living in canada, Music, School

Oh. Canada.

Our hearts are actually in the middle of our chests. BUT OKAY.

When I went to was forced to go to a hockey game on Wednesday, I took notice of their national anthem, O Canada.

Canadians don’t put their hands over their hearts when they sing. This made me sad. It reminded me of middle school and high school when people didn’t stand up to stay the pledge of allegiance because they didn’t like the phrase “One nation under God.” Ya know what, if you don’t like it, how about you move to a different country. No one will miss you. How hard is it to stand up and say a 10 second pledge? In 6th grade I had to memorize the pledge in Latin–worst week of my life.

If you are not familiar with the lyrics to O Canada, here they are:

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.

It’s simple, but it works. I feel like the Star Spangled Banner paints more of a vivid picture, but O Canada has some sweetness to it. I like that they mention glowing hearts because it reminds me of E.T. If all Canadians were like E.T. I would have no complaints. And its nice that Canadians will stand on guard for their land. In fact, they say that 3 times so I guess they’re super serious about it.

The Star Spangled Banner on the other hand, has 4 verses. I have to roll my eyes at that. Like, okay we get it, America is awesome. The anthem isn’t really about America in most of it. Its about the civil war (edit: it’s about the war of 1812 actually. I am retarded and lazy so I didn’t research correctly.):

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep, where the foe’s haughty host in dead silence reposes, what is that which the breeze o’er the towering steep, as it fitfully blows half conceals, half discloses.

That doesn’t make me think of my country. That makes me think of a Disney song. I dread the day that I have to sing all 4 verses of the national anthem.

I feel really weird listening to Canada’s anthem for some reason. It makes me feel so out of place. Maybe because I haven’t memorized it yet or maybe its just because a bunch of Canadians are standing around me grinning their weird Canadian grins.

Final note: They also have a French version of their anthem. Ugh.


25 thoughts on “Oh. Canada.

  1. I always hated going to sporting events in the U.S. because they’d do both national anthems. I can’t imagine how awful the Canadian teams must feel. Almost every game they have to listen to that long-winded Star Spangeld Banner. I don’t blame them for not wanting to help us.

    I never realized that the Canadian anthem was that short. It’s like the Ramones wrote it.

  2. Adair says:

    The SSB was about the attack of the British on American soil at the beginning of the War of 1812. The irony here is Francis Scott Key used the tune from a British Naval song which proves my point that only drunks, castrati and Celine Dion can easily hit the notes of our national anthem, and Celine doesn’t count because she’s Canadian.

  3. Marya says:

    We could all forget the who, what, why, where, when and how of “The Star Bangled Banner” if we would propose that Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud To Be an I’ve seen Lee Greenwood sing it live at a few political rallies and when he appears in a HUM-V wearing his army fatigues…I have to admit it makes a patriotic statement.

    • YES. That song really speaks to my heart (the country bumpkin/army wife part of my heart). We should just change our anthem to “I”m Proud to Be an American” since they play that more than the SSB anyway.

  4. Lisa says:

    I’m definitely a patriotic sap. I ALWAYS get a little choked up/ teary eyed when I hear the Star Spangled Banner. I can’t help it. I just think of all the people that died for our freedom and I’m moved. When you add the right hand over the heart gesture, well, let’s just say my heart swells. I know, I’m so pathetic.
    I think I’m also moved with other national anthems. The Canadian anthem is sweet. It’s gentle when people sing a song with all their heart and soul to their homeland. Remember in the Sound of Music when Captain Von Trapp sings, Edelweis, guess who always cries a little…me.

  5. Marya says:

    I love Edelweis, too! Bless my homeland forever. Would you please encourage me to proofread my comments before I press “post comment?” Being too tired to proofread is not an excuse, ever. I must have pressed “delete” and didn’t know it regarding my Lee Greenwood post. Maybe Lee Greenwood is one of our Founding Fathers and has been re-incarnated. It’s a Buddhist thought and I’m sticking to it. Now excuse me while I proofread what I just wrote.

    • Lisa says:

      Bless my homeland forever…

      For those of us who know you, your typos are easily overlooked, in fact they’re down right charming.

  6. Agarax says:

    O Canada has three additional verses. They’re just not sung at hockey games.

    In 1980, one “We stand on guard” was replaced by “From far and wide”, and one “O Canada” was replaced by “God keep our land”. I approve of the first change, but the second is inappropriate for the anthem of a nation that respects freedom of (and from) religion.

    The War of 1812 was a failed attempt by the United States to invade Canada, which at the time was called British North America. Washington D. C. was sacked and the White House was burned to the ground. It’s odd that this war later became the subject of their national anthem.

Comments are great, eh?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s