Did You Know The National Anthem Of This Country Does Not Have Any Words?

spanish national anthem

We are not kidding! The Spanish national anthem has no lyrics in the song! Did you not know this? Go check out the footage of past World Cup games where the Spanish team is playing, and you will notice that the anthem is performed with swaying bodies and humming of the tune.

Read the article to learn more about the national anthem with no words! Along with it, I will be telling you about the history, the controversy, and the current practice concerning it!

The Spanish national anthem is one of the world’s oldest anthems, first documented and printed in 1761. People have tried to attach words in the anthem from the time of Franco, but none of them has exactly stuck over the years!

Did You Know The National Anthem Of This Country Does Not Have Any Words?

National Anthem Country Does Not Have Words

When Francisco Franco’s dictatorship continued, the anthem was as patriarchal, dominating, orthodox, and hypocritical as possible.

The lines where only sons were called upon their duty and the talk of rebirth were more focused on using violence were rejected the moment the dictatorship ended.

It is interesting to notice that the Spain national anthem, called the ‘Marcha Real‘ in Spanish, also known as the ‘Royal March,’ has no lyrics. It is one of the four national anthems in the world which does not have any words.

About Spanish National Anthem: Marcha Real

About Spanish National Anthem

So, do you know what is the name of the National Anthem in Spain? Marcha Real, or the Royal March, the Spanish national anthem, has no lyrics, which is okay for the Spanish people! They believe in rightful representation instead of just putting anything to follow tradition.

It puts the song and the country in a different light! The general practice is to say “na na na” along with the tune or hum with the music. You can easily catch such a performance in any soccer match where the Spaniards have performed.

However, staying silent on the national anthem is sometimes a sign of respect. Many Spanish players across global sports platforms are maintaining the same practice!


The tune was initially marching music for the National Police Corps of Spain and the Spanish Armed Forces. Both concert and marching bands played the tune in the B flat-major version of the anthem when adapting the music.

The original anthem lasts for 2 minutes. However, the one you hear in sports events is the shorter version of 40 seconds duration. The tune can also be played in the A major version. However, it is completely optional.

The Spanish National anthem is played in honor of the King and the Queen of Spain. It also feels like a symbolization of the respect garnered for the royal family by everyone in attendance. It was in 1770 that the tune became the state anthem by Carlos III.

Later during the time of 1833 to 68, during the reign of Isabella II that song was finally adopted as the National Anthem of Spain!


The tune for the Spanish national anthem was first composed by Manuel de Espinosa de los Monteros in 1761. It was meant to be a military march, and the music was dedicated to the Spanish infantry.

Charles III declared in the 1770s that the tune would be used as the official march of Spain; accordingly, the Marcha Real was used in different military events.

Why Are There No Words In The Spanish National Anthem?

Why Are There No Words In The Spanish National Anthem?

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One of the major reasons there are no lyrics in the national anthem of Spain is that there needed to be more agreement concerning the songs.

Majorly the population of Spain and the political and cultural leaders who could not unanimously decide on the song!

One major attempt was to dedicate lyrics to the Spanish national anthem tune in 1870. General Prim started prompting his Spanish officials regarding a commission where the poets and musicians were tasked to create the lyrics for the tune.

The entries were all rejected, and there was no common ground leaving the “March of the Grenadiers” with only music. Later, 2007 a Spanish Olympic Committee was set up, which was more of a competition.

A winner was finally selected during this time called Paulino Cubero, who was commissioned to compose a text for the opera singer Placido Domingo to sing! Even after the rehearsal was done, the Congress of Spain did not give its approval.


There was huge criticism and controversy related to the lyrics as they spoke about the nation still nourishing the idea of domination and tyranny. The lyrics were too similar to the domination rule of Franco for the people and the government of the new Spain to accept it!

According to the reports, the Spanish national anthem was sometimes with lyrics. During the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, who was the head of the Spanish government from the year 1939 to 1975, the national anthem’s lyrics were integrated.

The lyrics were written by the poet Jose Maria Peman who was employed to write them. However, after the dictator’s death, the national anthem’s lyrics were abolished. It was again in 2007 that the National Olympic Committee of Spain wanted to instigate suitable lyrics.

Almost 7000 entries were received as a part of the large-scale organized competition. And yet, the chosen lyrics faced harsh criticism from cultural and political leaders.

Therefore, they were not endorsing the new lyrics, leading to no development. The new lyrics were similar to the sentiments shared during the dictatorship of Franco!

Other Countries With No Words In Their National Anthem!

Other Countries With No Words In Their National Anthem

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Three other countries do not have words or lyrics in their national anthem, namely Bosnia, San Marino, and Kosovo.

The people of these three countries, along with the Spaniards, also hum their national anthem or stand in silence when the tune of the national anthem is played.

Where Do We Finish?

It is shocking to know that the Spanish national anthem has no words! However, if you read this article to learn about the anthem’s history, you will realize that the Spaniards are picky!

On a serious note, the anthem has been so important to the Spaniards that they cannot just accept any lyrics that have been projected or offered over the years. Instead, it has been important for them for the rightful representation.

If that means there will not be any lyrics, then so be it! Comment below about your perspective on the significance of the national anthem for a country.

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sagnika sinha
Sagnika Sinha is a content writer who is passionate about writing travel vlogs, entertainment and celebrity articles and literature-based pieces. With a 4 years experience in teaching, she loves reading books. A procrastinator by nature, she loves travelling, listening to music, planting and gardening.

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