National Emblems » Anthem & Pledge

Content provided by the Jamaica Information Service

 

The Jamaican National Anthem

In September 1961, it was announced that the competition for the words of the National Anthem would be judged in the first instance. The successful script would then be published and a contest for the music put in train. Nearly one hundred entries for the words were received and it was subsequently announced on March 17 that the competition for the words of the National Anthem would close on Saturday March 31, 1962.

A Joint Committee of the Houses of Parliament was responsible for making the final selection. Members remained divided between two possible choices until Thursday July 19, 1962 when the large majority of the House, after eager debate, approved the resolution which was put to it and the version previously heard in the lobby was selected as suitable. The Anthem is the creative work of four persons, the late Rev. and Hon. Hugh Sherlock, OJ, OBE, the late Hon. Robert Lightbourne, OJ, the late Mapletoft Poulle and Mrs. Poulle (now Mrs. Raymond Lindo).

 

Code for use of the National Anthem

All persons should stand at attention, (i.e., heels together) at the playing of the National Anthem and men should remove their hats.

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.

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

Singing of the National Anthem should form part of the ceremony of raising and lowering of the flag at the beginning and end of term in schools and at Independence celebrations.

 

 

National Anthem

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.

 

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.

 

 

“The above is an exact copy of the original version of the National Anthem as distributed throughout Jamaica in July 1962 so as to enable everyone to learn the words of the Anthem. It is therefore the authoritative version as regards punctuation and the placing of capital letters”

Jamaica Land of Beauty

Jamaica land of beauty, We promise faithfully

To serve thee with our talents and bring our gifts to thee

Jamaica we will always in honour of thy name

Work steadfastly and wisely and never bring thee

ShameFrom riverside to mountain from cane-field to the sea

Our hearts salute Jamaica Triumphant, proud and free,

 

Together in our country, In love and brotherhood

We’ll work and play in freedom, as all god’s children should

With hearts and hands united, In thanks for everything

That God has giv’n unto us, together let us sing

From riverside to mountain from cane-field to the sea

Our hearts salute Jamaica, Triumphant, proud and free.

 

Lyrics: A. L. Hendricks

Music: Lloyd Hall

National Song: I Pledge My Heart

I pledge my heart forever

To serve with humble pride

This shining homeland, ever

So long as earth abide.

 

I pledge my heart, this island

As God and faith shall live

My work, my strength, my love and

My loyalty to give.

 

O green isle of the Indies,

Jamaica, strong and free,

Our vows and loyal promises

O heartland, ‘tis to Thee.

 

The National Song for schools is set to the tune of ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’. It was written by the late Hon. Victor Stafford Reid, OJ.

National Pledge

Before God and all mankind, I pledge the love and loyalty of my heart, the wisdom and courage of my mind, the strength and vigour of my body in the service of my fellow citizens; I promise to stand up for Justice, Brotherhood and Peace, to work diligently and creatively, to think generously and honestly, so that Jamaica may, under God, increase in beauty, fellowship and prosperity, and play her part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race.

For use at the beginning and end of term, and on other special occasions.

 

Shorter Pledge for Schools

Before God and all mankind, I pledge my love, my loyalty and skills, in the service of Jamaica and my fellow citizens. I promise to work diligently and to help build a prosperous and peaceful nation