The Grenada Revolution Online
Always Sweet, Sweet Music

Always, sweet music plays background to the activities of our lives. In the beginning at political rallies, the New Jewel Movement (NJM) used hymns in part of their programs. There was an aim, as in other revolutionary movements in South America and the American South, for music to be a central part of the struggle. For many Grenadians, the music played on Radio Free Grenada during the period of the Grenada Revolution was prominent. Reggae music formed a backdrop. Not to forget, the celebratetion of the Kaiso or Calypsonian music, featured live during carnivals and festivals. There were the PRG troubadours with their revolutionary poetry set to music. On the international music scene, disco time was on the airwaves. Music and dancing -

ah, sweet music.


The choir in the background -

Oh God How Wonderful Thou Art

My God How Wonderful Thou Art,
Thy Majesty How Bright,
How Beautiful Thy Mercy Seat,
In Depths Of Burning Light.

How Dread Are Thy Eternal Years,
O Everlasting Lord,
By Prostrate Spirits Day and Night,
Incessantly Adored.

How Wonderful, How Beautiful,
The Sight Of Thee Must Be,
Thy Endless Wisdom, Boundless Power,
And Awful Purity.

Oh How I Fear Thee Living God,
With Deepest, Tenderest Fears,
And Worship Thee With Trembling Hope,
And Penitential Tears.

Yet I May Love Thee Too, Oh Lord,
Almighty As Thou Art,
For Thou Has Stoop'd To Ask Of Me,
The Love Of My Poor Heart.

No Earthly Father Loves Like Thee,
No Mother E'er So Mild,
Bears and Forebears As Thou Hast Done,
With Me Thy Sinful Child.

Father Of Jesus, Love's Reward,
What Rapture Will It Be,
Prostrate Before Thy Throne To Lie,
And Gaze And Gaze On Thee.

Oh God How Wonderful Thou Art - music


People remembered that when the late Herbert Blaize would speak in public, he would lead the crowd to sing the hymn "Bind Us Together."

Bind us together, Lord;
bind us together with cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord;
bind us together, Lord; bind us together with love.

There is only one God.
There is only one King.
There is only one Body.
That is why we can sing

Bind Us Together - music


Then the Revolution -

Free Grenada

13th of March, Tuesday 1979
Will remain in every Grenadian mind
Was the day the people made their motion
And the Nation supported the Revolution
Like how L'Overture free up Haiti
And Castro free Cuba
On that Tuesday, Maurice Bishop free Grenada

So long live the People's Revolution!
Thanks to Castro, the friendly Cuban
The cry of every patriotic Grenadian
Eric Gairy must face an execution
We pledge our loyalty to comrade Bishop
For destroying a system that as corrupt
We pledge our loyalty to comrade Bishop
Forward ever, onward you never stop

Trinidadians use to mamaguy Grenadians
Laugh at them
and call them names like Small Island
But Grenadians prove they are serious-minded
And in the end
Finally they got what they wanted
Was the will and the courage of the people
To Eric, Maurice Bishop showed an example

The revolution of the 20th century
On that Tuesday morning it was easy
While Eric in Washington making negotiations
The P.R.A. was in full command of the island
The victory was announced on the radio station
Free Grenada was the voice of the Revolution

In these times Nature will support its changes
And man like Eric
I say death shall be their wages
He used to act as though he own Grenada
So the people got rid of this dictator
The P.R.A. Government
some leaders would not acknowledge
But tell them I say
Maurice Bishop got the courage

Permission courtesy of Anthony Emrold Phillip, ©Valentino, Semi Finals - 1980

Valentino
Valentino, photo courtesy of Sue Patrice, ©SuePat, 2002


An early song from 1979, was recorded by the Magnificent Six. The group left Grenada for Barbados to record at a session at Whirl Studios in Barbados on 26 April 1979. The ten players in the band were based in St. Patrick’s. The group was founded in 1969 and was led by bassman Fitz Thomas at the time of the recording session. One member of the group, Rex Harley from Chantimelle, wrote the song "O See" on the flip side.

According to Howard Campbell in his book "Rasta and Resistance," more than "400 Rastas were involved in the People's Liberation Army which overthrew the Eric Gairy dictatorship on 13 March 1979."

The site for the audio version of "Natty Dread in the PRA" with lyrics written by Locksley Lobo Logie has been found at Natty Dread in Ah PRA. The song is a Grenadian treasure.

Dreadlocks in ah PRA
A partial catch of the lyrics in memorable spurts is highlighted below –

A long, long time never see Natty Dread so happy
A long, long time never see Natty Dread so gay
Natty flying high, so high
Children all rejoice, Rastaman rejoice

Campbell gives partial and completely different lyrics in his book to the song he titles “Dreadlocks on the PRA.”

Dreadlocks on the PRA
[partial lyrics]

Never before have the dreadlocks
been so happy
since they are in the Provisional Revolutionary Army (PRA)
and serving the country and the people

The dreadlocks have been kept down
by the obeah dictator
and now they are being given a chance
to show they are fellow West Indians

Natty never been so gay


Bloody Sunday, 18 November 1973, was immortalized in song by the Mamma Cannes group, St. David's, 1981, who sang in part:

Bloody Sunday

Bloody Sunday we shall never forget,
When them rabid mongoose get out their net . . .


During the Revo, songs described tragic events. One example is the lyrics related to the afternoon tragedy at Queens Park, 19 June, 1980. One child who was killed was Bernadette Bailey.

Bernadette

Bernadette let me dress you up
Wash you face give you bobby socks
Comb you hair give you nice dan dan
Big big rally down in Queens park.

Look de chile how she dress she up,
Wash she face give she bobby socks
Comb she hair give she nice dan dan
Big gig rally down in Queens park.

Plenty people down in Queens park,
Soldiers marching they looking smart
Brother Bishop he looking nice
Bernadette singing forward match.

Brother Bishop now on the mike
Gall dat man he he could really fight.
Then BOOM...a big explosion . . .
Bernadette blown up by the bomb.

Mammy, mammy, you send me go but I won't come back
Mammy, Mammy big explosion down in Queens Park.

Appreciation to an anonymous source for permission to reproduce these copyrighted lyrics; performed by the St. Mark's Anglican school choir; written sometime after 19 June 1980.


The young ones sang . . .

We are children of the Revolution, hear our song, our freedom song, we will fight, fight, fight for our rights.


At the end of the full party Central Committee meeting of 25 September 1983, members - including Maurice Bishop and Bernard Coard - joined together to sing "The Internationale." Most likely the first two verses were sung along with the chorus of this many-versed song.

The Internationale

Arise ye workers [starvelings] from your slumbers
Arise ye prisoners of want
For reason in revolt now thunders
And at last ends the age of cant.

Away with all your superstitions
Servile masses arise, arise
We'll change henceforth [forthwith] the old tradition [conditions]
And spurn the dust to win the prize.

CHORUS (sung twice)

So comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale
unites the human race.

So comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale
unites the human race.

Ere the thieves will out with their booty
And to all give a happier lot.
Each at his forge must do his duty
And strike the iron while its hot.

Original words by Eugene Pottier; original music by Pierre Degeyter

The Internationale [a second version]

The version below is from the Oilfield Workers Trade Union and includes the NJM tag line "Let Those Who Labour Hold the Reins"

Arise ye toilers of all nations,
Condemned to misery and woe;
To hell with humbleness and patience,
Give deadly battle to the foe.
Wipe out the rule of wealthy classes;
Arise and smash your slavery chains
Let power be wielded by the masses,
Let those who labour hold the reins.

CHORUS

Proletarians, rally
For this final big Fight
In-ter-na-tion-ally,
All toiling folks unite

or

CHORUS, version II

Proletarians come rally,
And the last fight let us face,
The Internationale unites the human race

No god, no king, no politician
Will win for us a better day,
So let us drop the old traditions,
Forge weapons for the coming fray
Roll up your sleeves all working fellows,
Put fire beneath the melting pot,
Set up the forge, and blow the bellows
Lets strike the iron while it’s hot.

The earth and all its boundless treasures,
Belong by right, to those who toil;
No parasites of wealth or leisure
Shall claim possession of the soil,
We hail the mighty tempest raging,
The flash of lightning through the gloom
For us the dawn of life presaging;
For them the knell of mortal doom


If there is such a thing as an 'official' song of the People's Revolutionary Government, the song "Forward March Against Imperialism" might be one such song.

Forward March Against Imperialism

Rupert marched to Otways House
Forward March
Alister marched against oppression
Forward March

(CHORUS)

And now Grenadians have caught their vision
End misery and oppression
So we fill Grenada full with our song
Forward march, Forward March,
Forward march against Imperialism
Forward march, Forward March
Forward march against Imperialism

(2)
We have fought colonialism, Forward March
We will fight it to the end, Forward March
(CHORUS)

(3)
Marryshow fought for Federation, Forward March
We all fought for liberation, Forward March
(CHORUS)

(4)
Now we women fight for justice, Forward March
Fighting against Imperialism, Forward March
(CHORUS)

(5)
As we women won our Freedom, Forward March
We will go forward united, Forward March
(CHORUS)


Another song was "Freedom Struggle."

Freedom Struggle

(CHORUS)
Struggle, Struggle for Rights,
Struggle, Struggle for Freedom
Through Struggle we overcome dictatorship to everlasting Freedom
Let Justice and Equality live on, live on,
Let Justice and Equality live on.

(2)
In 1951 the Dictator came say he fighting Freedom
And he got everybody right behind he
But all we got was Sky Red
And some are we fore parents look they fall dead
You know we couldn't see the man really blind we
(CHORUS)

(3)
As sure by now you know about the Crisis in '74,
Look the man was crazy, Independence had he,
It was Mongoose Gang on the run
Governor gone, one man get gun down
Man you should see how they loot the city
And you know the man he had guts to tell the World that we were nut.
And now you know is he not we.
(CHORUS)

(4)
Now we brave we self and we put up a fight
And we show the World that we are right
On 13th March History was made
And we know for now we can make the grade
We are proud and strong, we are free and brave
And we will fight on right to the grave
And we will fight on
Long live the People's Revolution.
(CHORUS)


Other revolutionary songs and chants were "Just Come and Meet Us in the Battlefield," "One Free Grenada," "Feedback on Reagan," "No Imperialism," "AK Speaking Spanish," "Reagan Has a Boat," "Let Them Come, We Will Bury Them in the Sea," Four Hundred Years," "No Bother," and "Fedon Struggle."


A stalwart union song, "Hold the Fort" is derived from a hymn with its words given union sentiments.

Hold the Fort

We meet today in Freedom's cause
And raise our voices high;
We'll join our hands in union strong
To Battle or to die

CHORUS

Hold the Fort for we are coming
Union men be strong;
Side by side we battle onward
Victory will come

See our numbers still increasing
Hear the bugle blow;
By our union we shall triumph
Over every foe

CHORUS

Hold the Fort for we are coming
Union men be strong;
Side by side we battle onward
Victory will come

Look my comrades see the Union
Banners waving high
Reinforcements now appearing;
Victory is nigh

CHORUS

Hold the Fort for we are coming
Union men be strong;
Side by side we battle onward
Victory will come

Fierce and long the Battle rages
But we will not fear;
Help will come whenever needed,
Cheer, my comrades, cheer

CHORUS

Hold the Fort for we are coming
Union men be strong;
Side by side we battle onward
Victory will come


There was always the old warhorse, "Solidarity Forever," sung to the tune of the 'Battle Hymn of the Republic." The words to this version were written by Ralph Chaplain.

Solidarity Forever

When the Union's inspiration
Through the workers blood shall run
There can be no power greater
Anywhere beneath the sun;
Yet what force on earth is weaker
Than the feeble strength for one
But the Union makes us strong.

CHORUS
Solidarity Forever
Solidarity Forever
Solidarity Forever

For the Union make us strong
They have taken untold millions,
That they never toiled to earn,
But without our brain and muscle
Not a single wheel could turn;
We can break their haughty power
Gain our freedom we can learn
That the Union makes us strong.

(CHORUS)

In our hands is placed a power
Greater than their hoarded gold
Greater than the might of armies
Magnified a thousand fold;
We can bring a new world from
Ashes of the old
For the Union makes us strong.

(CHORUS)


There were the reflections . . .

Three Years Ago

Three years ago in our island in the sun
There reigned an evil king with a golden crown.
He broke the country down, he with his rabid band,
And men like slaves they crawled on knees and hands.

So the people cried out NO; that wicked man must go
They marched the streets for days and days just so.
How many heroes fell for a land they loved so well
And bloody scars on brave men heads could tell.

(chorus) It seems so long ago but all the children know
When fathers died and mother's tears ran dry.
As we walk hand in hand, we've got to understand
That hope came to this land three years ago.

When the Bishop came to town, he wore no golden crown
But spoke of hope, of justice, peace and pride.
So the king fell in disgrace, he couldn't show his face
He jumped the seas to a cage in a foreign land.

(Chorus) Ye fallen heroes rise, in vain you did not die
Your spirits walk with us for evermore.
Hail Rupert smile and rest, your son has passed the test;
Come see our land stand tall among the rest.

It seems so long ago, let all the children know
When Fathers died and mothers tears ran dry.
Come sister take my hand, we've got to understand
That hope came to this land three years ago.

Appreciation to an anonymous source for permission to reproduce these copyrighted lyrics, written circa 1982.


Sharp criticism is reflected in this commentator's lyrics . . .

Saga of the PRA

Grenadians in the region
Could no longer talk revolution
Because of Bernard Coard
And Hudson Austin, the war lord
They turn a dream into a nightmare
Before we could celebrate the fifth year
Of a revolution this world was looking upon
You could call that 'work done and labour lost'
Because Bernard want to be boss
So at any cost Hudson Austin built a cross
They orchestrated a crucifixion
That led to a Yankee invasion
Betray the Nation and turn back the Revolution

Because of your greed for power
Austin and Coard all you commit murder
But you made your biggest mistake
With 120 thousand lives at stake
Like all you start the third World War
And brought a colonial disaster
On an oppressed people
forwarding out of that struggle
Hudson Austin and Bernard Coard
These consequences you cannot afford
Was it Russia, Cuba or America
That made you commit such a great crime
By turning back the hands of time
Betray the Nation and turn back the Revolution

From England to Korea
Africa, the whole world over
All nations were concerned
About this sudden overturn
The Democrats and the Socialists
Republicans and the Communists
They had the world confused
With so much of different views
George Chambers say was an invasion
Eugenia Charles say 'rescue mission'
Bernard Coard so dumb
He smash up the Caricom
The comrade put water in we eye
By making way for the C.B.I
Betray the Nation and turn back the Revolution

For killing such a great leader
The innocent and guilty shall suffer
Under the hands of the colonial master
Whom we though had gone from Grenada
Thanks to Coard and thanks to Austin
And their dotish way of thinking
What about Bishop's 14 years
of blood, sweat and tears
Instead of marching to defend their roots
They abuse the government boots
Now the P.R.A.
Got blood on their hands today
They act like a band of real murderers
Because the General pass the orders
Betray the Nation and turn back the Revolution

Never in the Isles of Spice
There was such a great sacrifice
Maurice Bishop and Jacqueline Creft
Whiteman and Bain were not extreme left
It was by restoring democracy
That they were murdered so brutally
Because the Central Committee
showed them no mercy
Well the guns of the P.R.A.
Echoed through St. George's that day
To the Army, the people was the enemy
Austin and Coard caused a tragedy
That will remain for the next century
Betray the Nation and turn back the Revolution

Permission courtesy of Anthony Emrold Phillip, ©Valentino, Semi Finals - 1984


From ICE records came the hot recording in the Grenada of 1984 by the Mighty Gabby. The title of the song was "Boots" by Anthony Carter. Banned in Barbados, the song depicted the invasion of Bajan troops into St. Lucia; another interpretation refers to the Union Island uprising and Bajan troops. Produced in Barbados by Eddy Grant, the song captured one sense of what was in the air in post-invasion Grenada. A large disk, 45 rpm, "Boots" is an excellent song in its own right by a classic calypsonian.

Left, right, left, right, the government boots, the government boots!
Is it necessary to have so much soldiers in this small country?
No, no, no, no!
Is it necessary to shine soldiers boots with taxpayers money?
No, no, no, no!
Well don't tell Tommy, he put them in St. Lucy
Unemployment high and the treasury low
And he buying boots to cover soldiers toe
I see them boots, boots, boots and more boots
On the feet of young trigger-happy recruits
Marching, threatening army troops
Tell Tom I say, that wouldn't do
He's got to see, about me and you
Can we afford to feed an army
When so many children naked and hungry . . . ?


And the lament for what was lost and what is gained . . .

Oh Grenada
Now we shall know, who is serious about struggle
By those who show, they could rise from the the rubble
Of devastation, with Patriotism and dedication
For our reconstruction

(CHORUS)
Oh Grenada! land of my birth
The way you suffer, oh how it hurts
The tribulations, you had to bear
Would make Superman, want to despair
But the blood of our Martyrs
Must not be shed in vain
Oh no! we must rise and shine again

We can't condone, the military treachery
But we can't return to old time hypocrisy
Don't sell nobody, your sovereignty
Because only we, could determine our destiny

Never again, must we blot our history
Or cause such pain, as October eighty-three
So it's important, to be vigilant
For false prophets, anarchists and hypocrites.

From the CD, “Pure Lyrics” - appreciation for permission to reproduce these copyrighted lyrics of Elwyn McQuilkin goes to opmuzik@cs.com


Before Grenadian Independence, from 1967-1974, there was a National State Anthem. Appreciation to Talkshop posters for seeking and providing information and lyrics. Look below these lyrics for the Grenada National Anthem used today.

The Grenada National State Anthem, 1967-1974
Music by John Fletcher and Words by Rolstan 'Curry Boots' Adams

Hope of our future, Land of ours today, Land of our fathers
Now ‘neath our bounded sway, may thy glory toil and tears
Anthem through the marching years.

May our faith and courage, love of liberty, lift us on the surges
Of our destiny, let the strength of unity, lead us to prosperity.

May we in our striving make God our guiding light,
Brighter out of darkness dawn that follows night, Sons and Daughters,
Hand in hand, striving for a better land.


The Grenada National Anthem, 1974 -
Music by Louis Arnold Masanto Jr. and Words by Irva Merle Baptiste Blackette

Hail Grenada, land of ours
We pledge ourselves to thee
Heads, hearts and hands in unity
To reach our destiny.
Ever conscious of God
Being proud of our heritage
May we with faith and courage
Aspire...build, advance
As one people, one family,
God bless our Nation

Grenada National Anthem

Don't forget 'Pan' music.
Check out Angel Harps Steel Orchestra


The Maurice Bishop International Airport Song -
The Pt. Salines Airport was renamed on its 4th Anniversary, May 25, 2013.

Check out The Maurice Bishop International Song



The maximum mentor . . . . . . . . .

Bob Marley

From the words of part of a speech delivered in October 1963 by Haile Sellassie I at the United Nations:

“Until the philosophy that holds
one race superior and another inferior
is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned;

Until there are no longer
first class and second class citizens of any nation;

Until the color of a man's skin
is of no more significance than the color of his eyes;

Until the basic human rights
are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race;

Until that day the dream of lasting peace,
world citizenship and the rule of international morality
will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued
but never attained;

And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes
that hold our brothers
in Angola, in Mozambique, and in South Africa
in sub-human bondage
have been toppled and destroyed;

Until that day the African continent will not know peace;

We Africans will fight, if necessary,
and we know that we shall win
as we are confident in the victory of
Good over evil.”


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