Emilito's Family and Spanish Civil War Songs

Emil Signes
Rev. 2005-02-18

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Carmen and Emil's trip to Spain, July 1936

¡No pasarán! and España en llamas

As a result of their experiences in Spain at its start, the Spanish Civil War was always imprinted on Emilio & Carmen's memories.  Emilito and his siblings will always remember an ancient 78 rpm record, its hole out of round, and later with a crack extending from the label to the edge but always playable, with two songs about the Spanish Civil War, a lamenting pasodoble, "España en Llamas," and a defiant march, "No pasarán."  We would play the latter often, because words like "matan mujeres, niños y ancianos," and "Franco el traidor," always struck us  - well, they struck us somehow - especially in an age when Franco ruled and these sentiments could certainly not be expressed in Spain.

Emilito remembers that when they played this record, his mother, ever torn between right and left, would frown, whereas his father, who never had any sympathy for the right, would always smile with amusement.

Emilito also remembers thinking that this must have been a popular song and therefore that he would find it in some Spanish Civil War archive or listing of songs.  But it was never there.  So, for him, the record suddenly became a rare memento of happy days at home reliving some not so happy days of his parents (if that makes any sense).

After many, many years of treasuring that record, and avoiding playing it, to preserve it, Emilito finally recorded it to cassette to have a way to play it without danger.  And then, in the early 21st century, voila!  He found both ¡No pasaran! and España en llamas online, downloaded them, converted them to MP3 and distributed them to his siblings.  (They are part of the University of South Florida's Spanish Civil War Oral History Project and are found by following the search at


Both songs are written by Leopoldo González and performed by the Orquesta Esapañola "Los Milicianos" plus chorus. One side of the 78 rpm features the marcha miliciana "¡No Pasarán," and the other the pasodoble "España en Llamas."

The MP3 versions of both songs are given below, followed by the words and translation of ¡No pasarán!

No pasarán - MP3                           España en llamas - MP3


Ahí van marchando los milicianos
Van para el frente con gran valor.
A dar sus vidas se van cantando
Antes que triunfe Franco el traidor.

En el espacio van los fascistas
Bombas aéreas destrozarán
La bella urbe capitalina
Pero a Madrid . . . ¡NO PASARÁN!

Matan mujeres. niños y ancianos
Que por las calles suelen andar.
Esta es la hazaña de los fascistas
Que allá en la historia se ha de grabar
Si sangre de héroes regó los campos
Bellas simientes resurgirán
El cañón ruje, tiembla la tierra
Pero a Madrid . . . ¡NO PASARÁN!


There march the militiamen
With great valor to the front.
They go singing to give their lives
Lest Franco, the traitor. triumph.
The fascists are in the skies
Their aerial bombs may destroy
Our beautiful capital city
But to Madrid . . . They Shall Not Pass!

They kill women, children, and the elderly
Who are out and about on the streets
This is the deed of the fascists
Which will be inscribed in history.
Where heroes' blood watered the field
Beautiful seedlings will flourish.
The cannon roars, the earth trembles
But to Madrid . . . They Shall Not Pass!

Record Label of No Pasarán
Label of Emilio & Carmen's "No Pasarán"

Himno de Riego

The one song Carmen Lagos refers to in her letters from the Spain in 1936 (español) (English) is the Himno de Riego, the Republican National Anthem.  The MP3 version of this song may be found by clicking here, and the words, which were found at the following site -


- are given below.

Himno de Riego is an anthem composed in honor of colonel Rafael del Riego during the 1820-1823 Spanish Civil War and the national anthem of the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939).


Serenos y alegres
valientes y osados
cantemos soldados
el himno a la lid.
De nuestros acentos
el orbe se admire
y en nosotros mire
los hijos del Cid.

Soldados la patria
nos llama a la lid,
juremos por ella
vencer o morir.

El mundo vio nunca
más noble osadia,
ni vió nunca un día
más grande el valor,
que aquel que, inflamados,
nos vimos del fuego
excitar a Riego
de Patria el amor.

Soldados la patria
nos llama a la lid,
juremos por ella
vencer o morir.

La trompa guerrera
sus ecos da al viento,
horror al sediento,
ya ruge el cañon
a Marte, sañudo,
la audacia provoca
y el ingenio invoca
de nuestra nación.

Soldados la patria
nos llama a la lid,
juremos por ella
vencer o morir.

Numerous sites on the world wide web provide access to Spanish Civil War Songs.  Here is just one of them:


(Note that this site lists an entirely different song than Emilito knew with the title "No pasarán."  It also has 2 different versions of Himno de Riego, both instrumentals.)

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