National anthem is nothing but a bunch of words

January 25, 2019

We hear the national ­anthem every so often, but it seems we take the words for granted to the point where they have lost their meaning. It is said that the anthem is a prayer.“Eternal Father, bless our land, Guard us with Thy mighty hand ...”

For a country that has the most churches per square mile, the ­anthem is a perfect fit.

However, for a country so far removed from religious principles, the national anthem now is nothing but a bunch of words put together with a powerful tune.

“Keep us free from evil ­powers, Be our light through countless hours ...”

Clearly, God isn’t hearing any of this prayer. Since Independence, Jamaica has become one of the most violent places on earth. Evil men in suits, and those armed with powerful weapons, have made us a nation that people have come to fear.

Those here at home are even more fearful. Just ask those residents of Bull Bay, St Andrew, who, for the past year, have been terrorised by gunmen who have made it an exercise in terror to walk the streets. Not even their homes are safe. It was late last year that I was trying to find a new place to live for a man whose house was firebombed.


The anthem continues,“To our leaders, great Defender, grant true wisdom from above ...” Based on what we have seen these past 56 years, I think it speaks volumes of the lack of collective wisdom or ­leaders have demonstrated. Very little, it seems, has come from above.

The second verse, which we hardly ever sing, goes:

“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 ...”

We respect no one. That is abundantly clear when you see how we treat homosexuals, children and the elderly.

We are hardly ever moved by our duty to rise up against crime and corruption, and our vision is so blurred, it’s surprising we can see anything at all about what is required to move this country ahead.

Against all this, don’t we feel rather hypocritical when we sing the national anthem with all the pretend passion that we do? If we do not, then we really should because we have drifted so far from the principles it demands of us, we might as well not have an anthem at all.

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