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IN THE CANDID CORNER: Forty-four years!


Matthew D. Farley

IN THE CANDID CORNER: Forty-four years!

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We will be friends of all and satellites of none. – Right Excellent Errol Barrow FORTY-FOUR, forty-four, forty-four yearsAnd we don’t understand what Independence means?Forty-four, forty-four, forty-four years;And yet, and yet, we can’t understand what it means? They say, they say, we didn’t have to fight for anything; That Errol Barrow did Britain a favour, That he wasn’t really any saviourAnd that Britain was only too glad to give up another! Some say we should have had to shed real bloodOn our way to nationhood;That sovereignty came too easyAnd it in really do we any good! Forty-four, forty-four, forty-four yearsAnd yet we don’t get the connect ’tween 1816 and 1966; Between Baileys and Bussa and Barrow; And the need to look back before we could move forward! For before, for before, for before we had our National AnthemAnd our pledge, coated arms and our motto;We sang “God save our gracious Queen!“Long to reign over us, God save de Queen!” And it is now, and it is nowIn plenty and in time of need, when this fair land was young,The seeds that our forefathers sowedHave long remained underground! For where is the pride we say was sprungAs the Union Jack came down?Is there any pride in our industry?Is our trident really broken? And when we sing, and when we sing,These fields and hills beyond recall are now our very own,And when we write on history’s page,Was the kind of ink really known?Cause it seems! Cause it seems!We don’t remember the sweat and tears that our forefathers shed;And don’t understand after forty-four yearsWhat Errol Barrow said! That we should not, that we should not be loitering,On that colonial turf!And when he asked, in language terse,What mirror image we have of ourselves. So when I go to Heroes’ Square an’ my history surveyOh what distress, as I look to the west, that after forty-four,Not one of my heroes can be foundNor their achievements showed!And when I walk up to Bank Hall,Whose hills do I recall?Queen Mary’s Road and BuckinghamAnd QEH carries her name! The Lord has been the people’s guide for past three hundred years;With Him still on the people’s side, we have some doubts, some fears!Upward and onward? I in sure ’bout this exulting free;But greater must our nation grow, and we must know ’bout we!’ So tell the young and tell them now! What Independence means!So they would guard our heritage and keep the country clean.And show respect for the elderly and stop defacing wallsAnd understand that littering is not a healthy call! Forty-four, forty-four, forty-four years! And yet!We spouge beat we can’t get!And de Bajan cherry that we drinkIn foreign soil was set! And when we look at Bajan lambOn the supermarket shelves,It seems the BlackBelly brings us shameAs foreign lamb’s our game. Our Suki King and Sir GaryAround the world are known;And Oba and Ryan and RihannaAre royalty homegrown!  So why must we, like mimic men,Blindly copy foreign rhythms;Looking to vile dancehall artistesTo give our youth role models. And look, we birth the CCJTo give our law authenticity;But sisters and brothers around our shoresPledge allegiance to a council that’s privy! And even though the British law lordsChase we out of their chambers,Because of poor self-confidenceWe suspiciously mistrust our neighbours. Continued on Page 25A.We know we live in a global worldAnd no man is an island;We know of interdependenceBut remain challenged with Independence! Let’s celebrate what is uniquely ours,Let’s aspire toward world status;Let’s take great pride in Bajan thingsAnd raise our national standards! Let’s work with pride and industry,And stop all of the lip service;Let’s give the youth an identityThat is national but has world appeal. Governments give us education freeFrom nursery to tertiary;Let’s clad ourselves creatively and develop our own ideasAnd punch and punch beyond our size, and chart our pathways! So now, so now we know we’re forty-four,Let’s celebrate our achievements!And knock the chains from Bussa’s hands,And excellence from ALL demand!
• Matthew D. Farley is a secondary school principal, chairman on the National Forum On Education, and a social commentator. Email [email protected]

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