The anthem was first written in 1963 by a Belize citizen who fought on the side of the British in World War I. After his return from the war, he was actively involved in local movements that encouraged Belizian identity and towards the removal of racial discrimination in Belize; the anthem may have been written with these sentiments in mind. The original title was “Land of the Gods” in response to the prevalence of religious observance in the country. It was adopted upon independence from Great Britain in 1981. (The British anthem is still retained in Belize as the royal anthem, as the British royal family is retained as Belize’s head of state.)
Presently there has been some debate about the anthem and if it should be replaced. The ruling party of the day unilaterally adopted the anthem upon independence and the choice of an anthem was not put to the population to decide, although the choice was agreed upon by the people. Also, there has been issue by womens’ groups in the country with phrases such as “Our manhood we pledge to thy liberty” and to the militaristic imagery in the chorus.
Special thanks to: Jo Hyo-roe for the sheet music.