MADRID (AP) – A composer has asked Spain's parliament to back his proposal to set words to the country's lyric-free national anthem, the songsmith said in a website he has launched to back his initiative.
Madrid musician Victor Lago said he submitted his lyrics to the lower house and also launched a campaign to collect the 500,000 signatures needed to enable lawmakers to debate his proposal.
Spain's wordless national anthem has often caused consternation among onlookers from other nations at international events like soccer matches and Olympics because all Spaniards can do is hum along to its tune.
According to news agency Europa Press, the Committee on Petitions to Parliament agreed to refer the composer's proposal to Spain's constitutional commission.
A previous attempt to set words to the march-like tune, organized by the Spanish Olympic Committee, flopped in 2008 when the lyrics put forward were deemed to be too politically-charged.
Lago said his lyrics are neutral and inspired solely by his love for Spain and Spaniards.
"When I wrote the lyrics, I tried to stay as politically neutral as possible and attempted to imbue them with higher values that are above any movement or political orientation," Lago said.
The composer added that Spaniards deserved lyrics that could be "sung with pride by all across the length and breadth of our geography."
Spain's anthem is a military march dating back to the 18th century, its composer unknown. As the tune has no words, Spaniards can at most sing "La, la, la" or "chunda, chunda, chunda" — or just hum — making for awkward moments at official ceremonies and sporting events.
Lago's lyrics begin with "Glory, Homeland!" and can be heard sung to the anthem's music in the proposal's website.