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Patriotic songs of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Patriotic songs of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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23.OCT.09

by Michael Peters
Cultural Officer,
Ministry of Culture, Labour and Electoral Matters

A patriotic song is one of the ultimate public expressions of ‘love for country’. These songs grew out of an acute awareness and appreciation for the environment, history and heritage of the writer’s surroundings or homeland.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, patriotic songs are mainly played on the radio or sung in schools and communities at Independence time. Their existence mirrors the emergence of Vincentian society from a colony to Statehood to an independent nation. Therefore, most were been composed in the 1970s – 1980s.{{more}} During this period, composers such as Patrick Prescod, Alban Henry, Alston Becket Cyrus and Vibrating Scakes produced some of the more memorable ones. But almost every year new songs are being sung in the various calypso competitions.

Over the years the Department of Culture has received numerous requests from students, teachers, researchers and nationals living abroad for information on patriotic songs. Usually they want the words. One of the constant concerns has been the lack of documentation.

The songs published in this Independence supplement are just nine of the 21 songs included in a collection published by the Department of Culture in the Ministry of Urban Development, Culture, Labour and Electoral Matters in 2006. The aim of this collection is to fill that void and to preserve and make available our patriotic songs so as to enhance a deeper appreciation of our rich musical heritage whilst promoting pride in our country.

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