Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The National Anthem of Jersey

"Ma Normandie" is the semi-official anthem of the Bailiwick of Jersey, a British Crown dependency in the Channel Islands, and was written and composed by Frédéric Bérat, a French composer and songwriter. Jersey is historically part of the Duchy of Normandy, and French has been for centuries an official administrative language of Jersey, whose inhabitants have traditionally spoken a variety of Norman language.

Although "Ma Normandie" is used by Jersey at Commonwealth Games, Island Games and other international events where it is necessary for territories that otherwise use "God Save the Queen" to be distinguished, the fact that the song refers to France rather than to Jersey means that a body of opinion has campaigned for a change of anthem.

In 2007 the States of Jersey undertook to find a new, official, Anthem by means of an open competition. The final judging of the competition took place with a public performance of the short-listed pieces on 30 April, 2008. The short-listed composers were: Derek Lawrence, Gerard Le Feuvre, James Taberner and a joint composition by Kevin Porée and Matheson Bayley; the traditional song "Beautiful Jersey"/"Man Bieau P'tit Jèrri" was also included in the shortlist. The winner of the competition was declared to be "Island Home" composed by Gerard Le Feuvre.

The anthem was apparently inspired by the sounds of Jersey wildlife (the opening three notes, if played two octaves lower, are apparently the lowing of a Jersey cow), Jersey poetry, and Jersey folk music, and was written independently of the contest, in 2002. Lyrics were written both in English and in Jèrriais, a version of the Norman language spoken on the island.

Above is a postcard with a score of the Jersey semi-official anthem "Ma Normandie". Below is another postcard with lyrics and score.