‘Rallying song’ being launched on Saturday

The Dance Band of the regiment will be supporting the launch of the CD "STAND FIRM" with a programme of music from 11am to 1pm during which the CD will be on sale at Ł5 each, it is a compilation of Marches, Dance Music, and the Vocal and instrumental versions of Stand Firm.

All proceeds from sales will be shared by the RGRA Benevolent Fund and The Gibraltar Hearing Impaired & Tinnitus Association BSL Project.

"I invite everyone to come on Saturday and enjoy a morning of excellent music by our very popular regimental dance band and support our two charities by buying my CD and perhaps even join us in singing this Rallying Song which I hope will find a place in a number of annual public events where we can all join voices in defiance and pride," said Mr Brugada.

The Minister for Culture Stephen Linares will be attending at 11am to say a few words.

BACKGROUND WHICH PROMPTED JOE BRUGADA TO WRITE THIS SONG

"Llévame Donde Naci" is the title of a traditional Spanish language patriotic song about Gibraltar attributed to Gibraltarian guitarist and composer Pepe Roman. The song was written in the early 1930s after many Gibraltarians emigrated to the United States of America in search of job opportunities, but were instead faced with the hardships of the Great Depression. The song reflects the disillusion, anxiety and homesickness of these emigrants.

During the Second World War, this song (much loved by our World War II generation of staunch long suffering Gibraltarians) became an anthem for those civilians who were evacuated from The Rock.The song's popularity was maintained thereafter, as Spanish sovereignty claims over Gibraltar during the 1960's lead to the eventual closure of the land frontier, resulting in complete isolation from the hinterland and giving rise to an increase in patriotic fervour.

"Llévame Donde Nací" is now one of a number of patriotic songs sung by crowds at big public events such as political demonstrations and cultural events, notably on National Day and chimed by the clock at Watergate House in Casemates.

Later in the 1970s Dorothy Squire's ROCK OF AGES inspired by the Musical of the same name, appeared, but though with emotive lyrics is not really an Anthem that the populace can join in, and is more of a 'modern/pop' song, too long to memorise and needs song sheets for public participation.

The Gibraltar anthem, now the official national song, was chosen in a competition in 1994. Both the lyrics and music were composed by Peter Emberley, a non-Gibraltarian. The anthem is sung every 10th September by a school choir, accompanied by the general public, at the annual release of 30,000 red and white balloons on Gibraltar National Day.

With the increased hostilities of Spain's new Popular Party , as a Gibraltarian I felt it was time to inspire in today's and future generations of Gibraltarians the need to, not-withstanding the memories of our elders, STAND FIRM against the renewed attacks against our people, our culture, our traditions, our land and our British Heritage. I felt a short anthem, with stirring punchy and above all easy to memorise lyrics, was essential.

For me the final result embodies our Nationalistic identity, pride in our Heritage and trust in God and Our Queen.

I have now successfully recorded a CD with sponsorship from the Ministry of Culture, and the performance of the Band & Corps of Drums of the Royal Gibratar Regiment. I would like to particularly mention the special contribution to the realisation of my project made by GR Bandmaster WO1 Craig Philbin (music score), Francis Chipolina (vocal) and Anselmo Torres (artwork production), as well as all the Bandsmen. Last but by no means least my thanks to the Regiment's new Bandmaster WO1 BM Oliver Jeans, who was roped in at the eleventh hour for supporting the launch of my CD, and the Regimental Dance Band, for their wonderful performance and support. And finally my thanks to Lt Col Colin Risso, Major Ivan Lopez and all the members of the Band & Corps of Drums of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.

All proceeds will be shared by the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Association (Benevolent Fund) and The Gibraltar Hearing Impaired & Tinnitus Association British Sign Language Project.

And my thanks to all who attended the launch and supported the cause by buying a CD. Anyone wishing to purchase a CD can do so at the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Association Club in Irish Town, Manchester United Supporters Football Club and St Bernard's Social Club, or alternatively contact me on 54007572.

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