Anthem & Pledge

The Jamaican 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.

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 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.