O Sweet Saint Martin's Land

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O Sweet Saint Martin's Land
Saint Martin.png

Regional anthem of
France Saint-Martin
 Sint Maarten
LyricsGerard Kemps, 1958
MusicGerard Kemps, 1958
Audio sample
Digital instrumental rendition of the English version

"O Sweet Saint Martin's Land", also known by its French title, "Saint-Martin, si jolie" ("Saint Martin, So Pretty"),[1][2] is the bi-national song of Saint-Martin / Sint Maarten island, an island divided between the French Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was written in English (the main language of Saint Martin) by Gerard Kemps in 1958.[3] Kemps also wrote and composed a French version with its own lyrics and a different tune.[2]


After being appointed as priest for the Catholic Church of French St-Martin in 1954, Father Gerard Kemps felt compelled to compose lyrics and a melody about the beauty of the land of Saint Martin. In 1958, Kemps created "O Sweet Saint Martin's Land". Because of the message the lyrics conveyed and the melody that carried the tune, it served the purpose of a national song.[4]

In 1984, on the occasion of the Dutch Queen's Birthday, Kemps was knighted in the Order of Orange-Nassau.[4]

Although there are some now on St. Martin who are unaware of Kemps, his legacy lives on in the St. Martin's song.[4]

A wide-hole 7-inch vinyl record[5] (made in the Netherlands) was issued by Kemps & the Marigot Catholic Church choir.


English version[edit]

Where over[a] the world, say where,
You find an island there,
So lovely small with nations free
With people French and Dutch
Though talking English much,
As thee Saint Martin in the sea?

O sweet Saint Martin's Land
So bright by beach and strand
With sailors on the sea and harbours free
Where the chains of mountains green
Variously[b] in sunlight sheen
𝄆 Oh I love thy Paradise,
Nature beauty fairly nice 𝄇[c]

How pretty[d] between all green
Flamboyants beaming gleam
Of flowers red by sunlight set
Thy cows and sheep and goats
In meadows or on roads
Thy donkeys keen I can't forget


Thy useful birds in white
Their morn and evening flight
Like aircraft-wings in unity
Their coming down for food
Then turning back to roost
Bring home to me their harmony


Saint Martin I love thy name[e]
In which Columbus' fame
And memories of old are closed
For me a great delight
Thy Southern Cross the night
May God the Lord protect thy coast!


French version[edit]

French original[1][2] English translation

Trouvez-moi une perle si chère,
comme l'île Saint-Martin en mer,
chaîne de mornes et vallées;
riche de plages bien dorées
qui donne la paix, donne le repos
dans ses mornes et toutes ses eaux.

𝄆 Saint-Martin, Saint-Martin,
Si jolie en tous ses coins! 𝄇

Quel charme ses flamboyants,
leur fleurs un enchantement,
tout un bouquet de flammes vives.
Quand le soleil ici arrive,
donnant splendeur, montrant beauté,
Quel éclat de tout coté.


Sa cime "le Pic Paradis",
ravit les touristes ici,
d'où sa verdure fait merveille;
un panorama sans pareil,
voyant les plaines, voyant la mer,
colorée en bleu et vert.


Le vol de ses pélicans,
gracieux et si élégants
quand ils planent haut en l'air,
quand ils plongent dans la mer;
Dites-moi l'endroit, où on les voit,
lorsqu'ils fondent sur leur proie.


Son nom toujours Saint-Martin
rest'ra dans l'histoire sans fin,
Christophe Colomb l'a découverte,
lui a donné son nom si cher,
Dieu protecteur, Dieu de bonté,
garde-la bien en prospérité !


Find me a pearl so dear,
as the island of St. Martin in the sea,
chain of hills and valleys;
rich golden brown beaches
giving peace, give the rest
in its bleak and all its waters.

𝄆 St. Martin, St. Martin,
So pretty in all its corners. 𝄇

What his flamboyant charm,
their enchanting flowers,
a whole bunch of flames.
When the sun comes here,
giving splendor, showing beauty,
What splendor on all sides.


Its top "Pic Paradis",
delights tourists here,
hence its green works wonders;
an unparalleled panorama,
Seeing the plains, seeing the sea,
colored blue and green.


Flight of its pelicans,
graceful and elegant
when they hover high into the air,
when they dive into the sea;
Tell me the place where we see them,
when based on their prey


His name always St. Martin
Will in the never ending story,
Christopher Columbus discovered it,
gave it its name so dear,
Patron god, God of goodness,
guard it well in prosperity!



  1. ^ Sometimes written "in".[6][7]
  2. ^ Sometimes written "colorful".[6][7]
  3. ^ "Fairly" is sometimes written as "graceful",[6][7] and the whole line is sometimes sung as "Nature's beauty very nice".[8][9][10]
  4. ^ Sometimes written "fine".[6][7]
  5. ^ Sometimes written "I love Saint Martin's name".[6][7]


  1. ^ a b babyphatsxm (2007-01-20). "ST.MARTIN, SI JOLIE: NOTRE HYMNE NATIONAL". Skyrock. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  2. ^ a b c Les Fruits de Mer (2020-10-11). "St Martin, Si Jolie". YouTube. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  3. ^ "CIA World Factbook – Saint Martin". Cia.gov. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d "Sint Maarten Song". Government of Sint Maarten. Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  5. ^ Text and melodies : Rev. G. Kemps C.S. SP. Eindredaktie in samen werking met Tony Vissenberg.
    Originele opname : Arno Peterson St.Marteen with the R.C. Choir of Marigot.
    Eindbewerking : Studio Theelen, Munstergeleen Holland.
    Soloists : Rev. Kemps x Hélène. Jacket design : Jesus x Tony
  6. ^ a b c d e Les Fruits de Mer (2020-10-11). "O Sweet Saint Maarten's Land - Gerard Kemps". YouTube. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Fouke, Bruce William (1994). Deposition, Diagenesis and Dolomitization of Neogene Seroe Domi Formation Coral Reef Limestones on Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles. Publications Foundation for scientific research in the Caribbean region. p. 244. ISBN 978-90-74624-03-9.
  8. ^ "How to Travel to Anguilla from Saint Martin". 3rd Culture Wife. 2016-09-24. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  9. ^ Be The Change Foundation St.Maarten (2014-11-11). "'O Sweet St. Martin Land' - St. Maarten/Martin's National Anthem (short acapella version)". YouTube. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  10. ^ shechris2000 (2011-11-10). "041.MOV". YouTube. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  11. ^ Henocq, Christophe. "HERITAGE 2". Issuu. p. 11. Retrieved 2022-02-28.

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