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Yoke and Arrows - symbol of the Falange

Cara al Sol (Spanish: "Facing the sun") is the anthem of the Falange party. The lyrics were written in December 1935 and are usually credited to the then leader of the Falange, José Antonio Primo de Rivera. The music was composed by Juan de Tellería and Juan R. Buendia.

The circumstances of its creation are unusual. The Falangists needed a stirring song of their own to counter the popular appeal of El Himno de Riego (the national anthem of the Second Spanish Republic) and A Las Barricadas (a very popular Anarchist song). The Falange had nothing suitable of its own so it had been borrowing from the German Nazi and the Italian fascist repertoire.

To solve the problem, Primo de Rivera formed a committee[1], meeting on 2 December 1935 in the home of Marichu de la Mora Maura. Those present included José María Alfaro, Rafael Sánchez Mazas, Agustín (Así) de Foxá, Mourlane Michelena, Dionisio Ridruejo, Agustín Aznar, and Luis Aguilar. The result of their efforts, following a period of sub-committee review (at the Cueva del Orkompon, a Basque bar in Calle Miguel Moya, Madrid) was provisionally entitled the Himno de Falange Española. It was first performed in Madrid in 1936.

Its popularity was boosted by Primo de Rivera's execution on 20 November 1936 and his subsequent glorification by the Spanish Nationalists.

During the Spanish Civil War the Falange, which was since its inception quite military or paramilitary-like in its inner organization like other equivalent youth parties in countries under totalitarian regimes, became an important part of the National Army (or National Movement), both ideologically and militarily, still as an independent organization but strenghtening the regular insurgent Army in the combat lines, which caused plenty of falangist casualties, and the Cara al Sol was their anthem throughout "the war days", the lyrics acquiring an even more special signification for its remembering of the "fallen comrades".

In Spain under Franco, being the Falange the only legal political party and referred simply as "El Movimiento" (The Movement) Cara al Sol became a semi-official anthem, often played alongside the official anthem, the Marcha Real, and was regarded as the battle song of the Spanish far right.


The lyrics








Original lyrics

Cara al sol con la camisa nueva,
que tú bordaste en rojo ayer,
me hallará la muerte si me lleva
y no te vuelvo a ver.

Formaré junto a mis compañeros
que hacen guardia sobre los luceros,
impasible el ademán,
y están presentes en nuestro afán.

Si te dicen que caí,
me fui al puesto que tengo allí.

Volverán banderas victoriosas
al paso alegre de la paz
y traerán prendidas cinco rosas
las flechas de mi haz.

Volverá a reír la primavera,
que por cielo, tierra y mar se espera.

¡Arriba, escuadras, a vencer,
que en España empieza a amanecer!

¡España una!
¡España grande!
¡España libre!
¡Arriba España!

Translated lyrics

Facing the sun in my new shirt
that you embroidered in red yesterday,
That's how death will find me if it takes me
and I won't see you again.

I'll take my place alongside my companions
who stand on guard in the heavens,
with a hard countenance,
they are alive in our effort.

If they say to you that I fell,
know that I'm gone to my post up there.

The flags of victory will return
marching merrily along peace
and bringing five red roses:
the arrows of my quiver.

Spring will laugh again,
which we await by air, land and sea.

Onwards, squadrons, to victory,
that a new day dawns on Spain!

Spain united!
Spain (the) great!
Spain (the) free!
Onwards Spain!


Written by committee

The lyrics were a collaborative effort, under the editorship of Primo de Rivera. Authorship of individual lines are attributed as follows: 1-4 Foxá, Primo de Rivera, Alfaro; 5-10 Foxá; 11-12 Ridruejo; 13-14 Primo de Rivera; 15 Alfaro; 16 Mourlane; and 17-18 Alfaro. Lines 19-22 were existing Falange slogans.

Imagery in the lyrics

  • Line 1: The reference to the "new shirt" relates to the Falangist uniform, a working-class, plain blue shirt which was their most distinctive sign and was embroidered upon the heart position in the left side of the chest with the party symbol in red colour, a yoke uniting in its center an array of five arrows pointing upwards, meaning strenght, sacrifice and union. "New shirts" does not refer to Falangists who joined during the war ("Old shirts" joined before it), since this expression came up only after the song was composed.
  • Lines 13-14: The reference to the arrows is an allusion to the Falange "Yoke and Arrows" symbol and to the Falangist youth movement.
  • Lines 19-21: España Una, Grande y Libre was a frequently used slogan in Francoism.
  • Line 22: Falangists use Arriba España ("Onward Spain") instead of the more usual Viva España ("Long live Spain").

Alternate lines

In Line 5, mis compañeros ("my companions") is sometimes replaced by los compañeros ("the companions") or otros compañeros ("other companions").


This version of the song appeared well after the civil war, and is a slow-motion version of "Cara Al Sol", sometimes sung by a female voice, almost a ballad. This is a very different version, given the fact that "Cara Al Sol" was originally a battle song, and "Amanecer" is almost a love ballad. It was produced and conducted by A. Velázquez

External links


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