Spanish Star Spangled Banner
By Jennifer Solis
When I was an elected officer of my high school’s Title One Committee, made up of Belmont parents, students, teachers and administrators, I wondered why we started each monthly meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish?
When I inquired to the LAUSD district officials who supervised the group, I was told that very few of the parents speak any English. All of the meetings were also conducted in Spanish, with English version headsets, usually spoken by a paid translator who knew little English.
This week we have been treated to the next logical step in reconquista progression: the Spanish version of the “Star Spangled Banner.” The most popular version is sung by Gloria Trevi and friends, and there are only a few changes in the lyrics – but in June there will be a version that contains many pro-immigration changes in the anthem’s wording.
The idea came from Adam Kidron, a British music executive, who says he sympathized with the recent immigration demonstrations. “Nuestro Himno,” or “Our Anthem,” has all the things you want an anthem to have, and it carries the melody, he stated.
Among the changes the current version has made are: (English) “And the rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,” to Spanish, “In the fierce combat, the sign of victory, the flame of battle in step with liberty through the night, it was said, it was being defended.”
A remix to be released in June will contain several lines that condemn U.S. immigration laws, including: “These kids have no parents, cause all these mean laws,” and “Let’s not start a war with all these hard workers, they can’t help where they were born.”
The “Star Spangled Banner” has survived many extreme versions in the past, such as the explosive guitar rendition by Jimmy Hendrix, and soul singer Marvin Gaye, as well as many terrible attempts at L.A. Dodgers baseball games – everyone can remember the worst they’ve ever heard. For me, it was sung at my high school graduation. The singer even burped halfway through the anthem.
If translating a country’s anthem into another language turns out to be a good idea, we should have Madonna make a recording of “Ardulfurataini Watan,” the Iraq national anthem, in order to win the hearts and minds of the people whose country we occupy.