A Portuguesa

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(Redirected from A Portugesa)

A Portuguesa is the national anthem of Portugal. It was written by Henrique Lopes de Mendonça (lyrics) and Alfredo Keil (music) after the nationalist resurgence provoked by the British Ultimatum (for Portuguese troops to get out of the territory between Angola and Mozambique), was adopted as a Republican anthem and, finally, by the new Portuguese Republic in 1910 as the national anthem, replacing "O Hino da Carta", the last anthem of the Constitutional Monarchy in Portugal.

The title A Portuguesa means "the Portuguese (song)" — the Portuguese word for "song" being feminine — just as La Marseillaise, the national anthem of France, is "the song of Marseille" and the Belgian anthem, The Brabançonne is "the song of Brabant."



In 1890, the United Kingdom issued an ultimatum demanding Portugal to give up its intentions of occupying the land between the African colonies of Angola, in the western coast, and Mozambique, in the eastern coast, thus joining the two territories. Despite popular uproar, the government was forced to accept the British terms, a measure that contributed to the growing unpopularity of King Carlos and the monarchy and gained supporters for the already boosting republican movement. Inspired by the common feeling of outrage among the people, writer Henrique Lopes de Mendonça authored a poem urging people to "fight for the motherland" (Pela Pátria lutar) and praising the country's past as a naval power, particularly in the 15th and 16th centuries. The words were joined with a melody by composer Alfredo Keil and the song soon became popular among people unhappy with what they considered a submissive and humiliating attitude by the Portuguese authorities.

On January 31, 1891, a republican revolution broke out in the northern city of Oporto and "A Portuguesa" was adopted by the rebels as their anthem. The revolution was crushed and the song banned. In 1910, on October 5, a new revolution succeeded in overthrowing the monarchy and establishing a republic in Portugal. In the following year, 1911, a law proclaimed "A Portuguesa" as Portugal's national anthem.


The song consists of the first stanza from Mendonça's poem followed by a chorus. The second and third verses below were part of the poem, but not the song. the verse "Contra os canhões marchar, marchar" (Against the cannons we march, we march!) was an alteration of the Contra os bretões marchar, marchar" (Against the British we march, we march!).

First stanza:

"Heróis do mar, nobre povo,
Nação valente e imortal,
Levantai hoje de novo
O esplendor de Portugal!
Entre as brumas da memória,
Ó Pátria sente-se a voz
Dos teus egrégios avós,
Que há-de guiar-te à vitória!"

Chorus: "Às armas, às armas!
Sobre a terra, sobre o mar,
Às armas, às armas!
Pela Pátria lutar
Contra os canhões marchar, marchar!"(*)

Second stanza:

"Desfralda a invicta Bandeira,
À luz viva do teu céu!
Brade a Europa à terra inteira:
Portugal não pereceu
Beija o solo teu jucundo
O Oceano, a rugir d'amor,
E teu braço vencedor
Deu mundos novos ao Mundo!"

Third stanza:

"Saudai o Sol que desponta
Sobre um ridente porvir;
Seja o eco de uma afronta
O sinal do ressurgir.
Raios dessa aurora forte
São como beijos de mãe,
Que nos guardam, nos sustêm,
Contra as injúrias da sorte."

English translation

First verse:

"Heroes of the sea, noble people,
Valiant and immortal nation,
Arise today oncemore
The splendour of Portugal.
From out of the mists of memory,
Oh Homeland, feel the voices
Of your great forefathers
That shall lead you on to victory!"


"To arms, to arms
Over land and over sea!
To arms, to arms
To fight for our Homeland!
Against the cannons, we march, we march!"(*)

Second stanza:

"Hoist the unconquerable Flag,
In the living light of your sky!
Europe cries out to the all of the land:
Portugal did not perish
Kiss the soil jolly of yours
The Ocean, roars of love,
And your winning arm
Gave new worlds to the World!"

Third stanza:

"Salute the Sun that rises
Over a smiling future;
Be it the echo of an offense
Or the sign of resurrection.
Rays of that strong dawn
Are as mother kisses,
That keep us, and hold us,
Against the injuries of luck."

(*) Originally: Contra os Bretões, marchar, marchar. Against the Britons, we march, we march.

Audio recording


In the chorus, the last verse Contra os canhões marchar, marchar. (Against the cannon march, march.) is different from the original anti-British protest song: Contra os bretões marchar, marchar. (Against the Britons march, march.)cs:Portugalská hymna de:A Portuguesa es:A Portuguesa fr:A Portuguesa ia:A Portuguesa is:A Portuguesa it:A Portuguesa nl:A Portuguésa ja:ポルトガルの国歌 pl:Hymn Portugalii pt:Hino nacional de Portugal ro:A Portuguesa sl:A Portuguesa sv:A Portuguesa


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