Cara al Sol (English: Facing the Sun) is the anthem of the Spanish Falange party. The lyrics were written in December 1935 and are usually credited to the leader of the Falange, José Antonio Primo de Rivera. The music was composed by Juan 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 official 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 , 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 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 strengthening the regular insurgent army in the combat lines, which caused plenty of Falangist casualties, and 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 Francoist Spain, the Falange, merged with other far-right groups into "Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS", became the only legal political party. Cara al sol became an official hymn together with the Oriamendi, the hymn of the Carlist movement, often played alongside the official anthem, the Marcha Real, and was regarded as the battle song of the Spanish far right.
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.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 strength, 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").
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 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