Southcott, J. Nationalism and School Music in Australia. In: Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education, Hebert D. and Kertz-Welzel A. (editors), Ashgate Publishing Limited, England and USA, 2012.
[38] Veblen, K. “We Stand on Guard for Thee”: National Identity in Canadian Music Education. In: Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education, Hebert D. and Kertz-Welzel A. (editors), Ashgate Publishing Limited, England and USA, 2012.
[39] Bodner, E. and Gilboa, A. What Are Your Thoughts When the National Anthem Is Playing? An Empirical Exploration. Psychology of Music, 37/4, 2009, pp. 459-484.  
[41] Dairianathan, E. and Lum, Ch.-H. Soundscapes of a Nation(alism): Perspectives from Singapore. In: Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education, Hebert D. and Kertz-Welzel A. (editors), Ashgate Publishing Limited, England and USA, 2012.
[42] Eyerman, R. Moving Culture. In: Space of Culture City-Nation-World, Mike Featherstone and Scott Lash (editors). Sage, London, 1999, pp. 116-137.
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[73] Lyrics to Nuestro Himno (Our Anthem): Amanece, ¿lo veis a la luz de la aurora / lo que tanto aclamamos la noche al caer? / Sus estrellas, sus franjas / flotaban ayer / en el fiero combate / en señal de victoria. / Fulgor de lucha al paso de la libertad. / Por la noche decían: / “¡Se va defendiendo!” / Oh, decid: ¿despliega aún / su hermosura estrellada / sobre tierra de libres / la bandera sagrada? / Sus estrellas, sus franjas. / La libertad, somos iguales. / Somos hermanos, es nuestro himno. / En el fiero combate, en señal de victoria. / Fulgor de lucha / (mi gente sigue luchando) / al paso de la libertad / (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 (translated from Spanish by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo): It’s sunrise. Do you see by the light of the dawn / what so proudly we hailed last nightfall? / Its stars, its stripes / yesterday streamed / above fierce combat / as a sign of victory. / The gleaming of battle marching along liberty. / At night they proclaimed: “We are defending it!” / O, say, does its starry beauty still wave / over the land of the free, / the sacred banner? / Its stars, its stripes. / Liberty, we are the same. / We are brothers, it’s our anthem. / In fierce combat, as a sign of victory. / The glory of battle / (my people fights on) / marching along liberty / (the time has come to break the chains). / At night they proclaimed: “We are defending it!” / O, say, does its starry beauty still wave / over the land of the free, the sacred banner?
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[105] To sing the anthem in your ass. (Not available online).
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