Saturday, July 10, 2010

The National Anthem of Paraguay

Paraguayos, República o Muerte (Paraguayans, The Republic or Death!) is the national anthem of Paraguay. The lyrics were written by Francisco Acuña de Figueroa (who also wrote Orientales, la Patria o la tumba, the national anthem of Uruguay) under the presidency of Carlos Antonio López, who at the time delegated Bernardo Jovellanos and Anastasio González to ask Figueroa to write the anthem (Jovellanos and González were commissioners of the Paraguayan government in Uruguay). The anthem was officially finished by Figueroa on May 20, 1846.

It still remains unclear who was responsible for the music. Some sources claim that Frenchman Francisco de Dupuis was the composer, while others cite Francisco Acuña de Figueroa as the composer. Other sources claim that the music was composed by Francisco José Debali, repeating the team of the Uruguayan national anthem. What it is known for sure is that in 1933, the Paraguayan composer Remberto Giménez re-arranged and developed the final version of the anthem.

Paraguay's anthem is a classic example of a "Latin American epic anthem". The seven verses of the anthem also resemble other nation's anthems of this type, for example, the first three verses of Paraguay's anthem, recalling its history and specific events, is very similar to the theme of Honduras' anthem, whereas the fourth verse which praises the national symbols, and the last three verses, which are a call to patriotism, are common themes in these type of anthems.

Francisco Esteban Acuña de Figueroa (1790-1862) was an Uruguayan poet. He was born in Montevideo on September 20, 1790. Later, his father sent him to study in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but the city's invasion made him return to Montevideo, where he wrote poems while working for his father. There was no printing press in Montevideo, so none of his works were published at that time.

In 1857, his poems were published in a book, and the national anthem of Uruguay, which dates from 1833, appeared. He also wrote the lyrics for the national anthem of Paraguay. He died in Montevideo October 6, 1862.

The stamp features the lyricist, Francisco Figueroa issued in 1942.