Oh Canada, for Heaven’s sake!

Former Spotlight Cubby Carla Clark shares her thoughts on the idea of changing our National Anthem.

I know you can’t please everyone, but sometimes some things are best left untouched.

Take our national anthem for example.

It appears that the old can of worms has been re-opened once again to change yet another supposed politically incorrect word or phrase to our country’s century-old, all-Canadian song of patriotism. It tends to surface every now and again for those who feel the need to make a stink about the wording of our long-sung national anthem. We’ve been singing it for years, hand over heart or at least after the removal of your hat. And what hockey game would be the same without the traditional pre-game opening chorus of O Canada. Even those who can’t remember all the words at least make an attempt at silently mouthing something that seems close to the real thing.

It was only a few years ago when criticism of the term ‘sons’ in the phrase “in all our son’s command” was sexist and “native land” was improper and should be amended. Not surprisingly, the religious aspect was also criticized by a group of people who thought including a higher power in the lyric was a moot point. As early as 2010, those who viewed themselves valiantly as politically correct tried in vain by making an attempt to have original wording of our beloved O Canada amended. However, the idea was quashed, so our anthem remains in tact – at least for now.

It looks as though what was once a simple song which represents the love of our country has survived, but has seemingly dimmed the once-glowing hearts of some politicians of our “home and native land.” I’m sure the subject will once again rear it’s patriotic head into yet another political whine and cheese party topic of debate somewhere down the road.

Our national tune never did hit the top 10 on the charts, but it just seems to me the powers-that-be haven’t got enough to do with their time.  I can’t help wondering if it’s not just a ‘make work’ project over the ever present water-cooler.

And if the truth be told, it’s taken me too long to remember the words by heart anyway, so I’m thankful to let sleeping anthems lay undisturbed in the annals of history for now.

My only worry is what they may be thinking of doing to the almost defunct “Maple Leaf Forever” or “God Save the Queen” in the future, but I’m sure the water-cooler will have no problem standing up to the debate as it always has. I’m also fairly sure it would rather be silent witness to more important issues like affordable housing, poverty, equal pay, community safety, education cuts, medical care, job accessibility and seniors’ needs. With those issues dealt with, there would be good reason for a rousing chorus of O Canada …. the original version, of course.

Carla Clark

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