O Canada is the national anthem of Canada. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallée, and the original French lyrics were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier, as a French-Canadian patriotic song for the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society.
It was first performed on June 24, 1880 at a Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day banquet in Quebec City, but did not become Canada's official national anthem until July 1, 1980. The official English version is based on a poem written by Robert Stanley Weir in 1908; it is not a translation of the French. Changes to the English version were made in 1968 following recommendations made by a Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons. The National Anthem Act of 1980 added a religious reference to the English lyrics.
|Table of contents|
2 Official French Lyrics
3 External links
Official English Lyrics
|Ô Canada! Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix;
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur de foi trempé
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits;
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
|O Canada! Home of our ancestors,
Your brow is wreathed with glorious garlands!
Since your arm can bear the sword,
It can bear the cross;
Your history is an epic
Of the most brilliant feats.
And your valour steeped in faith
Will protect our homes and our rights;
Will protect our homes and our rights.
Occasionally, singers mix the lyrics across languages in various patterns.
In recent years, the English version of the anthem has been criticized, by feminists such as Senator Vivienne Poy, for being sexist ("true patriot love in all thy sons command"); alternate lyrics ("in all of us command") have been proposed but are not widely used.
However, if one sings the first two lines in French, the next four in English, and ends the song in French, one avoids both sexist language and religious references (except for foi "faith", which some would argue could be interpreted as faith in one's country and fellow citizens), expresses national unity, and remains unimpeachable on grounds of revisionism, as both versions are just as official.