Posts Tagged ‘O Canada

Carolyn Bennett changes the words of O Canada

- February 10th, 2011
It was a strange sight in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Normally MPs from all parties gather in the House to sing O Canada. This week a group of Liberals led by Toronto MP Carolyn Bennett got up and sang a “gender neutral, secular, bilingual” version of the national anthem. Give it a listen and then read on to find out why they changed the words.

Bennett didn’t actually change the words of O Canada but she did alter the normal progression of the song when sung in alternating English and French.

Why?

Because she wanted to omit words such as God, sons, faith and cross from the anthem she wanted to make words that “have irritated a few people disappear.”

We’ve heard from a few people over the years that they don’t like God being in the national anthem. A little while back Prime Minister Stephen Harper was smacked down by an angry public when he suggested making the lyrics gender neutral by removing “all thy sons command.”

What many English speaking Canadians don’t realize is that the French version sings of carrying the cross and that our valour is steeped in faith.

Bennett removed these words as well.

What she did is an affront to the country and its history but that won’t stop Bennett. As she told Sun Media’s Bryn Weese, she may not want to officially change the lyrics but she’ll keep singing her version every Wednesday when the House opens.

Below is a chart showing the lyrics, real and imagined, to O Canada.

Words sung by Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett Official English lyrics Official French lyrics Official French lyrics in English
O Canada!
Our home and native land!

Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.

O Canada
glorious and free!

Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada!

Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

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 trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

O Canada! Land of our forefathers
Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.
As in thy arm ready to wield the sword,
So also is it ready to carry the cross.
Thy history is an epic of the most brilliant exploits.

Thy valour steeped in faith
Will protect our homes and our rights
Will protect our homes and our rights.