I'd never given this a thought before!
On the many occasions when Fernando Alonzo steps onto the top step of the podium having won yet another Grand Prix, I remember just how gormless he appears when the Spanish national anthem strikes up. He seems to be mumbling something-but they are not the lyrics of the anthem- there aren't any! Here you can download a midi version of the "Marcha Real".
There's also a potted history:
"The "Marcha Real" first appeared in a book of military bugle calls dating from 1761, known as the "Marcha Granadera". In 1770 King Carlos III declared it as the official "honour march", and was played at events attended by the royal family. It was then soon known as the Royal March ("Marcha Real").
The origin of the melody is in dispute. Several traditions claim that it originated in parts of Europe outside Spain (such as France and Germany), and indeed the music is not typical of Spanish music.
There was a contest held in 1870 to have a new national anthem of Spain, but no winner was declared and the "Marcha Real" remained as Spain's anthem. There have also been many attempts to compose lyrics for the anthem, but, perhaps in a show of conciliation, none have been officially declared.
After the anthem was replaced by the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War with "Himno Riego", the victorious monarchist forces restored the "Marcha Real" by a decree from General Franco in July 1942. In 1997 the royal family issued a decree regulating the official use of the Marcha Real."
Today, some of the Spanish sports authorities are so fed up with the stars being unable, like their French or Italian counterparts, to blast out the words of their anthem-with tears rolling down their cheeks- want some lyrics.
The leader of the Popular Party (PP) Mariano Rajoy, suggested that before any words are added to the anthem, they ought to be approved by the Parliament. He seems to be getting support from the ruling Socialists.
In a country with four official languages, Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Basque, it ain't going to be easy is it?