Will the Son Go Down in [O] Canada?

Common sense has prevailed, it would seemO Canada will stay as is. :)


It seems that our periodically prorogued Parliament has nothing better on its agenda than to consider altering the lyrics of Canada’s national anthem, O Canada, to make it……….are you ready?……….gender neutral.  Yup, and from the opinions I’ve gathered from people today, Canadians are seeing red.

For those unfamiliar with our patriotic strains, the following version (YouTube) is sung acapella by a group called Hojas:

I, personally, think that our national anthem is beautiful, just as it is.  But that’s really not the point.  The Conservative government has proposed re-examining the anthem’s reference to “all thy sons command.”  The lyrics follow:

O Canada!   Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

“O Canada” was proclaimed Canada’s national anthem on July 1, 1980, 100 years after it was first sung on June 24, 1880.  Why, in heaven’s name, would they want to change it now?  One proposal would see the “offensive” line changed to:

“O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love thou dost in us command.

(This line is from the original Weir version of 1908.)

I guess what really bothers me is that the Harper government would consider spending time and resources on such a silly proposal — surely there must be more important business at hand.  “All our sons…” refers to ALL Canadians, regardless of gender.  I can’t imagine who would ever take offense to that line.  And as one person suggested on a local breakfast news show this morning, if they’re going to take out “…all our sons…” perhaps they’d better remove “God keep our land…” as well, lest it offend someone, too.

This comes on the heels of two glorious weeks of Olympic games during which we proudly stood under a Canadian flag and cheered our athletes, our national anthem being played over and over for the entire world to hear.

Prime Minister Harper, you bonehead, why don’t you address the real problems facing Canadians today.  Why don’t you concentrate on fixing what IS broken, and forget about that which ain’t.


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

11 thoughts on “Will the Son Go Down in [O] Canada?”

  1. I was sort of learning your National Anthem during the Olympics Nancy! I especially enjoyed watching your Ice Dancing pair sing it during the medals ceremony. It sounds good to me the way it is.

    I completely agree, Kathleen. :)

  2. A-freakin’-men! I dunno ’bout you but I’m UP TO HERE with all this politically correct crapola. It doesn’t address any real problem at all. Canada’s anthem is one of the most beautiful in the world so please just leave it alone! It’s traditional – it MEANS something AS IS. God, don’t get me started. Oh…you already did! LOL! AND WHILE I’M AT IT – CONGRATULATIONS CANADA on one of the best Olympic Winter Games EVER! AND on your hockey win – well deserved!!! Loved every single thing! Excellent, eh? (couldn’t resist)

  3. That is so typical of government, both yours and mine. So many things they could do for the good of the country and instead they spend their time on some trivial and unpopular nonsense. Gotta love it.

  4. WORD WORD WORD WORDY-MCWORD, Nancy. As you know, this has pushed my winter-cranky buttons and I am peeved (more than usual) at the Con-heads and their whacky agendas. I mean, seriously…who gives a rat’s ass about political correctness. When I was a firefighter, I didn’t get bent out of shape if someone called me a fireman. I remember shooting down this politically correct whackjob broad who was in my Master’s program and kept yapping on about gender inclusive language. Remind me to tell you that story one day. It was rather…amusing. :-)

  5. Interesting. I disagree, but that’s because as a new immigrant, I don’t have a strong attachment to the anthem (I don’t think I’d ever heard it before moving here). I would note that when I first read the words it did strike me as exclusive on two fronts: the ‘sons’ bit and also the first line ‘our home and native land’. As I wasn’t born here, I feel excluded by the second half of that line, too. It doesn’t make me want to sing it.

    But then I’m just one of those pesky new immigrants, so my views probably don’t count…

    Hello Amanda — of course your views count, perhaps more than most. You didn’t say from where you immigrated, but welcome to Canada. I can understand what you mean by the “native land” line. Canada is your home, but not your native land. That’s one I hadn’t even considered before. As for “sons”, I believe that the word is already generic in the context it is used. I guess this will be debated until the cows come home, but I’m very glad for your input. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  6. Well, I see that commonsense has prevailed and this proposed change is being dropped. I don’t know whose favour Harper was looking to curry with this *proposal* but it went downhill fast – yay!

  7. Being here in the Southern US, I miss a lot of what’s going on in Canada these days. I saw that yesterday on Yahoo news! I couldn’t believe it. Anyone who is nitpicking like that has too much time on their hands lol.

  8. Give governments time and God will go too. People now us these little ‘offense’ excuses anymore at the drop at a hat. Good grief is everyone getting that weak minded and feeble anymore. Well they need to man up. Isn’t it amazing at the priorities of governments anymore. No wonder everyone is going bankrupt. Okay I need to stop ranting. LOL!

  9. I really don’t understand the fuss the proposed changes to our National Anthem has created. The idea was to reflect equality son/daughters in our National Anthem. The Government has decided against any changes. Bravo, let’s get on with other problems and solve them;)
    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog.
    Love to get visitors from Canada too.
    By the way our families live in Canada, Germany and Sweden!
    We are a multilingual immigrant family and love Canada!!
    – Cheers.

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