Length: 144 words
Anthem lyrics (use the arrow on the left to collapse this section):
Dear land of Guyana, of rivers and plains
Made rich by the sunshine and lush by the rains;
Set gem-like and fair, between mountains and sea,
Your children salute you, dear land of the free.
Green land of Guyana, our heroes of yore;
Both bondsmen and free, laid their bones on your shore;
This soil so they hallowed, and from them are we,
All sons of one Mother, Guyana the free.
Great land of Guyana, diverse though our strains,
We are born of their sacrifice, heirs of their pains,
And ours is the glory their eyes did not see
One land of six peoples, united and free.
Dear land of Guyana, to you will we give,
Our homage, our service, each day that we live;
God guard you, great Mother, and make us to be
More worthy our heritage – land of the free.
Historical context:Guyana’s anthem, “Green Land of Guyana,” may be the only anthem in the Americas whose sheet music and lyrics are part of the nation’s constitution. (The constitution of Haiti mentions its anthem but does not include its lyrics/music.)
Before independence in 1966, Guyana used the British royal anthem (“God Save the King/Queen” as its national song. Upon independence, the country adopted the lyrics of the Rev. Archibald Leonard Luker, an Anglican priest, and the music of composer Robert Cyril Gladstone Potter. (Other English-speaking Caribbean states whose anthems were written by ministers include Jamaica and Dominica.)
As Guyana is still a Commonwealth realm, Queen Elizabeth II remains its monarch and “God Save the Queen” continues to be used as a royal anthem alongside “Green Land of Guyana.”