Abridged two-stanza rendition of the Mexican national anthem, performed in 1967.
Vocal version with original 19th century verses and stanzas
On November 12, 1853, President Antonio López de Santa Anna announced a competition to write a national anthem for Mexico. The competition offered a prize for the best poetic composition representing patriotic ideals. Francisco González Bocanegra, a talented poet, was not interested in participating in the competition. He argued that writing love poems involved very different skills from the ones required to write a national anthem. His fiancée, Guadalupe González del Pino (or Pili), had undaunted faith in her fiancé's poetic skills and was displeased with his constant refusal to participate in spite of her constant prodding and requests from their friends. Under false pretenses, she lured him to a secluded bedroom in her parents' house, locked him into the room, and refused to let him out until he produced an entry for the competition. Inside the room in which he was temporarily imprisoned were pictures depicting various events in Mexican history which helped to inspire his work. After four hours of fluent (albeit forced) inspiration, Francisco regained his freedom by slipping all ten verses of his creation under the door. After Francisco received approval from his fiancée and her father, he submitted the poem and won the competition by unanimous vote. González was announced the winner in the publication Official Journal of the Federation (DOF) on February 3, 1854.
A musical composition was chosen at the same time as the lyrics. The winner was Juan Bottesini, but his entry was disliked due to aesthetics. This rejection caused a second national contest to find music for the lyrics. At the end of the second contest, the music that was chosen for González's lyrics was composed by Jaime Nunó, the then Catalan-born King of Spain's band leader. At the time of the second anthem competition, Nunó was the leader of several Mexican military bands. He had been invited to direct these bands by President Santa Anna, whom he had met in Cuba. About the time that Nunó first came to Mexico to start performing with the bands, Santa Anna was making his announcement about creating a national anthem for Mexico. Nunó's anthem music composition was made like masterpieces of classical music, with a high quality in composition, and was chosen. Out of the few musical compositions submitted, Nunó's music, titled "God and Freedom" (Dios y libertad), was chosen as the winner on August 12, 1854. The song was officially adopted as the Mexican national anthem on Independence Day, September 16 of that same year. The inaugural performance was directed by Juan Bottesini, sung by soprano Claudia Florenti and tenor Lorenzo Salvi at the Santa Anna Theatre.