Monday, 16 April 2018

N is for National Anthem of Canada ...




This could have been for 'O' ... as the anthem is titled "O Canada" - but whatever brain cells are working half-way in decided this as 'N' day for the National Anthem ...

Canada Heritage - c/o Anthems


Originally called "Chant National", it was first performed in 1880 in Quebec to music by composer Calixa Lavallee, with words by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier.

Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier c1890


The sentiment started to spread out in French Canada and then went further in various English-language versions, of which the best known is by Robert Stanley Weir in 1908.



The lyrics in English have been amended several times over the years, with the most recent one, making it gender neutral, occurring in February this year; the French lyrics though shortened, have otherwise remain unaltered.


'O Canada We Stand on Guard
for Thee' - stained glass window
to be found in the Royal Military
College of Canada






The actual anthem was officially adopted under the National Anthem Act on 27 June 1980 ... receiving Royal Assent, on time for Canada Day, on 1 July 1980.




There are three versions: English, French and Bilingual ... here's the Bilingual one below



O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command,

Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix!

Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits,

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

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.


Cover of first edition -
courtesy Musee du Seminaire de Quebec:
O Canada - its history

The music bears a resemblance to Mozart's "March of the Priests" from 'The Magic Flute' ...



That is N for the National Anthem 'O Canada' ... but there is a lot of history to it ... which can be found in the link below.



Canadian Encyclopedia - "O Canada" ... its history ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

43 comments:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I like the sound of 'O Canada!'... it has a similar resonance as 'Advance Australia'. YAM xx

Sue Bursztynski said...

Yeah, Advance Australia Fair was voted in in a national competition for a new national anthem many years ago. The original was written in the 19th century and began, "Australia's sons, let us rejoice..." which was changed to "Australians all..." Few people know more than the first verse, which means that xenophobic groups sing it without knowing that there is a verse about welcoming migrants. ;-)

I am intrigued by O Canada! It will be interesting to check out that link.

Aussie Children's Writers - N is for Garth Nix

https://suebursztynski.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/a-to-z-blogging-challenge-n-is-for.html

Elephant's Child said...

Sue is right about our anthem. And our politicians are some of the worst offenders.
O Canada could be your O post, your A for Anthem post, P for pride, N for Nation. A many faceted thing.

Liz A. said...

I love that it's both in English and French. I didn't realize it had been adopted so recently.

Nilanjana Bose said...

!980! that's just a blink. Didn't realise it was this brand new. Btw, National anthem seems a great entry for N. Sure you'll find many Other things for O - Canada is a huge and fascinating land :)

Bob Scotney said...

I suspect that I'm like many outside Canada and have only heard O Canada at sporting ceremonies

Anabel Marsh said...

I read recently about Canada updating its anthem to eliminate the gender bias. The U.K. anthem has some ver unsavoury verses, which are thankfully never sung, about knavish enemirs and crushing the Scots 😟

Keith's Ramblings said...

I must admit I couldn't recall O Canada when reading this, so I popped over to Youtube for a reminder! The Bilingual version is brilliant. We could do with a multilingual one in the UK!

Lynn said...

I like that they made it gender neutral.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

Bilingual and gender neutral? That sounds like a great national anthem :-)

Kim Blades said...

Hi Hilary. Learning more about Canada every day. Take care, Kim x

bazza said...

Hello Hillary. Although I don't always have time to comment I am reading all of your charming posts in this series. It's strange to think that French and English speakers may be singing different words in praise of their country!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s illusory Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Jean Davis said...

Wow, so many versions. We're boring with one.

I had the same conundrum with several of my a to z posts - deciding which letter to use for it. Yours seems like a great choice.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nice to see God is still in Canada's anthem.

Deborah Weber said...

O Canada - you're wayshowing for so many others who need to take a look at their anthems and biases. Yay for gender neutral and bilingual! Nice N choice Hilary, and I look forward to seeing what you've come up with for O.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yamini - I think National Anthems can catch the nation's mood

@ Sue - I see Advance Australia has at least embraced the gender neutral concept - I'm certain very few know other verses of their own national anthem - I don't I'm afraid. But interesting about welcoming migrants in ... and great you'll look up the link to find out a bit more ...

@ EC - I think many of us feel the same way re so many in this world ... so biased in our/their thought processes. And yes I could have used it for other entries couldn't I ...

@ Liz - it was interesting to find out more about the Anthem ... glad I used it ...

@ Nila - I know ... but it has been adapted since 1880 .. an evolving national anthem. Yes ... got a good 'O' ...

@ Bob - yes you're right - I guess most of us don't know other nation's anthems ...

@ Anabel - I'm sure the British national anthem isn't desperately of the right ilk today ... at some stage it'll be changed ... I haven't looked at the words though - and perhaps should ...

@ Keith - that would be a great idea to have a multi-lingual version in the UK ... perhaps I need to visit the Canadian YouTube version ... I'll remember ...

@ Lynn - yes they've adapted with the times - though it took a lot of dedication to get it accepted ...

@ Ronel - yes seems to accomplish much in this day and age ...

@ Kim - there's lots to learn ... and I'm 'nit-picking' my way through ideas about Canada ...

@ Bazza - no worries ... yes, but I guess the sentiment is still the same: praise for their country ...

@ Jean - I think many countries only have one version ... This N for National Anthem suited me ...

@ Alex - yes the reference to God occurs in quite a few national anthems and is relevant here ...

@ Deborah - well I hope a few people will take a look at their Anthems and where they originated ... this Canadian one has an interesting history ... and has been interesting to write up - and have here for reference purposes ...

Thanks everyone ... today it is 'O Canada' for another reason: a very wet Monday morning!! Take care and here's a good third week of the A-Z challenge - Hilary

DMS said...

I have always loved the Canadian National Anthem. So beautiful. I didn't know much about it- or all the words- so thanks for sharing. :)
~Jess

Kali Delamagente said...

It is one of the anthems I love hearing at the Olympics. There's a lot of pride in it.

Emily Bloomquist said...

I am surprised it was only adopted so recently as 1980. Interesting, Hilary.

Emily In Ecuador | Nets, Fishing Nets made in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's interesting they modified it.

Susan Scott said...

The words are lovely and wonderful too that both languages are incorporated. Here in SA 3 languages are in our national anthem which makes it inclusive.

Thanks Hilary! O will be Ontario?

Out on the prairie said...

I heard this a few times watching the Olympics

Lenny Lee said...

wow...interesting post. seems only right a bilingual country should have a bilingual national anthem.

i read that one time there was a movement in the U.S.A. to change the national anthem because it's about war and also really hard to sing and remember the words. they thought the song America would be better because it's about the land and people. last stanza says... America, America, God shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.

my mom always said she liked the French national anthem because it's so stirring. i think it would be interesting to listen to the anthems of different countries. might do that on youtube.

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

It's cool that they modified it and have the different versions.

cleemckenzie said...

Anthems are always so stirring. I didn't know Canada's was close to that piece by Mozart. Interesting. I'll have to listen to both again.

Hurray for reaching N, Hilary. 12 more to go. I've got the Champagne waiting at the finish line.

Sherry Ellis said...

I like that it's in English and French to accommodate the French-speaking folks from Quebec.

diedre Knight said...

Hi Hilary!

National Anthem works for me! An enchanting history and a fine example of how people can come together when they want to ;-)

Inger said...

Oh, Hilary, I wish I could write some interesting blog posts. I used to, but seem to have lost it. Reading yours I always learn something new, something interesting, something well researched. You are an inspiration.

Yolanda Renée said...

I like it because it's simple. Lovely!
Gender neutral, too! :)

Silvia Villalobos said...

One of the most recognizable national anthems, I think. Nice that they have it in bilingual format. Thank you for this and the background, Hilary. I enjoy reading and learning about beautiful Canada.

David Gascoigne said...

I am not much for anthems, but I suppose that if we must have one I am glad that it is totally unwarlike and does not proclaim our superiority over others.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I do like most national anthems, but Canada holds a special place in my heart as they are our neighbors. I have only met very nice people from that lovely country.

Sandra Cox said...

Good N-O post, Hilary.
Cheers,

Jo said...

Don't think I have ever heard the bilingual version Hilary. Went to see Andre Rieu in Toronto and he played O Canada for us as a thank you for what Canadians did during the 2nd world war.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Some countries have national anthems that have words we don't understand like our national anthem just saying

Debby Gies said...

Thanks for showcasing our wonderful country's anthem origins Hilary. :)

M. Denise C. said...

Hilary, I love when we play Canadian teams so we can hear O Canada! Cheers, D

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jess - I will definitely now appreciate hearing the Anthem when it comes up ...

@ Jacqui - it's a good time acquaint oneself of the various anthems - when the Olympics and similar Games are on ...

@ Emily - well it had been around for 100 years ... but as things settled in the country - the anthem was confirmed in its place ...

@ Diane - yes ... it's good the Anthem has been changed to chime in with today ...

@ Susan - I know the National Anthem of South Africa is somewhat different - so thank you for getting me to go and check out why ... English words, extracts of a hymn, and an Afrikaans song ... and the fact the structure is somewhat different too ...

As you'll see - O is not Ontario!!

@ Steve - Unfortunately I didn't see much of the Commonwealth Games or the Olympics ...

@ Lenny - I think all countries go through various thought processes to amend their national anthem as times change - that last line resonates well. Your mother was right the French anthem is stirring ... I nearly wrote about all the anthems for the 2012 Olympics - but it would have taken a lot of research and time ... so I never did it ...

@ Holly - it was interesting to write up and find out about ...

@ Lee - there's obviously a lot more to National Anthems ... so next time I need to write about one ... I'll take a more detailed look ... oh good - champagne awaiting me - sounds good!!

@ Sherry - we are a bi-lingual country ... not sure exactly how that works though ...

@ Diedre - it's interesting isn't it and as you say - how things can work themselves out in a sensible manner ...

@ Inger - thanks so much ... you certainly did and do write interesting posts - but I'm delighted you enjoy visiting and learning something different. You've had lots going on - and times change, other priorities arrive - yet blogging is always here for us ...

@ Yolanda - yes gender neutral and simple ... makes it easy to remember ...

@ Silvia - I shall pay more attention when I hear it played ... and listen out for both sets of words ... it has to accommodate both French and English doesn't it ...

@ David - National Anthems come from a different era - yet at times they are required ... it seems the Canadians have managed to get theirs right ...

@ Arleen - that's great you feel empathy towards your northern neighbours ... and it seems Canadians have a place in many a person's heart ...

@ Sandra - thank you ...

@ Jo - I wonder when they're both used together ... Hearing Andre Rieu in concert must have been wonderful - I hadn't realised he is Dutch ... no wonder he was thanking the Canadians for what they did in WW2 ... what a lovely gesture ...

@ Jo-Anne - well each anthem reflects that country doesn't it ... and we can always find out what the words are meant to reflect ...

@ Debby - glad to do so ... I learn so much ...

@ Denise - I guess with the various seasonal games crossing borders ... more of the Anthems are heard and thus O Canada rings out on occasions ...

Cheers to you all - thanks so much for being here ... it's been good to learn about the National Anthem - Hilary

Lynda Dietz said...

I've had the pleasure of singing this many times (always in English, though). I used to sing the National Anthem at the start of professional hockey games (free tickets, don'tcha know) and it was required to sing both the Canadian anthem and the American one. I really like it. It's simple and doesn't cover the better part of two octaves like "The Star-Spangled Banner" does.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lynda - I guess you would hear both anthems the times you had tickets for the pro hockey games - good to know its advantages - ie simpler and only ranging over two octaves ... I'll be more aware next time - cheers Hilary

Christine Rains said...

I remember singing it in both French and English at school.

Lynn said...

I always like hearing the Canadian National Anthem sung at the Olympics. That is a gorgeous window! Thank you for the back story.

Hilary - I injured my foot and was off the computer for a few days, except for the time it took for online banking. I intend to catch up!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Christine - I think you were living here for a while ... so understand you singing both versions ...

@ Lynn - it's interesting history ... and yes the window made my 'N' for this series ...

Sorry about your foot ... but see you're around again and hope it continues to fully heal -

Cheers to you both - Hilary