On August 13th, 1867 the Revolutionary Committee of the city of Bayamo met in the home of the lawyer Pedro (Perucho) Figueredo to draw up the plans to initiate the Cuban independence movement. At that very moment it was suggested to Figueredo to compose “Our (Cuban) Marsellaise”. In the dawn of August 14th, the revolutionary from Bayamo created the melody which would later become the National Anthem of Cuba. It was named La Bayamesa, as an expression of its revolutionary character and the place where Cuban rebellion originated.
On May 8th, 1868, Figueredo asked the musician Manuel Muñoz Cedeno to orchestrate that march, an epic chant that should be different from religious hymns, a hymn of war and victory that should appeal to combat and exalt patriotic feelings. On June 11th, 1868 Figueredo had the anthem played at the Iglesia Mayor (Main Church) of Bayamo. Fourteen months after the melody of the National Anthem of Cuba had been created, Figueredo wrote its lyrics.
On October 10th, 1868, the Revolution began, and ten days later, on October 20th, Bayamo City is seized by rebel forces. Amidst the rebel troops´ joy and bustle, along with the jubilant crowd, side by side with Carlos Manuel de Cespedes and the other patriots, the people asked Figueredo for the lyrics of that hymn. He took pencil and paper from his pocket and right there on horseback, he wrote the lyrics. The copies went from hand to hand and the enthusiastic crowd sang the anthem for the first time. From that moment on, the anthem was played at each and every act of the independence movement and it has become the expression of the patriotic character of the Cuban people.
Bayamese, rush to arms!
Your country looks on in pride
Fear not a glorious death
Who dies for his country lives.
To live in chains is to live
beneath disgrace and shame
Listen to the sound of the trumpet!
To arms, valiant ones, run