Jamaica National Anthem

Hugh Sherlock wrote the Jamaica national anthem entitled “Jamaica, Land We Love” lyrics. Robert Lightbourne created the music that Mapletoft Poulle and Christine Poulle-Lindo later arranged.

When did it become Jamaica’s anthem?

“Jamaica, Land We Love” became the official song for the country on July 19, 1962. Two and a half weeks later, this country sang the anthem to celebrate its first Independence Day on August 6, 1962. The House of Parliament chose it from 100 entries submitted during a contest that took place in September 1961.

Jamaica National Anthem Meaning

The Jamaican anthem lyrics flow almost like a Psalm, which is a poetic prayer. This fight song depicts a cry out to the “Heavenly” and “Eternal” father for strength and vision along with wisdom and justice for all.

It also petitions the “Father” to be “our light” and expresses a love for the Jamaican land. In addition, it regards the country’s leaders as great defenders and offers a heavenly plea for knowledge.

More Jamaican History

The United Kingdom used to rule over Jamaica before the first Independence Day and the declaration of the country’s anthem. Jamaica’s tenure as a colony started in 1509 when Spanish forces moved in upon the Arawak indigenous people. However, British armies took it over in 1655. Slavery occurred here until the 1800s.

After Sir William Alexander Bustamante took over in 1962, that’s when the UK finally set Jamaica free. He served as the first prime minister for the newly independent nation. Before serving in this position, he spent time as the Jamaica Workers’ Union treasurer and fought for workers’ rights during the 1938 labor rebellion. He eventually worked against the union, however.

Bustamente also spent time in prison in 1940, mostly because he continued to promote anti-colonial campaigns. Bustamente’s efforts cost some of his personal freedom, but it led to a suffrage victory about 22 years before Jamaica’s independence. All persons regardless of gender, race, social status, ethnicity, political views or other factors could finally vote as of 1944.

Alexander Bustamente served as the prime minister from 1962-1967. In 1963, he ordered all Rastas to be “brought in dead or alive.” The Rastas religion spread beliefs similar to Judeo-Christianity, and more than 150 of them died for it.

Religious persecution may have led to Bustamente quickly being replaced after such as short time, but that’s just speculation. He later withdrew from political activity after suffering a stroke.

The Jamaica anthem established when the country gained its independence still applies today. Instructions for use of this national song are found on the country's information site.

Jamaica National Anthem Lyrics