Length: 51 words

Anthem lyrics (use the arrow on the left to collapse this section):

Salve a ti, Nicaragua. En tu suelo
ya no ruge la voz del cañón,
ni se tiñe con sangre de hermanos
tu glorioso pendón bicolor.

Brille hermosa la paz en tu cielo
nada empañe tu gloria inmortal,
que el trabajo es tu digno laurel
y el honor es tu enseña triunfal.

Historical context:

Containing 51 words, Nicaragua’s anthem is tied for the third shortest in the Americas with Canada’s French-language anthem. The entire hymn can be played in around one minute, making it one of the few Spanish-language anthems that is routinely performed in its entirety.

The current lyrics were selected via a public contest in 1918, after a bitter civil war. The contest rules thus indicated that the lyrics could only refer to work and peace due to the recent conflict; the organizers wanted music that would avoid bellicose rhetoric. Despite being chosen in the 1910s, it remained an unofficial anthem until an executive decree elevated it to official status in 1939.

The music to which the 1918 words were put is an adaptation of an older liturgical song, and according to an interview of those who adapted it to the anthem, was selected in part because it would be easy for everyone, including young children, to learn and sing.


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