Does the Spanish National Anthem Have Any Words?

Yesterday we got Baby down for a nap at 2:15 EST, just in time for the start of the World Cup final, a.k.a. The Thing That Ruined July. I made popcorn, and Eldest, Hubby, and I all parked ourselves in front of the T.V. wearing our Dutch team jerseys. (Seriously. That’s how ridiculous we are. I even wore mine to go grocery shopping in the morning.) I will not bore you with my thoughts on the game; suffice it to say I think the Spanish deserved the trophy and if the Netherlands had won with the way they played (or had to play, in order to try to beat a team like Spain), I would only have been 85% proud to be Dutch.

Because I am not a true sports fan, only a faux fan, the cuteness of the players is something I really pay attention to. But I have been forbidden by Eldest to talk about, say, how attractive I thought some of the Spanish players were (before the game even started he turned to me and asked, “Will you please stop saying ‘Oh, he’s cute!’”) Although I think we can all agree that none of the Spaniards have anything on Stekelenburg in the looks department.

So let’s talk about the national anthems. Part of the fun of watching the World Cup is that it’s a national anthem bonanza. Besides trying to assess the mood of an entire country—not to mention whether I ever want to visit—by the tempo or tune, I am always intrigued by which players sing along and which don’t. Do the ones who aren’t singing just have really bad voices? Do they think they are too cool to sing? Too shy? Or—is this even possible?—-do they not know the words?

One question that lingered in my mind long after the game ended—second only to, How did De Jong avoid a red card—was: What’s up with the Spanish national anthem? Why did nobody sing?

A very quick Wikipedia search reveals this:

“La marcha real (‘The Royal March’) is the national anthem of Spain. It is one of the few national anthems in the world to have no official lyrics.”

No lyrics!!!??? Is that a good thing? Pro: no need to debate whether or not you need to sing along with a camera in your face. Con: less opportunity to display national pride, even if you are singing off-key.

I think Spain should have a National Anthem Lyric Writing Contest. Open it up to all the citizens of the world. Given how cute some of those players are, I may even enter.

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