05 March 2010

Anthem notes

All together now, let your voices ring:

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 th

Not being a patriot, I confess our national anthem doesn't do much for me. My opinion hardly ranges beyond finding it a nuisance before baseball games. Beer and peanuts down, stand up, hat off, etc. And if my team, the Calgary Vipers, are playing an American team, we have to suffer through two of them.

So if Parliament is going to debate the wording, as the Throne Speech suggested, I won't be following too closely. It will be a nice break from the serious stuff for the parliamentarians, however, and it could do with a rewrite.

For example, something really should be done about "all thy sons command," a terribly dated and sexist phrase. And then there's the bit about God keeping our land. Not that I ever actually sing the anthem but an old atheist like me is bound to choke on that.

I would sing an anthem if it had some real bounce to it. The Canadian version of Woody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land would do very nicely. Now that's a tune that gets your toe tapping. We might be accused of stealing it, but what the hell, he lifted the melody from an old hymn, so I see no reason why we couldn't plagiarize his lyrics. The Americans had their chance.

So, all together now:

This land is your land, this land is my land,
From Bonavista to the Vancouver Island,
From the Arctic Ocean to the Great Lake Waters
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking ..........

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