The Sierra Leone National Anthem: High We Exalt Thee, Realm of the Free

woman holding green grass


The Sierra Leone national anthem, also known as “High We Exalt Thee, Realm of the Free,” is a powerful and patriotic composition that embodies the spirit and aspirations of the Sierra Leonean people. This article will delve into the lyrics, significance, historical context, and contemporary relevance of the national anthem, while also incorporating other relevant information to provide a comprehensive understanding of this important national symbol.


The complete original lyrics of the Sierra Leone national anthem are as follows:

High we exalt thee, realm of the free;

Great is the love we have for thee;

Firmly united ever we stand,

Singing thy praise, O native land.

We raise up our hearts and our voices on high,

The hills and the valleys re-echo our cry;

Blessing and peace be ever thine own,

Land that we love, our Sierra Leone.


The national anthem holds immense significance for the people of Sierra Leone as it represents their love, unity, and pride in their country. It serves as a rallying cry, reminding citizens of their shared values and the importance of standing together in the face of challenges. The anthem instills a sense of patriotism and fosters a deep connection to the nation’s history, culture, and natural beauty.

Historical Context

The Sierra Leone national anthem was adopted upon the country’s independence from British colonial rule on April 27, 1961. It was written by Clifford Nelson Fyle, a prominent Sierra Leonean lawyer, and composed by John Akar, a renowned Sierra Leonean musician. The lyrics were carefully crafted to reflect the aspirations of the people and to celebrate their newfound freedom and independence.

During the colonial era, Sierra Leoneans yearned for self-governance and the opportunity to shape their own destiny. The national anthem emerged as a symbol of hope, resilience, and the collective struggle for independence. It encapsulated the dreams and aspirations of the Sierra Leonean people, providing them with a unifying anthem that would resonate through generations.

Contemporary Relevance

The Sierra Leone national anthem continues to hold great relevance in contemporary society. It serves as a reminder of the nation’s rich history and the sacrifices made by previous generations to secure independence. The anthem also reinforces the values of unity, freedom, and national pride, promoting a sense of belonging and shared identity among Sierra Leoneans.

Furthermore, the national anthem plays a vital role in official ceremonies, sporting events, and public gatherings. It is sung with passion and reverence, evoking a sense of collective purpose and inspiring individuals to strive for the betterment of their country. The anthem serves as a unifying force, transcending ethnic, religious, and regional differences, and fostering a sense of national cohesion.

As Sierra Leone continues to progress and overcome various challenges, the national anthem serves as a constant reminder of the nation’s potential and the enduring spirit of its people. It symbolizes the collective aspirations for a prosperous and harmonious Sierra Leone, encouraging citizens to work together towards a brighter future.

Additional Information

In addition to its role as the national anthem, “High We Exalt Thee, Realm of the Free” has been performed and recorded by numerous artists, both within Sierra Leone and internationally. Its uplifting melody and powerful lyrics have made it a beloved composition that resonates with people from all walks of life.

Sierra Leone’s national anthem has also been a source of inspiration for poets, writers, and artists who seek to capture the essence of the nation. Its words have been incorporated into literature, artwork, and cultural performances, further cementing its place as a cherished national symbol.

Overall, the Sierra Leone national anthem stands as a testament to the country’s rich heritage, resilience, and unwavering spirit. It serves as a unifying force, reminding Sierra Leoneans of their shared values and aspirations. Through its powerful lyrics and soaring melody, the national anthem continues to inspire and uplift the nation, symbolizing the enduring love and pride that Sierra Leoneans hold for their homeland.


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