Home

E-Mail

Photo Galleries

Site Map

 

           

 

 

Home
Art Gallery
The Bailiwick
Photo Galleries
Guernsey Tapestry
Little Chapel
Castle Cornet
Local Anthem
Contact
Links

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarnia Cherie

Sarnia; dear Homeland, Gem of the sea.

Island of beauty, my heart longs for thee.

Thy voice calls me ever, in waking, or sleep,

Till my soul cries with anguish, my eyes ache to weep.

In fancy I see thee, again as of yore,

Thy verdure clad hills and thy wave beaten shore.

Thy rock sheltered bays, ah; of all thou art best,

I'm returning to greet thee, dear island of rest.

Chorus

Sarnia Cherie. Gem of the sea.

Home of my childhood, my heart longs for thee.

Thy voice calls me ever, forget thee I'll never,

Island of beauty. SARNIA CHERIE.

 

I left thee in anger, I knew not thy worth.

Journeyed afar, to the ends  of the earth.

Was told of far countries, the heav'n of the bold,

where the soil gave up diamonds, silver and gold.

The sun always shone, and "race" took no part,

but thy cry always reached me, its pain wrenched my heart.

So I'm coming home, thou of all art the best.

Returning to greet thee, dear island of rest.

Chorus

Sarnia Cherie. Gem of the sea.

Home of my childhood, my heart longs for thee.

Thy voice calls me ever, forget thee I'll never,

Island of beauty. SARNIA CHERIE.

  

How the Anthem Began  

George Deighton first came to Guernsey in 1911, to be the manager of St. Julian's Theatre (subsequently the Gaumont Cinema and now an office complex). Although only in the island for three short years, he loved the place and people so much that he wrote a poem entitled "Guernsey Dear", and asked Domencio Santangelo to set it to music. He soon composed the romantic waltz tune which was given the name "Sarnia Cherie" and thus, Guernsey's 'national anthem' was complete.

It was in the St. Julian's Theatre that Deighton was to be given a benefit night; he thought it a good idea to have the song performed there for the first time and it was in November 1911 that the strains of "Sarnia Cherie" were premiered to a local audience. The song was destined to travel far and wide thereafter. 

It met with great success when sung by Wilfred Shirvell, popular hotelier friend of the composer. Soon afterwards, it was decided to have the song printed, and Santangelo entrusted the first order to a French music publisher of his acquaintance, F. D. Marchetti.

Over the years the demand for Sarnia Cherie steadily grew, especially among local people who sent copies to friends and relatives settled overseas. Its popularity increased during and after the last years of the war when the nostalgic tune stirred patriotic feelings and was adopted by expatriates as the Guernsey national anthem.

It is interesting to recall that in 1942, during the German Occupation, Santangelo received from an English friend, through the Red Cross, the following message which has been passed, with surprising amiability, by the strict German authorities, and appeared in the "Guernsey Evening Press" on March 26th of that year, under the heading: Sarnia Cherie sung throughout England:

  "Congratulations on Sarnia Cherie being sung throughout England as accepted national anthem  and rallying song for exiles. Delighted you are continuing music. Greetings to all".

 

Back to top

   

tumblr counter

 

Guernsey Flag

Correspondence  should be directed to Bev@Guernseyscenes.co.uk Copyright © 2000,2014 Bev / Guernsey Scenes.