A historic vote on Friday by Catalonia’s regional parliament passed the motion to establish an independent Catalan Republic and separate from Spain. After the tumultuous vote, which passed with 70 votes in favour, 10 against and two blank, Catalonia’s parliament exuberantly sang the Catalonian national anthem (above).
The official anthem of Catalonia (below), since 1993, is titled Els Segadors, or “The Reapers”. The song is a brutal swipe at Spain, and has its roots in the Corpus de Sang (Corpus of Blood) which took place on June 7, 1640, during the Thirty Years’ War between Spain, England, France and Austria. The conflict led to an uprising by Catalan workers, who carried sickles (also called reapers), leading to Guerra dels Segadors (War of the Reapers), during which Catalonia declared independence from the Spanish monarchy for the first time.
The song symbolises the desire for freedom from “conceited” and “contemptuous” Spanish domination, and a violent rejection – “Strike with your sickle, defenders of the land!” – of the enemy (Madrid), a sentiment which has been increasingly transparent in recent weeks. The original song was based on the oral tradition, but the modern lyrics were written by Emili Guanyavents, and the music set in 1892 by Francesc Alio.
Earlier in October, a heavy metal band A Sound of Thunder, released a cover (below) of the national anthem in English, which quickly gained attention among Catalan separatists and went viral.