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The National Anthem

In 1962, Patrick S. Castagne composed the words and music of the National Anthem. The words of the National Anthem reflect the nature and the strength of the people of Trinidad and Tobago and our courage as one nation working towards living in unity despite our diversity. The National Anthem should be accorded respect due to it when played, and on no occasion should it be treated with scant courtesy. When the Anthem is being played all persons should pay respect to it by standing at attention. Men in civilian dress should remove their headwear. Commissioned Officers of the Armed Forces, Gazetted Officers of the Police Service, Cadet Force Officers and Officers of the Fire Services, Prisons Service, St John Ambulance Brigade, Red Cross Society, Boy Scouts Association, and Girl Guides Association, in uniform, are to salute. All other ranks and all other persons are to stand at attention.

Originally composed as the national anthem for the West Indies Federation (1958-1962), the song was edited and adopted by Trinidad and Tobago when it became independent in 1962.

Patrick S. Castagne, a renowned West Indian songwriter composed

the words and music.

When the Federation collapsed, he changed some of the lines and resubmitted the song to Trinidad and Tobago for a competition to choose the National Anthem. The competition received 834-word only entries, 33 music only entries, and 306 word and music entries. Mr. Castagne's submission came out on top and he won the prize of $5,000.00 in Government Bonds and a gold medal inscribed with the Coat of Arms of Trinidad and Tobago.

His alteration of a Song for Federation was deemed to be most suitable for a twin-island state that consisted of "islands of the blue Caribbean Sea" standing "side by side" in promoting the values of "every creed and race" finding "an equal place" in the multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural society of Trinidad and Tobago as it existed in 1962. It was considered to have reflected the nature and the strength of the people of Trinidad and Tobago and their courage as one nation working towards living in unity despite the existing diversity. An excerpt from the editorial  in the Sunday Guardian of 19 August 1962: "In its solemn declaration of brotherhood and unity, it very neatly includes Tobago with Trinidad without mentioning the name of either ("Side by side we stand, islands of the blue Caribbean Sea"); and as an added impulse to unity it goes on to describe them together as "our native land," ending with the petition, "And may God bless our nation."

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.

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