Influential Quebec author Réjean Ducharme dead at 76

From CBC - August 23, 2017

"Our home and native land."

"True patriot love."

The images and phrasesofO Canadahave a way of embedding themselvesinto how we think and talkabout this country.

In this series of short essays (and one infographic!), Canadian writers, musicians, educators, poets and leaders riff on big and little topics inspired by the anthem's lyrics from climate change andindividual privacy to Indigenous land rights and that special brand of Canadian patriotism. Oh, and grammar too.

But first, a quick refresher.

O Canada

First commissioned in 1880, theanthem wasoriginally in French alone that's Canada with music byCalixaLavalleand words bySirAdolphe-BasileRouthier.It was not until 1906 that the tune gotEnglish lyrics, courtesyof Robert Stanley Weir.And while the French edition has remained untouched all these years, O Canadahas been revised twice, most recently in 1980 when it became, finally and officially, our country's anthem.

Bill C-210to amend the National Anthem Act (currently before the Senate) may mean the venerable standard gets a timely,gender-neutralsesquicentennial updatereplacing "all our sons command" with "all of us command" (more on that below). But revisions aside,it's a song most of us have sung over the years without stopping to think aboutwhat we are even saying.

No longer.

Our home and native land

"Our home and native land?" asksCynthiaWesley-Esquimaux,the Chair on Truth and Reconciliation atLakeheadUniversity."Me, I hear home onNative land, the lands of my ancestors." In her essay, she explores the idea of a home for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoplealike.

True patriot love

"We often turn up our noses when called upon to be proud of ourselves. And I hope that keeps going, actually.I hope that we never become a country that is sure of our own miraculous advances." Contrasting true patriot love on both sidesof the border,Michelle Dean pondersCanadian patriotismasambivalence.

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


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