A debate is underway about the lyrics of our national anthem. Specifically, there’s going to be some official, government research into whether the line, “in all thy sons command” in O Canada, should be rewritten to be more inclusive. A new poll out this morning shows 80% of respondents want the anthem to be left as is.
I disagree. The trouble with the suggestion of changing the lyrics is that it comes in a time when we’re all fed up to here with political correctness. The lyrics themselves are antiques. They were written in French in 1880 and not translated to English until 1906, a full decade before the first Canadian legislation permitting women to vote, let alone serve in the military. Lyrics have been tweaked twice since then and there have been a bunch of proposals over the years to change, for example, “our home and native land” to “our home and cherished land.” While we’re on the subject of “native”, why do we treat our native-Canadians like crap but trot them out en masse during Olympic ceremonies to create an impression for the world that, not only are our natives important, they are the majority? Just asking. We now return to our regularly scheduled blog.
Changing the line “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command” works for me. It’s a hundred years later and I don’t quite get the perspective that the anthem has to stay as is forever more. This has nothing to do with respecting the lyric writing of our forefathers. The words were commissioned by a Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec and written en Francais by a poet who died in 1920. The country has changed and evolved and its official song should reflect that.
4 thoughts on “Singing a New Song”
I also wonder about using ‘God’ in our national anthem, when our country has such religious diversity.
I have thoughts on that too! This is a mostly Christian nation. I don’t mind including God in the anthem. Just like if we were a mostly asparagus-growing nation, I would be okay with the asparagus spear being in our flag! Call me kooky….
As an American, I was astounded to learn (via Erin Davis’ translation) that the English version & the French version seem to have no relationship with each other. Then a listener called in and suggested that the wording be altered to “in all our hearts command”. That sounded good, but I woud suggest a priority be the unification of the French & English versions so that both are singing the same sentiment. A nation’s anthem should embody unity, not ‘separate but sorta similar’.
Well it looks like the government is dropping the review and I’m okay with that! They’re reacting to the wishes of the majority. They want the lyrics to stay the same. This is a democracy. I’ll go along with that!
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