8 Feb 2009

The lies of the National Anthem

Forged from the Love of Liberty,
In the fires of Hope and Prayer,
With boundless Faith in Our Destiny,
We solemnly declare,
Side by side we stand
Islands of the blue Caribbean Sea,
This Our Native Land,
We pledge our lives to Thee,
Here every creed and race find an equal place,
And may God - Bless Our Nation,
Here every creed and race find an equal place,
And may God - Bless Our Nation.

Most regular readers of my blog know how fussy I am about the English Language. While evolving, there are rules, and exceptions to the rules, within the language that should be followed.

The line in bold above in Trinidad and Tobago’s National Anthem is a bone of contention ever since I was a wee lad. The arguments back and forth have been published in the newspapers every so often, and the debate rages on. Some say the word ‘find’ ought to be finds since every carries the singular verb. Some say the ‘and’ between creed and race makes the subject plural so find is right.

I am not here to debate which is right. I believe that when Patrick Castagne wrote the song, and it was adopted by the nation (as is) then whatever form he wrote it was the correct one. After all, that became the National Anthem, without changes. It is too late to change it now, and ought not to be tampered with at this stage.

Regardless, I have another slant to this. The National Anthem cannot command respect from me any more because it is WRONG. Totally, completely, immorally WRONG.

Why am I saying this?

That line is as far from the truth as the words coming out of the mouth of every politician in Government. Think Feroza Ramjohn, Maha Sabha, Keith Rowley, Calder Hart, Integrity Commission, Panday (he is the only person to be charged for failure to file a list of his assets, when the list of such individuals has over 200 persons, including PNM politicians) and a lot more.

The facts, and also the appearance of injustice meted will tell us that the National Anthem is a lie, a big joke foisted upon the unwary, the unthinking, and the dotish.

Perhaps it is time we do what all Trinis do best – sit through it all.