The National Anthem

The National Anthem

1. Whenever the National Anthem is played all civilians present should stand at attention, men with bared heads. Persons in uniform should act in accordance with instructions.

2. Normally one verse only and the chorus will be played. Where a shortened version of the National Anthem is played, it shall consist of the first twelve bars of the verse and the last four bars of the chorus.

The National Anthem shall be played -

  • (a) for the purposes of a salute on ceremonial or official occasions, on the arrival and departure of - 
    (i) the Governor General. 
    (ii) the Sovereign or a member of the Royal family, 
    (iii) a foreign Sovereign, Head of State or member of a reigning foreign imperial or Royal Family, 
    (iv) Governors-General of Independent Commonwealth countries. 
    (v) Governors of the Associated States, and 
    (vi) Governors, High Commissioners of Officers administering the Government of a dependent territory within the Commonwealth 
  • (b) at the beginning of all public performances in a cinema house.

3. The National Anthem may be played

  • (a) at the completion of any public function, or
  • (b) when toasts are proposed at official functions.

4. The National Anthem should not be parodied in verse or in song neither should it be played in any tempo other than that officially recognises (eighty-eight crochets to the minute). Particularly, the tune should not be used as a dance number or for the purposes of advertisement.

5. When more than one anthem is played the Barbados anthem should be played last.

National Anthem

In plenty and in time of need 
When this fair land was young 
Our brave forefathers sowed the seed 
From which our pride is sprung, 
A pride that makes no wanton boast 
Of what it has withstood 
That binds our hearts from coast to coast - 
The pride of nationhood


We loyal sons and daughters all 
Do hereby make it known 
These fields and hills beyond recall 
Are now our very own. 
We write our names on history's page 
With expectations great, 
Strict guardians of our heritage, 
Firm craftsmen of our fate 

The Lord has been the people's guide 
For past three hundred years. 
With him still on the people's side 
We have no doubts or fears. 
Upward and onward we shall go, 
Inspired, exulting, free, 
And greater will our nation grow 
In strength and unity. 

The Music

When Mr. C. Van Roland Edwards composed the Music for the National Anthem he was partially blind. Mr. Edwards was born in 1912 and had been writing music from his school days as a pupil of St. Peter's Church Boy's School. Although he had no formal training he had been a member of the British Song society since 1933. Because of his partial blindness has was assisted in his work by his two daughters Nannette and Eullia.

Mr. Edwards was known for his compositions "The St. Andrew Murder", "The Goodman song" and "The Federation song". He also composed "Welcome to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II" which was sung in the presence of the Queen when she opened the St. Elizabeth School in St. Joseph during the official visit to the island in February 1966.

A committee which comprised, Mr. Bruce St. John, Mr. Frank Collymore, Mrs. Enid Lynch, Mr. George Lamming, Mr. Gerald Hudson and Mr. John Fletcher was appointed to oversee the selection of the national Anthem. Mr. Edwards was awarded $500 for his efforts.

Mr. Edwards died on April 22, 1985. In 1967 the music of the National Anthem was re-arranged. This work was undertaken by Inspector Prince Cave of the Royal Barbados Police Band. He had earlier that year returned from a three year Band Masters course at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall. The Anthem was given a more sustained harmony while at the same time retaining the original tune.

The Lyrics

The Lyrics of the National Anthem of Barbados were written by Mr. Irving Burgie who was born in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. of a Barbadian mother and American father. Mr. Burgie whose stage name is Lord Burgess was born in 1926. He served in India and after his return to the U.S.A. he entered the University of Southern California and studied Music and performed in many cities of the U.S.A.

Mr. Burgie has composed works for "Ballad for Bimshire" and "Island in the Sun", he has also written for a number of internationally famous Artistes. Among his works is "The West Indian Song Book". He is a Life Member of the NAACP.

Mr. Burgie who is a frequent visitor to Barbados has instituted the Irving Burgie Literary Award for Barbadian school children.

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