Belize

Belize_Art
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Length: 174 words


Anthem lyrics (use the arrow on the left to collapse this section):

O, Land of the Free by the Carib Sea,
Our manhood we pledge to thy liberty!
No tyrants here linger, despots must flee
This tranquil haven of democracy
The blood of our sires which hallows the sod,
Brought freedom from slavery oppression’s rod,
By the might of truth and the grace of God,
No longer shall we be hewers of wood.

Arise! ye sons of the Baymen’s clan,
Put on your armour, clear the land!
Drive back the tyrants, let despots flee –
Land of the Free by the Carib Sea!

Nature has blessed thee with wealth untold,
O’er mountains and valleys where prairies roll;
Our fathers, the Baymen, valiant and bold
Drove back the invader; this heritage hold
From proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon,
Through coral isle, over blue lagoon;
Keep watch with the angels, the stars and moon;
For freedom comes tomorrow’s noon.

Arise! ye sons of the Baymen’s clan,
Put on your armour, clear the land!
Drive back the tyrants, let despots flee –
Land of the Free by the Carib Sea!

Background:

As one of the hemisphere’s youngest independent nations, Belize’s national anthem was adopted relatively recently, in 1981. Its lyrics, however, date back to the 1960s, when former British WWI soldier, civil rights activist, and poet Samuel Alfred Haynes penned them. Originally called “Land of the Gods,” the song was renamed “Land of the Free” before it was officially made the anthem of the newly independent nation.

The lyrics themselves make explicit reference to the nation’s colonial past as a center for logging (“No longer shall we be hewers of wood.”) This connection to forestry is also present in other national symbols such as the national coat of arms (which also appears on the Belizean flag), featuring woodcutters flanking a mahogany tree.

Performance:

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