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.
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.