Guyana’s flag tribute turns 20

Songwriter, singer and producer, Courtney Noel, performing his hit song “Arrowhead” at the 2019 GCA Awards ceremony at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

“Arrowhead,” one of Guyana’s most popular patriotic songs, a tribute to Guyana’s flag, by New York-based, songwriter, performer, and producer, Courtney Noel, turned 20 on Feb. 23, Guyana’s 51st Republic Anniversary.

The Road March, Soca genre that played at the United Nations, in Cambodia, Trinidad, Canada, Bosnia, the UK, States, including California, Atlanta, Florida, at Guyanese festivals in New York, and on the airwaves, was penned to convey the patriotic feelings of a homesick Guyanese person, who longed to hear ‘the cock crow,’ according to Noel.

“I am amazed that two decades flew-by,” he said, noting that he was pleased that the song continued to play hundreds of times, even as he tried to find something new to bring to his audience. An indication that Guyanese people love the music.

The recording artist conveyed that nationals in the homeland have warmly embraced the song that brought a sense of pride to them, and inspired them to start wearing the flag as head wraps on Mashramani day.

“In the diaspora there has been a feeling of gratitude that someone was articulating their feelings of longing for their homeland,” noted the vocalist, who has big plans to celebrate the song’s 20th anniversary, both in the diaspora and at home.

The infectious rhythm of “Arrowhead” narrates, “From the land of many waters come a people of different cultures, African! Indian! Amerindian! Chinese! Portuguese! Coming together in harmony, One People, One Nation one destiny! I love my Golden Arrowhead!

A land of “O gold an” diamonds partner, times are hard but we must work harder. Guyanese abroad come back home, come and see what’s really going on, don’t believe all the things they tell you, they got a lie that they must sell you” I love my Golden Arrowhead.”

Noel who has an affection for patriotic melody, also recorded “Pride” (is what I feel inside), “Creation of a Nation,” (together we pray), “Moving Forward Together” (united Guyana), “El Dorado” (city of gold), “Guyana’s Sons and Daughters,” “GT Woman Appreciation” (put your country first) and other ballads, has big plans for Arrowhead’s 20th Anniversary.

“Arrowhead 20! Remix” will be celebrated in a Special Deluxe edition video package, and hopefully with memorabili, and performances to acknowledge the success of the verses.

Noel, a Guyana Cultural Association (GCA) honoree, who drapes himself in the colors of the Golden Arrowhead flag when on stage, is waiting patiently on the Government of Guyana to invite him to perform “Arrowhead” at the national’s 55th Independence Anniversary celebration on May 26, 2021, when he is at home to commemorate the achievement of his historic song.

He said he is hoping that his proposal to the government is approved if so “my next planned performance will be in the homeland.”

“New York continues to be my base in the diaspora, and it has been a singular honor to represent my beloved native land here. The journey continues,” assured the performer.

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