Songs of independence


-IT was an exciting time to be in Jamaica in 1962. For, on August 6 that year, the country was declared independent by Great Britain. Many artistes have since celebrated the milestone in song. Here is a look at some of the finest moments.

Forward March (Derrick Morgan): The visually-challenged singer from Mocho, Clarendon, was arguably Jamaica’s biggest star when he recorded this song for producer Leslie Kong. Done in 1962.

Independent Jamaica (Lord Creator): A Trinidadian, Creator (real name Kenrick Patrick) was encouraged to record the song by producer Vincent ‘Randy’ Chin. Written in half-hour by Creator at Chin’s Kingston home, it was also released in 1962.

Land of My Birth (Eric Donaldson): Considered by many people as Jamaica’s unofficial national anthem, Land of My Birth won the Festival Song Contest in 1978. Winston Wallace, a teacher and trade unionist, was inspired to compose the song by political turmoil in Jamaica at the time.

Nuh wey Nuh Better Dan Yard (Tinga Stewart): Jamaica was still recovering from a near-decade of politically-driven violence when Stewart won the Festival Song Contest in 1981, with this un-apologetic patriotic number.

Give Thanks and Praise (Roy Rayon): At 25, Jamaica was all grown-up and Rayon’s exuberant mento/revivalist salute helped the nation celebrate its silver anniversary. Won the 1987 Festival Song Contest.

I Saw my Land in The Morning (words by MG Smith; music by Mappletoft Poulle): One of the world’s distinguished social anthropologists and respected poet, Smith (who died in 1993) went into his soul for this somber salute to his country. He is the grandfather of roots artistes Kelissa and Keznamdi.


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