The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
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Information: Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra and also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, is a sovereign landlocked microstate in the eastern Pyrenees, bordering France to the north and Spain to the south. Andorra is the sixth-smallest nation in Europe, having an area of 181 square miles. Andorra has the highest life expectancy in the world at 81 years.
During World War II, Andorra remained neutral and was an important smuggling route between Vichy France and Francoist Spain. Certain groups organized themselves to help the victims of Nazi oppression coming from Europe, while participating in smuggling to help the country survive.
Given its relative isolation, Andorra has existed outside the mainstream of European history, with few ties to countries other than France, Spain, and Portugal. In recent times, however, its thriving tourist industry along with developments in transport and communications have removed the country from its isolation.
Due to its location in the eastern Pyrenees mountain range, Andorra consists predominantly of rugged mountains dissected by three narrow valleys in a "Y" shape.
National Dances: Contrapàs, Marratxa
Language: Catalan. Spanish, Portuguese, and French are also commonly spoken.
Religions: Predominantly Roman Catholic
The following are the lyrics to the song "Andorra," of which Ron Houston says, "Apparently, the government of Andorra likes it, and I do, too."
Words by Malvina Reynolds, music by Pete Seeger; copyright 1962 Brio Music, renewed 1990. a.k.a. "I Want to Go to Andorra!" Pete Seeger's recording of this song was issued on a compact disc (CD) in 2003 by the Andorran government. Also on the CD is a 1996 speech by the Andorran Foreign Minister given on the occasion of his signing the nuclear non-proliferation treaty at the United States State Department in Washington, D.C.
I want to go to Andorra, Andorra, Andorra,
I want to go to Andorra, it's a place I adore,
They spent four dollars and ninety cents
On armaments and their defense,
Did you ever hear of such confidence?
Andorra, hip hurrah!
In the mountains of the Pyrenees
There's an independent state,
Its population five thousand souls,
And I think they're simply great.
One hundred and seventy square miles big
And it's awf'lly dear to me.
Spends less than five dollars on armaments,
And this I've got to see.
It's governed by a council,
All gentle souls and wise,
They've only five dollars for armaments
And the rest for cakes and pies;
They didn't invest in a tommy gun
Or a plane to sweep the sky,
But they bought some blanks for their cap pistols
To shoot on their Fourth of July.
They live by the arts of farm and field
And by making shoes and hats,
And they haven't got room in their tiny land
For a horde of diplomats;
They haven't got room in their tiny land
For armies to march about,
And if anyone comes with a war budget
They throw the rascals out.
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