by Howard Campbell
[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – Jamaican artist Lady Donna believes symbols such as the national anthem should be recognized in any country. Her latest single, Jamaica National Anthem, is a spirited rendition of Jamaica Land we Love, her country’s national song.
Done to a mento/reggae/dancehall beat, Jamaica National Anthem is produced by Jermaine Forde for Ajang Music, a company based in Kingston. Though she has lived in the United States for over 30 years, Lady Donna notices a lack of respect for national symbols when she visits home.
“I think the current generation of Jamaican youth have lost out a great deal, on their sense of patriotism, and have really been done an injustice. This matter of patriotism is two-fold in that the society shares an equal responsibility with the child and family to foster that sense of pride in him or herself as well as the country in which they live,” she said. “So, there is room for improvement there. In the meantime, we see what we are seeing now, that many youths don’t know the national anthem, and even those born abroad to Jamaican nationals, sadly have never heard the Jamaican anthem. I am hoping this song will help to spark renewed interest in our heritage and culture for the young generation with even a remote Jamaican connection.”
Lady Donna was born Donna Burnett and grew up in Jones Town, a working-class community in Kingston. In the 1970s, she attended Chetolah Park Primary School where Bunny Wailer, Marcia Griffiths and Copeland Forbes were also past students.
It was there that her respect for rituals like standing to recite the national anthem was nurtured.
Jamaica National Anthem is expected to be on Lady Donna’s pending EP, scheduled for release in early 2021. It is produced by Forde, son of former Aswad singer Brinsley Forde.