A group of “Prominent Canadian Women” have crawled out of the woodwork to float the idea of changing Canada’s national anthem. Apparently the line “in all our sons command”, is insufficiently feminist-friendly.
As a son, I acknowledge that the lyrics, as currently exist, do not tend toward the gender-neutral and a small tweak to “in all of us command”, or similar, might be justified. What asses me up at the moment is the other nuts, wrapping themselves in the national flag, falling out of their trees.
Militant atheists demand that God be removed from the anthem, reactionaries thunder, “but it’s always been that way”, pacifists quibble at the concept of guarding, Feminists cry that it’s male-chauvinist, and Aboriginals… Well “native land” and all that.
I did some research on the English language version of O Canada. Trying to find the ‘true’ version is like trying to find the original lineage of a mutt puppy. I count four distinct versions, not including the one officially adopted in 1980 on the centenary of the original. The original version was a hymn written in 1880, in French. The first English version wasn’t until about 1906, translated, loosely, from the French by a doctor from Toronto.
It is telling, though, that the French-language version of O Canada has remained unaltered from the original.
Previous to O Canada the de facto national anthem was The Maple Leaf Forever, but it got beat out in the popularity contest, so it sank. Prior to even that Canadians sang God Save the King/Queen; but only in English Canada, I have no idea what, if anything, Québécois sang.
Given the controversy surrounding this tempest in a teapot, I opined that perhaps we should follow Spain’s example and have an instrumental only anthem with no official lyrics. I got no takers.
A point here, if there is a point, is that living things change, grow and adapt. Only the dead are unchanging.
Another point is that if you do somehow have a legitimate beef, express it calmly and rationally. Do not wrap yourself in the flag and shrilly proclaim that you’re protecting your patriotic rights.