How are all of us today? That’s the three word phrase that Ottawa is being urged to put into O Canada instead of All thy sons.
Folks like Margaret Atwood and Kim Campbell says it’s time to make the anthem more inclusive. It would be a fairly simple change, and I doubt that many people would have a problem with it.
But might it possibly be the start of a proverbial slippery slope? The current English lyrics for O Canada were written a hundred years ago, but they weren’t officially adopted until 1980. At that time I recall some brief discussion about whether the words God keep our land were appropriate in the increasingly secular age in which we live.
Lord knows that phrase would never fly if it were introduced in Quebec right now. Might atheists and others who don’t pray to a traditional God push for another change, something like please keep our land whoever you are?
Hands up .. how many of you could even write down all the words to our national anthem if anything more valuable than a pair of Blue Bomber tickets were on the line?
When we’re asked to stand for O Canada at sporting events, most of us probably mouth the words or keep our lips closed. I love the way they do it at hockey games in Vancouver and Edmonton.
The singer stops after the first couple of lines, and it’s up to the crowd to step forward. It creates a bit of a sense of community which is hard to find these days.
Hopefully this latest effort to change the words to the anthem will make more of us stop and consider what those words really mean. Even if we only remember Glorious and free, that would be a good start.
I’m Roger Currie