Thursday, July 16, 2009

The National Anthem of Barbados

The Barbados national anthem was adopted upon independence on November 30, 1966. The lyrics were written by Mr. Irving Burgie, a USC music scholar who also performed music under the name Lord Burgess. When Mr. C. Van Roland Edwards composed the Music for the National Anthem he was partly blind. Because of his partial blindness he was assisted in his work by his two daughters Nannette and Eullia.

The music of the National Anthem of Barbados was composed by Mr. C. Van Roland Edwards who was partly blind at the time. Mr. Edwards who attended St. Peter's Church Boy's School was born in 1912 and had been writing music with no formal training. He was also a member of the British song society since 1933. Edwards wrote the Anthem for Barbados’ Independence in 1966 and was awarded $500 by the Government. He later died on April 22nd 1985.

Other compositions by Van Roland Edwards include: The St. Andrew Murder, The Goodman Song,The Federation Song and Welcome to her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth I. In 1967, Inspector Prince Cave of the Royal Barbados Police Band a graduate of the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, re-arranged the music of the National Anthem. He had given it more harmony while keeping the original tune.

The lyrics of the National Anthem of Barbados were written by Mr. Irvin Burgie who was born in 1926 in America. He is the product of a Barbadian mother and an American father. Burgie attended the University of Southern California where he studied music. Mr. Burgie whose stage name was Lord Burgess performed in many cities of the U.S.A and has written for a number of internationally famous artists.

Other notable songs written by Irvin Burgie: Ballad for Bimshire, Island in the Sun, and The West Indian Song Book. He is most well known for the song "Jamaica Farewell", of which he wrote the lyrics. He also wrote songs for famous International performers like Harry Belafonte, Jimmy Buffett, and Carly Simon.

Mr. Burgie is a Life Member of the NAACP and often visits Barbados where he has instituted the Irvin Burgie Literary Award for Barbadian school children.