Peru National Anthem – Lyrics, Music & History

The Peru anthem, the Himno Nacional del Perú, might not be number one on your “things to learn” list. However, if you do feel inclined to have a sound knowledge of the Peruvian National Anthem then read on…. Here you can read a brief history of the Peru anthem, hear the song, read the lyrics and even take a look at the sheet music.

Peru National Anthem

School kids stand tall for the National Anthem of Peru (photo © Bruno Girin, flickr)

The National Anthem of Peru – History

The Himno Nacional del Perú, also known as the Marcha Nacional (National March), was chosen by South American liberator General José de San Martín in a public contest held in 1821. The chosen anthem was composed by José Bernardo Alcedo with lyrics written by Jose de la Torre Ugarte.

HOW TO PERU TRAVEL TIP: Save money and stay safe when going to/from Lima Airport by using the Official Bus service inside the Airport called Airport Express Lima

By all accounts, San Martín was thoroughly stirred on hearing the piece and quickly gave it his seal of approval.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ely1LoRET-Y]

Peru Anthem Lyrics

The Peruvian National Anthem has its roots firmly set in the fight for independence, with liberty and freedom being central to the theme. The full anthem is a Latin American epic with six verses and a repeated chorus. However, a shortened version (such as in the video clip above) is normally sung, consisting of only one verse and the chorus:

Chorus

Somos libres, seámoslo siempre, seámoslo siempre,
Y antes niegue sus luces el sol,
Que faltemos al voto solemne
Que la Patria al Eterno elevó.
Que faltemos al voto solemne
Que la Patria al Eterno elevó.

Verse

Largo tiempo el peruano oprimido
la ominosa cadena arrastró,
Condenado a cruel servidumbre
largo tiempo en silencio gimió.
Mas apenas el grito sagrado
¡Libertad en sus costas se oyó!
La indolencia de esclavo sacude,
la humillada cerviz levantó.

And the Peru Anthem in English:

We are free; let us always be so,
And let the sun rather deny its light
Than that we should fail the solemn vow
Which our country raised to God.
Than that we should fail the solemn vow
Which our country raised to God.

For a long time the Peruvian, oppressed,
Dragged the ominous chain;
Condemned to cruel serfdom,
For a long time he moaned in silence.
But as soon as the sacred cry of
Freedom! was heard on his coasts,
He shook off the indolence of the slave,
He raised his humiliated head.

 

Have a look here for the full Peru anthem lyrics in English and in Spanish.

Peru National Anthem Sheet Music

If you really want to impress the locals during your Peru travels, how about learning to play the Peruvian National Anthem? If you can read sheet music then give it a go – check out the sheet music here.

Traditional Peru Anthem Etiquette

Peruvians traditionally put the right hand over the heart when singing the Peruvian National Anthem. Unless you happen to find yourself singing the anthem while standing next to the President of Peru, you generally don’t need to do this. Somebody normally shouts “Viva el Perú!” at the end of the anthem, to which the gathered masses respond with a hearty “Viva!”

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