Honduras

 

Before the current anthem was adopted in 1915, other patriotic songs were unofficially used in Honduras. The current anthem is like many others in Latin America in that the music has an operatic, “epic” feel to it (the composer was born in Germany), and has many verses (in this case, seven), which schoolchildren are expected to memorize in its entirety as a way of learning the country’s history, even though the chorus and the last verse are usually only used on official occasions. As such, it can be classified as a “Latin American epic anthem”.

A unique aspect of the Honduran anthem, however, is that it chronicles the history of the country in its seven verses. The first verse describes the country as Christopher Columbus, the first European to land in Honduras, would have seen it. The second tells of how men “from a country where the sun rises” dreamt of Honduras and go out to seek it. Upon arrival, they find that a flag (Spain’s) has been placed there. The third verse chronicles the native population’s attempted resistance against the Spanish. The fourth speaks of the three centuries under Spanish rule, and how requests for change from the colonies, like Honduras, were unheeded; until one day when news of revolution in Europe reached the Americas. Verse 5 continues this thought, stating how the French revolution was a model for those in Honduras seeking redress from Spain. The next verse (verse six) chronicles the revolutions that occurred in the Spanish colonies in America, as one by one they gained liberation from Spain, including Honduras (as part of the Central American federation, at first.) The final verse is a cry to all Hondurans to defend the nation, even in death if necessary.

The chorus, sung after each verse and at the start of the anthem (if all verses are sung), or at the start and end of the anthem, with the last verse sandwiched between them (as is performed at official occassions) is a description of the flag and coat of arms of Honduras.