La Boriqueña


Unofficial sources claim that La Borinqueña was originally written by Francisco Ramírez Ortíz, who composed the melody for his lover. The song was quick to gain popularity and sang in festivals and serenades across the island. Soon after, Ramírez met the Catalan Félix Astol Artés, who in 1867 made some changes and wrote the music for it, transforming the song into an habanera dance. He titled the song "La Bella Trigueña."

A year later, the popularity of the song gave to Lola Rodríguez de Tió the idea to adapt the lyrics to a patriotic tone to support the Puerto Rican revolution and motivate people to a rebellion against Spain.

The government was not happy about this version and inquired about the origins of the song. Ramírez, afraid of being pursued and deported, he denied to have composed the song. It is believed that he gave the manuscript of Astol, who by being a Spaniard, was safe from retaliation, that's why there are no official documents that would indicate that Ramírez was the author and why historians name Astol as the author.

In 1903, Manuel Fernández Juncos, who wrote "La Tierra de Borinquen", integrated his poem to the lyrics of Lola's version, because the song was deemed too subversive for official adoption. The music suffered several transformations in rhythm over the years. Finally, in 1952 the government of Puerto Rico approved a law establishing "La Borinqueña" as the offical anthem of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Ramón Collado made the necesaray changes to convert the danza into the march that we know today. The music was officially adopted by the government in 1952, and the words in 1977 (music score ).

Audio File:


La Borinqueña
Lyrics: Manuel Fernández Juncos (1846-1928)

La tierra de Borinquén
donde he nacido yo,
es un jardín florido
de mágico fulgor.

Un cielo siempre nítido
le sirve de dosel
y dan arrullos plácidos
las olas a sus pies.

Cuando a sus playas llegó Colón;
Exclamó lleno de admiración;
"Oh!, oh!, oh!, esta es la linda
tierra que busco yo".

Es Borinquén la hija,
la hija del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol,
del mar y el sol.

The land of Borinquen
where I have been born.
It is a florid garden
of magical brilliance.

A sky always clean
serves as a canopy.
And placid lullabies are given
by the waves at her feet.

When at her beaches Columbus arrived,
he exclaimed full of admiration:
Oh! Oh! Oh!
This is the beautiful land, that I seek.

It is Borinquen the daughter,
the daughter of the sea and the sun.
of the sea and the sun,
of the sea and the sun,
of the sea and the sun,
of the sea and the sun!

Translation by Samuel Quiros

La Borinqueña (march)
Lyrics: Lola Rodríguez de Tió

Despierta, borinqueño
que han dado la señal!
Despierta de ese sueño
que es hora de luchar!

A ese llamar patriótico
no arde tu corazón?
Ven! Nos será simpático
el ruido del cañon.

Mira, ya el cubano
libre será;
le dará el machete
su libertad...
le dará el machete
su libertad.

Ya el tambor guerrero
dice en su son,
que es la manigua el sitio,
el sitio de la reunión,
de la reunión,
de la reunión.

El Grito de Lares
se ha de repetir,
y entonces sabremos
vencer o morir.

Bellísima Borinquen,
a Cuba hay que seguir;
tu tienes bravos hijos
que quieren combatir.

ya por mas tiempo impávido
no podemos estar,
ya no queremos, tímidos
dejarnos subyugar.

Nosotros queremos
ser libre ya,
y nuestro machete
afilado esta..
y nuestro machete
afilado esta.

Por que entonces, nosotros
hemos de estar,
tan dormidos y sordos
y sordos a esa señal?
a esa senil, a esa senil?

No hay que temer, riquenos
al ruido del canon,
que salvar a la patria
es deber del corazón!

ya no queremos déspotas,
caiga el tirano ya,
las mujeres indómitas
también sabrán luchar.

Nosotros queremos
la libertad,
y nuestros machetes
nos la dará...
y nuestro machete
nos la dará.

Vámonos, borinqueños,
vámonos ya,
que nos espera ansiosa,
ansiosa la libertad.
La libertad, la libertad!

Arise, Puerto Rican!
the call to arms has sounded!
Awake from this dream,
it is time to fight!

Doesn't this patriotic call
set your heart alight?
Come! We are in tune
with the roar of the cannon.

Come, the Cuban
will soon be free;
the machete will give
him his liberty...
the machete will give
him his liberty.

Now the war drum
says with its sound,
that the jungle is the place
of the meeting,
of the meeting...
of the meeting.

The Cry of Lares
must be repeated,
and then we will know:
victory or death.

Beautiful Puerto Rico
must follow Cuba;
you have brave sons
who wish to fight.

Now, no longer can we be unmoved;
now we do not want timidly
to let them subjugate us.
 

We want
to be free now,
and our machete
has been sharpened...
and our machete
has been sharpened.

Why then have we been
so sleepy and deaf
and deaf to the call?

 

There is no need to fear, Puerto Ricans,
the roar of the cannon;
saving the nation
is the duty of the heart.

We no longer want despots,
tyranny shall fall now;
the unconquerable women
also will know how to fight.

We want
liberty,
and our machetes
will give it to us...
and our machete
will give it to us.

Come, Puerto Ricans,
come now,
since freedom awaits us anxiously,
anxiously freedom.
freedom! freedom!


La Bella Trigueña (danza)
Lyrics: Félix Astol Artés (1813-1901)
(lyrics also attributed to Francisco Ramírez)

Bellísima trigueña
imagen del candor
del jardín de Borinquen
pura y fragante flor.

Por ti se queda extático
todo el mortal que ve
tu aire gentil, simpático
tu breve y lindo pie.

Cuando te asomas a tu balcón
la luz se eclipsa del mismo sol
la luz se eclipsa del mismo sol

Porque tus negros ojos
dos rayos son,
que al que los mira, niña
abrásanle el corazón

Tú galana descuellas
entre las flores mil
que adornan primorosas
el tropical pensil.

En torno a ti
el céfiro se mueve sin cesar,
el colibrí solícito
te viene a acariciar.

Linda trigueña mi dulce bien,
eres la perla de Borinquen
¡Oh!, Oh!, ¡Oh!
Apiádate, tierra de mi dolor,
que por ti me muero
me muero de inmenso amor
de inmenso amor, de inmenso amor

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