If you’re a regular listener to the Almanac, you know that I have a weakness for National Anthems, and on this date in 1883, an audience heard the ‘Himno Nacional” for the Dominican Republic for the first time. You’re hearing it right now, and it’s also probably for the first time, at least for you. The music was composed by Jose Reyes, and the words were by a controversial early Dominican leader, Emilio Prud’homme. The original lyrics for the song had some historical and factual errors…nothing new around here…and a finalized and theoretically more accurate version of the lyrics was established in 1897. The Dominican Congress approved the lyrics, but the country’s president at the time, Ulysses Heureaux vetoed the Himno Nacional act that would solemnize the song as the national anthem because the Lyricist, Emilio Prud’homme was the president’s political opponent. Heureaux, who was incredibly corrupt, was murdered two years later in 1899, not, as far as we can tell, by Emilio, and the country was plunged into chaos. The United States stepped in to control its economy, largely for the benefit of the Sugar and Fruit interests, but that’s tangential. The Dominican Republic finally got around to approving the song as the country’s National Anthem in 1934. The word “Dominican” never appears in the lyrics. The country is referred to by its aboriginal name Quisqueya, the term that the native Quisqueyanos called the country before the Europeans came. Also nothing new around here…the words “United States of America” don’t appear in the Star Spangled Banner, Either. Pikes Place Market in Seattle opened on this day in 1907, and its birthdays for Davy Crockett, Mae West and Robert DiNiro.
Album Notes: Grateful Acknowledgments to Mike Koenig, and Drum 8. Some Musical Motifs Written and Performed by Kevin McLeod, Licensed under Creative Commons “Attribution 3.0″ http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ and used here by permission, and with appreciation and thanks. Some audio may be used under the Fair Use Doctrine