Story Behind the Anthem
The story of the Costa Rican national anthem is an interesting one. In 1852, the diplomatic representatives of the United States and the United Kingdom were to arrive, and the president of Costa Rica at the time, Juan Rafael Mora Porras, wanted to receive them with the national anthem. However, Costa Rica had no national anthem. Therefore, the president requested that the director of the Costa Rican National Army orchestra, Manuel María Gutiérrez, compose the music for a national anthem. Although Gutierrez insisted he knew nothing about musical composition, he was thrown in prison on the terms that he would be set free once he had produced the piece of music. The resulting composition was played for the first time in the Presidential Palace on June 11, 1852.
In 1903, a contest was held for composing the lyrics to the anthem, and it was won by José María Zeledón Brenes. The music and lyrics were officially declared as the national anthem in 1949.
(For the English translation of the lyrics, please see text below the video)
Noble homeland, your beautiful flag
Proof of your life it gives us
Under the unsullied blue of your skies,
Peace rests, white and pure.
In the tenacious battle of fruitful toil,
That which brings a glow to men’s faces,
Your sons, simple farm hands,
Gained eternal renown, esteem and honor.
Eternal renown, esteem and honor.
Hail, gentle homeland!
Hail, mother of love!
When anyone should attempt to besmirch your glory,
You will see your people, valiant and virile,
The rustic tool into a weapon transform.
Hail, O homeland! Your prodigal soil
Sweet shelter and sustenance gives us.
Under the unsullied blue of your sky,
May peace and labor ever live!