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The National Anthem of Jamaica
History and Words

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Before the National Anthem of Jamaica came into existence it had to go through a series of tests and judging.

The first instance of such testing took place in September 1961 when it was announced that the competition for the words of the National Anthem would be judged.

After the words were chosen, there would be a competition for the music to be put in place that would compliment the script.

There were almost one hundred (100) entries for the words and it was subsequently announced on March 17 that the competition for the words of the National Anthem would come to a close on Saturday March 31, 1962.

The final selection of the Anthem was the responsibility of a Joint Committee of the Houses of Parliament.

There was a division between the two possible choices which lasted until Thursday July 19, 1962 when the large majority of the House, after eager discussion and debate, approved the resolution which was put to it and the version previously heard in the lobby was selected as suitable.

The National Anthem of Jamaica is the creative work of four individuals:
1. The late Rev. and Hon. Hugh Sherlock, OJ, OBE;
2. The late Hon. Robert Lightbourne, OJ;
3. The late Mapletoft Poulle and;
4. Mrs. Poulle (now Mrs. Raymond Lindo).

Code for use of the National Anthem

As with anything "national" there is a code that should be followed when singing the Jamaica National Anthem. Here is a breakdown of such code.

National Flag of Jamaica

1. All persons should stand at attention, and by attention I mean with heels together and hands at your sides, at the playing of the National Anthem of Jamaica.

2. Men should remove their hats or any head wear for that matter.

3. The first verse of the National Anthem should be played or sung as specifically designated on the arrival of the Governor-General or the Prime Minister.

4. The National Anthem may be sung or played at public gatherings.

5. Singing of the Jamaica National Anthem should form part of the ceremony of raising and lowering of the Jamaican Flag at the beginning and end of school terms and at any Independence celebrations.

The Words of the National Anthem of Jamaica

Verse 1

Eternal Father bless our land,
Guard us with Thy Mighty Hand,
Keep us free from evil powers,
Be our light through countless hours.
To our Leaders, Great Defender,
Grant true wisdom from above.
Justice, Truth be ours forever,
Jamaica, Land we love.
Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica land we love.

Verse 2

Teach us true respect for all,
Stir response to duty’s call,
Strengthen us the weak to cherish,
Give us vision lest we perish.
Knowledge send us Heavenly Father,
Grant true wisdom from above.
Justice, Truth be ours forever,
Jamaica, land we love.
Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica land we love.

For a better understanding of the tune of the Anthem take a listen to the musical of this video. Both verses are the same tune so that is the reason for it to only be played once.

If you prefer one with lyrics and music you may take a listen and a look at this one below!

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