Barbados National Anthem

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Barbados National Anthem

In Plenty and In Time of Need …

Another proud national symbol, the Barbadian national anthem (like our national flag) was officially adopted in 1966, during the year of Barbados’ Independence.

Irving Burgie, born in the United States to a Barbadian mother and an American father, firmly embraced his mother’s heritage when he wrote the lyrics to one of the greatest symbols of Barbadian pride, the national anthem – In Plenty and In Time of Need.

Mr. C. Van Roland Edwards composed the original music for the Bajan national anthem. Born in Barbados and partially blind, he was assisted by his two daughters to complete his works.

Mr. Edwards was never formally trained in music composition, however he had been writing music since he was a pupil of St. Peter’s Church Boy’s School, and was a member of the British Song Society.

Note: In 1967, the music of the national anthem was revised by Inspector Prince Cave of the Royal Barbados Police Band. It was given a more sustained melody while at the same time retaining the original tune composed by Mr. Edwards.

National Anthem Protocols

There are certain protocols and etiquette to follow regarding the Barbadian national anthem.

The Government of Barbados outlines such protocols in relation to the anthem such as conduct during its play, application of the national anthem, and rules in terms of its usage.

Barbadian national anthem protocols include, but are not limited to, the following:

— All civilians present in the playing of the national anthem should stand at attention and men should have bared heads. Individuals wearing uniforms should behave according to any instructions given.

— Generally only one verse and the chorus will be played.

— The national anthem should be played for the purposes of a salute or ceremonial/official occasions, and on the arrival or departure of important or noteworthy persons such as the Governor General, a member of the Royal Family, foreign dignitaries, and so on.

— The national anthem should be played at the beginning of all public performances in a cinema house.

— The anthem may also be played in circumstances when toasts are proposed at official functions, as well as at the end of any general public function.

— The Barbadian national anthem should only be played at the officially recognised tempo and should not be parodied or used for the purposes of advertising.

— When one or more other national anthems are being played, the Bajan anthem must be played last.


In Plenty and In Time of Need

In plenty and in time of need
When this fair land was young
Our brave forefathers sowed the seed
From which our pride is sprung
A pride that makes no wanton boast
Of what it has withstood
That binds our hearts from coast to coast
The pride of nationhood


We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own
We write our names on history’s page
With expectations great
Strict guardians of our heritage
Firm craftsmen of our fate

The Lord has been the people’s guide
For past three hundred years
With him still on the people’s side
We have no doubts or fears
Upward and onward we shall go
Inspired, exulting, free
And greater will our nation grow
In strength and unity.


Author: Brett Callaghan