Songs of independence

Songs of independence

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

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IT was an exciting time to be in Jamaica in 1962. For, on August 6 that year, the country was declared independent by Great Britain. Many artistes have since celebrated the milestone in song. Here is a look at some of the finest moments. 

Forward March (Derrick Morgan): The visually-challenged singer from Mocho, Clarendon, was arguably Jamaica's biggest star when he recorded this song for producer Leslie Kong. Done in 1962.

Independent Jamaica (Lord Creator): A Trinidadian, Creator (real name Kenrick Patrick) was encouraged to record the song by producer Vincent 'Randy' Chin. Written in half-hour by Creator at Chin's Kingston home, it was also released in 1962.

Land of My Birth (Eric Donaldson): Considered by many people as Jamaica's unofficial national anthem, Land of My Birth won the Festival Song Contest in 1978. Winston Wallace, a teacher and trade unionist, was inspired to compose the song by political turmoil in Jamaica at the time.

Nuh wey Nuh Better Dan Yard (Tinga Stewart): Jamaica was still recovering from a near-decade of politically-driven violence when Stewart won the Festival Song Contest in 1981, with this un-apologetic patriotic number.

Give Thanks and Praise (Roy Rayon): At 25, Jamaica was all grown-up and Rayon's exuberant mento/revivalist salute helped the nation celebrate its silver anniversary. Won the 1987 Festival Song Contest.

I Saw my Land in The Morning (words by MG Smith; music by Mappletoft Poulle): One of the world's distinguished social anthropologists and respected poet, Smith (who died in 1993) went into his soul for this somber salute to his country.

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