Nothing wrong with changing words to O Canada

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
February 14, 2018 - 5:00am Updated: February 14, 2018 - 11:11am

KAMLOOPS — The PyeongChang Olympics are well underway, and Canada has already won a few medals. In celebration, our athletes are singing the new words to our national anthem.

In case you missed it, O Canada has a new second line. Instead of, “in all thy sons command,” it’s “in all of us command.”

A poll on the Armchair Mayor website showed 56 per cent of those responding intend to continue singing O Canada the old way.

I have no trouble with the change, myself. Nothing wrong with gender neutrality, though I’m mildly surprised that Justin didn’t insist on “in peoplekind command.”

Either way, the song doesn’t make sense. How does a home and native land command anything, especially true patriot love?

I consider myself a patriot, but neither patriotism nor love can be commanded. And, grammatically, if you examine it, the song should say “commands,” not “command.”

In my opinion, Justin’s father picked the wrong song for the anthem in the first place. The Maple Leaf Forever is much catchier and far more patriotic — a good old fightin’ song.

After all, if the Americans can have an anthem about the War of 1812, why can’t we? If they can sing about bombs bursting in air, why can’t we sing about Queenston Heights and Lundy’s Lane?

We could leave out the other part about the Plains of Abraham.

But since we’re stuck with O Canada, we might as well change it around to our liking.

It’s already been changed several times anyway. It used to say, “thou dost in us command,” so we’re really just going back a step.

There’s nothing sacred about lines to an anthem. Speaking about changes, we should do something about “home and native land” and “God keep our land.” Maybe add a truly Canadian line or two about being sorry, or “after you,” or “thank you so much.”

Maybe that’ll be next.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.