Published Mar 04, 2010Parliament has been asked to review the lyrics to "O Canada" after a throne speech by Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean yesterday (March 3) suggested a return to the "original gender-neutral wording of the national anthem."
As the CBC reports, the line "true patriot love in all thy sons command" may be changed in the spirit of both inclusivity and, surprisingly, tradition. The anthem's lyrics are based on a poem written in 1908 by Stanley Weir, which began: "O Canada Our home and native land! True patriot love thou dost in us command. We see thee rising fair, dear land, The True North strong and free."
The official English lyrics we sing now were updated by a committee of MPs and Senators in 1968, who added the lines "from far and wide" and "God keep our land glorious and free."
The suggestion to change the "sons" line of the anthem has already sparked some controversy. While Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff seemingly supports the change, he sees the lyric change as merely a "symbolic gesture" from the Conservative government.
"There's lots of things to do for women that are more important than changing the words of the national anthem, just as there are lots of things to do for pensioners and seniors that are more important than having a Seniors Day," Ignatieff said.
Pardon the editorial, but incidentally, "True patriot love thou dost in us command" sounds pretty sweet to us.