Once upon a time the Jamaican Government commissioned senior producer and songwriter Mikie Bennett to write a song to celebrate the nation’s 50th year of independence which will occur on August 6 this year. The song, Find the flag in your heart and wave it, was duly written and produced with as many Jamaican celebrity voices as Mikie could get into his studio. If the country had to pay for the song it would have run into millions so Bennett and all those involved decided to donate the song to the nation.
In October 2011 the song was officially launched as the theme song of the Jamaica 50 celebrations slated for 2012. On December 29, 2011 after general elections, there was a change of government: the new PNP government it seemed had no intention of continuing with the schedule of events put together by the Jamaica 50 planning committee and Mikie Bennett’s song was one of the casualties.
Journalist and blogger Dionne Jackson Miller, covered this flipflop on her blog:
So even our music has fallen victim to that agent of change – the election. Some months ago, I was perplexed to see people calling for Eric Donaldson’s “Land of my Birth” to be made the official Jamaica 50 song. What the hell?I thought. We already HAVE a Jamaica 50 song! Remember? The song, “Find the Flag” was produced by the respected veteran Mikey Bennett and officially presented to the country.
Let me reiterate that. The song was officially and publicly presented to the country last October. If you don’t believe me, or never heard about it, read this story by Mel Cooke in the Jamaica Gleaner.
A Reporter’s Guide to Jamaica 50 sent out by the Culture Ministry in December stated that:
“The Jamaica 50 song ‘Fly (sic) the Flag in Your Heart’, written by Michael Bennett, captures Jamaica’s journey of challenges and triumphs.”
So I posted to that effect, saying that we have a Jamaica 50 song.
Except… silly me. There was an election. For months we heard nothing of Find the Flag – the official Jamaica 50 song – until another story in the Observer told us the song had been shelved.
You can read more here.
On June 15, 2012, the current government suddenly released a new song, On a Mission, announcing at its launch that THIS was now the official Jamaica 50 song. Starring prominent singer Shaggy and others the song’s driving technobeat whipped up a wave of resentment on Twitter with many expressing disapproval and disappointment that such an ‘un-Jamaican’, Europop sounding song could represent Jamaica in its 50th year of independence.
Initially Robert Bryan, director of the Jamaica 50 committee and young Lisa Hanna, Minister of Culture airily dismissed these concerns, claiming that they had not designated On a Mission the official Jamaica 50 song and that there was therefore no controversy involved.
Since there was considerable evidence to the contrary what with the public launch in a prominent venue that had just taken place (see photograph below) and the official CD of the song that was distributed. the chorus of disapproval kept growing until it could no longer be ignored.
Robert Bryan jus threw Shaggy, Sharon Burke and Solid Agency under the bus on Nationwide Radio! #JA50!
GS: Repeat after me: “Pathologically Mendacious”. Thank you.
DK: bareface liars…..smh
FS: A lie dem lie, danny Buchanan must be turning in his grave to his his prophesy now taking root in his party
VS: If we count the lies told in the flag fiasco and in this “launch” of the song for Jamaica 50, pathologically mendacious is too generous. However note, the lies have been flowing in patriotic issues…..signs of the times!!!
AV: thanks for the reminder GS!
MW: This is politics at its best. If you listen the song carefully it mentions Lisa Hanna and HPSM in glowing terms. It must be a PNP party song.
PR: I’m putting it to you that you’re Pathologically Mendacious…lol
5 thoughts on “That Jamaica 50 song…”
Absurd is certainly the word for it, and thank God indeed for the social media. Do you think the politicians ever read such exchanges and see the harsh – truly harsh – criticism they receive on such matters? I can only assume they must walk around with blinkers and ear-muffs on… I don’t know what all their PR people do, they have made a terrible hash of this one. And they also don’t seem to understand that most Jamaicans find it really hurtful that the celebration of Jamaica 50 could have gone slipping and sliding downhill into this quagmire. No matter how much Minister Hanna and the strangely silent Mr. Bryan try to struggle out of the mud, it’s too late. And no one seems inclined to throw them a lifeline. So sad for everyone concerned…
Good report of the fiasco so far. Please correct spelling of Minister HANNA(no last h)’s name throughout.
BARBARA BLAKE HANNAH
LOL will do!
Accurate report on the embarassing fiasco. Please correct spelling of Minister HANNA (no last H)’s name.
BARBARA BLAKE HANNAH