“La Bayamesa” (The Bayamo Song) was first performed in 1868 during the battle of Bayamo in a Cuban uprising against Spain. The author of the song played a leading part in the battle, and was captured by the Spaniards and executed by a firing squad in 1870; it is said that just before the firing squad executed Figueredo, he shouted one of the lines from the anthem: “Morir por la Patria es vivir”.

Officially adopted in 1940 (using only the first verse of the much longer, anti-Spanish work), the anthem was retained even after the communist revolution in 1959. The anthem is usually performed with a musical introduction, which was composed by Antonio Rodriguez-Ferrer.

Special thanks to: Arian Albear for some of this information and Jo Hyo-roe for the sheet music.