We come here to shine - Dave Martins

28th May, 2018 0 comments

My Artist in Residence involvement with the University of Guyana has produced some very fulfilling exchanges, some of which I had expected but there were some surprises which I’ve mentioned before. One of them, as a result of some whim that I can’t recall, was a poem I wrote, after an exchange with some Turkeyen students, entitled We come here to shine, and sent to Vice Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith. 

Ever an instigator, the VC promptly suggested that I put the poem to music, which I promptly did, but since the song has to be sung by a student, the Deputy VC, Dr. Paloma Martin, located a young lady, Diana Chapman, to tackle that part.

The next step was for Diana to record the song, but some technical problems, including equipment malfunction at the studio, got in the way.  However the project is going forward, with the equipment fixed, and the plan now is to get the recording done during the upcoming week. 

Diana is a good vocalist and will sing it in her style, with a drum track of her choice, but to get the interest going I am including here the lyrics of the song:

We come here to shine          

(Copyright Dave Martins 2018)

(Verse 1)

We come with our intentions strong

to prove that yes we do belong

to do the work and toe the line

We come here to shine

We come to learn and to prepare

we see the future very clear

the time for us is waiting there

Yes we come here to shine


We come here from Supenaam, Lusignaan, New Amsterdam

We come from Kingston and Backdam

We come here to shine

We come here from LBI

from Rosignol and from Annai

from Uitvlugt and Karasabai

We come here to shine

(Verse 2)

We come from logee on the ground

Or bottom house in Albouystown

But we won’t let that get us down

‘Cause we come here to shine

We know how hungry belly feel

And why some people turn and steal

We see the wrongs we need to heal

So we come here to shine


We come here from Supenaam, Lusignaan, New Amsterdam

We come from Kingston and Backdam

We come here to shine

We come here from LBI

From Black Bush Polder, from Annai,

From Buxton and Karasabai

We come here to shine

(Verse 3)

Dont talk to me ‘bout separate

We come here to congregate

and help each other stand up straight

We come here to shine

We know it’s not an easy time

We know we have to bear the grind

We’re here to seek and yes to find

We come here to shine


We come here from Supenaam, Golden Grove, New Amsterdam

We come from Linden and Backdam

We come here to shine

We come here from LBI

from Providence and from Annai

from Uitvlugt and Karasabai

We come here to shine

We come here from Adventure

Vreed en Hoop and Parika

We come here from Bartica

We come here to shine


Article adapted from: https://www.stabroeknews.com/2018/sunday/so-it-go/05/27/we-come-here-to-shine/

Is we own

28th February, 2018 0 comments

Over the past few weeks the nation has been in preparatory mode for the highly-anticipated 48th Republic Anniversary, which was celebrated on February 23. As is customary, many events were staged across the country; in every Region, there were flag-raising ceremonies, costume parades for children and adults, and a gamut of local talent shows. The country was abuzz with activity and revelry. In addition to these activities, it is also a tradition for the museums and libraries to host lectures and exhibitions with the aim of evoking a sense of patriotism and understanding of the Republic celebrations. Indeed, it should be a time of reflection; Guyana attained republican status on February 23, 1970, some 48 years ago.

Prior to the attainment of republican status, the country attained independence from Great Britain on May 26, 1966. These are significant milestones in the life of this country. More importantly, it provided us, as a nation, with an opportunity to reflect on the path we have traversed over these years as well as the pains and tribulations we experienced in the past. While the challenges are still formidable today, citizens should be reminded not to lose sight of the patriotism and resilience that brought us this far as a nation. Our leaders should also be reminded that it is their responsibility to foster a society in which there is peace, progress, prosperity and a sense of patriotism.

We have witnessed the coming together of our people over the last few days with respect to the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy and when thousands gathered as the Golden Arrowhead was hoisted, commemorating yet another milestone in Guyana’s history. While the older generation of Guyanese were undoubtedly reflecting on the journey and struggles that led to this point, we should pause to consider what the younger folks were thinking of. Was there a feeling of deep patriotism or national loyalty? Were there reflections on the struggles of our foreparents? More importantly, did the pomp and ceremony ignite within them the deep-seated sense of national pride?

Over the coming years, Guyanese at home and abroad will be preparing for the oil and gas sector. However, in the midst of preparations and the grand plans, the border controversy with Venezuela has gained new life. Venezuela has staunchly been against oil exploration in Guyana’s Stabroek Block, where multiple oil deposits were found by ExxonMobil, and has since laid claim to the Essequibo region, which represents two thirds of Guyana’s territory. The United Nations recently announced that it would be sending the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a judicial settlement. Venezuela, however, has strongly rejected the move. In essence, the country’s sovereignty is under threat.

Guyana’s Head of State, however, anticipates that Guyana’s successful defence of its territorial integrity will not only boost local development but investors’ confidence in Guyana, especially in light of the impending oil and gas production. The period ahead, therefore, will require maturity on the part of the two countries and the eventual acceptance of the ICJ’s decision.

Through it all, the citizens of Guyana will also be called upon to hold firm to their patriotism and to be steadfast in their support for our sovereignty. While there will undoubtedly be many instances in the future for the citizenry to band together, Guyanese from all walks gathered on Sunday at the Seawall bandstand for the “IS WE OWN” concert, which was organised by the University of Guyana and which featured renowned Guyanese musician Dave Martins and his Band. It was indeed a rousing and proud moment to be in the midst of the crowd singing in unison to the lyrics of the song “Not a Blade of Grass”. It was a fitting culmination of this year’s Republic Anniversary celebrations and reminder of the need for a revival of the patriotism that lies within all of us.

Article adapted from: https://guyanatimesgy.com/is-we-own-2/

Final Facing the Nation for 2017 - Dave Martins Interview

19th December, 2017 0 comments

Press Secretary and Television Anchor Malika N. Ramsey chats it up with Guyanese music icon Dave Martins as he does a residency with the University of Guyana. University of Guyana Vice Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith and Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Paloma Mohammed also join the conversation.


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