The National Anthem of Barbados
If there is one piece of music that bonds Barbadians together both close and far it is our National Anthem. Played at all public events, the first notes bring a crowded noisy room to a deathly silence in a show of respect for this piece of music that represents where we have come from and where we are going.
Lyrics to the Barbados National Anthem
In plenty and in time of need
More on the National Anthem Of Barbados
Our National was adopted on the 30th November, 1966 the day of our independence. It's music was composed by the late C. Van Roland Edwards and rearranged in 1967 by Inspector Prince Cave of the Royal Barbados Police Force who had recently returned from a three-year band masters course at the Royal School of Music, Kneller Hall. He kept the original tune but gave the anthem a more sustained harmony. The lyrics to the Barbados National Anthem were written in 1966 by Mr. Irving Burgie who was a well established composer. A committee comprising of Mrs. Enid Lynch, Mr. Bruce St. John, Mr. Frank Collymore, Mr. George Lamming and Mr. John Fletcher were set up to review the entries in a competition.
Music Arrangement By: C. Van Roland Edwards
Mr. Edwards was born in 1912 and while he had no formal training had been writing music from his school days as a pupil at the St. Peter's Church Boy's School. He became a member of the British Song Society in 1933 and was a keen composer. It should be noted that Mr. Edwards was partially blind at the time of writting the National Anthem of Barbados and was assisted by his daughters Nannette and Eullia who recorded his music for him to paper. After writing the music to the National Anthem he was awarded Bds$500.00 as a token of appreciation for his work. Mr. Edwards died on April 22, 1985.
Other notable compositions of Mr. Van Roalnad Edwards were a song written for the opening of the St. Elizabeth School in St. John, Barbados. The song "Welcome to Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II" was performed in the presence of the Queen during an official visit to the Barbados in February, 1966. Other memorable works included "The St. Andrew Murder," "The Goodman Song" and "The Federation Song."
Lyrics By: Irving Burgie
Mr. Burgie who wrote the lyrics to the National Anthem of Barbados was born in Broklyn, New York in 1917. His mother, Viola Calendar Burgie, was a Barbadian and his father was American. He served in the US Army as a soldier in an all black battalion in the China-Burma India theater where he developed an interest in music and studying in general. After the war he returned to the U.S.A. and studied under the G.I. Bill where he graduated from the University of Southern California studying in 1949 after attending the University of Arizona and studied music at the Juilliard School in New York for five years.
While being an accomplished composer and performer who toured across the US under the name Lorde Burgess, Mr. Burgie admits that he preferred to take advantage of his later success in writing for top performers and using his earnings to travel the world.
Some of his other noted works include "Ballad for Bimshire" a broadway musical of Barbados produced in 1963 and opened on the 15th October of that same year in New York at the Mayfair theater. The show starred Ossie Davis, Frederick O'Neil, Christine Spencer & Jimmy Randolph.
Mr. Burgie is also credited with writing the title song to the 1957 classic movie "Island In The Sun" with Harry Belafonte and many other popular songs made famous by Belafonte including " Day-O," "Michael Row The Boat," "Yellow Bord," and "Que Bonita Bandera."He is credited with writing eight of the eleven songs on Mr. Belafontes #1 on the billboard charts album "Calypso." Although his fame and fortune have been made over songs relating to the Caribbean he will be the forst to admit that at the time of writing "Day-O" he had never been there. But drew on his experiences from growing up in West Indian neighbourhoods in South Brooklyn which made him understand the culture.
Many of his songs can be found in a book published called the "Caribbean Song Book" which contains 59 songs and the National anthems of Nine Caribbean Countries. It was published in 1977 and is currently out of print. The book includes musical arrangement to many of the songs as well as drawings depicting the music.
Mr. Burgie who visited Barbados frequently created the Irving Burgie Literary Award for Excellence in Literary and Creative Arts for secondary school Barbadian children. In 1987 he received the Silver Crown of Merit from the Barbados Government and two years later was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from the University of the West Indies.
Rules To Use Of The Barbados National Anthem
When should the National Anthem be played in Barbados?
Music Sheet to Barbados National Anthem
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.