Monday, 7 October 2013

WHOSE True Patriot Love?


I fully support the current campaign by Margaret Atwood's group of prominent Canadian women to make the English wording of our national anthem gender-neutral and inclusive by changing "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command." Surely that's not too much to ask in the 21st century!

Some opponents argue, however, that it would lead to further changes in the national anthem. (Yeah, like that's a bad thing?) Specifically, they're concerned that people will want to modify the line "our home and native land" as well. Modern Canada is a multicultural land of immigrants and many argue that this line excludes new Canadians who weren't born here. I think the problem is easily solved simply by changing the line to "our own belov├ęd land." Why wouldn't we want the national anthem to be as inclusive as possible?

Of course, Canada's First Nations have their own rewording suggestion:


But that might be a bit more truth than our national anthem can handle, eh?

Of course, there's also that subsequent reference to "God keep our land glorious and free." How exclusionary is that!?! What about agnostics and atheists? Not to mention those of us who are devoted to the Goddess instead! So I would change that line to "Let's keep our land glorious and free." Plus, that change also puts the responsibility precisely where it should be, doesn't it? On us!

And don't even get me started on the French version of the national anthem. All those references to "forefathers" and "faith" and linking "the sword" to "the cross" -- it's even more obnoxious than the English version!

Well, now I'm all worked up. I must go and have a nice calming cup of tea. Sweetened with maple syrup, of course.

38 comments:

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

I agree completely! Our national anthem needs to get with the times. And it definitely needs to be inclusive. Some people cling to the past and don't welcome any change. Ever. We've got to evolve!

jadedj said...

Sounds like some silly ass objections to change such as we in the U.S. get from our resident morans (sic).

jaz@octoberfarm said...

it sure is hard to bring about changes! at least you don't have teams named the redskins, browns and braves. unreal, eh?

DEZMOND said...

at least your anthem doesn't mention a king and God in it, like ours does even though we haven't been a kingdom in hundred years and mentioning God is offensive to us atheists...

Anne O'Leary said...

It seems as if all countries were founded well before women were considered the equal of men. Also they were written before any civil rights movements were underway. I say change is good and the National Anthems' of this world ought to reflect that.

Robin Larkspur said...

yes, please, maple syrup! that's pretty glorious!

heartinhand said...

I think we should change our national anthem to Rush's Tom Sawyer. Could you imagine how exciting events would be with the opening of that song? LOL!

I think Margaret Atwood is right on the money with her idea to change the words. It makes sense.

Laurie said...

I thought about doing a post on this subject myself but decided against it because I thought for sure you might do it!! I`m so glad I was right, you are so correct in all you wrote, especially about `their land`.

A Beer For The Shower said...

Sounds like way too much work. Why not just start over from scratch? Any song that has the word 'thy' in it is probably in need of a serious overhaul anyway...

Ol'Buzzard said...

Any and everything occasionally needs updating.
the Ol'Buzzard

Dexter Klemperer said...

May I suggest: "Oh Canada, please take Ted Cruz back!"

Birdie said...

I have never loved our national anthem. I think we need to sit down and write ourselves a new one. Keep the bit about "the true north strong and free" but the rest can go.

Jeanne said...

Totally agree with you! While remembering where a person came from is good, one should not dwell on the past but look to the future. And evolve to reflect that which is. If a country is truly to be united then ALL must feel the connection.

Jim said...

Couldn't agree more Debra! Why some people have a difficult time letting go of the move and moving forward I don't know. Well I do but this is not the forum to express those views.
Good for Margaret Atwood for putting her support behind this this.

Miss Val's Creations said...

It does sound like your anthem needs a bit of an update! Getting all worked up over it means you are passionate about your country. Always a good thing!

SUZY8-TRACK said...

I suppose this was written back when women were considered "property" rather than "citizens".

Leeanna said...

I like those changes. It's just winning over the public that that will remain to be seen.

What Dexter said ... will y'all please take back Ted Cruz and while you're at it taking Bieber off our hands would be nice too.

Adam said...

We have a similar thing in America. A new redesigned note is coming soon, and a lot of Christians were upset that they didn't see In God We Trust.

They were too lazy to look at the back.

It should be left out completely

JACKIESUE said...

I just want ours changed so I can sing it without getting a hernia.

Caroline said...

You crack me up...enjoy the maple tea!

Mary said...

I am in complete agreement with you on all counts! Unfortunately, change is difficult for some. The 'old ways' are better. Even when is for the best and can only have a pisitive outcome, there are those who will dig in DEEP. I don't think i've ever heard the French version. It sounds like it would make me nauseous. Lol.

Francie M said...

So let's go with the Maple Leaf forever. Way better song. er... new lyrics of course, none of the old "Wolfe our glorious hero" BS. What say you??

turquoisemoon said...

hahaha...I need some tea and maple syrup! sheesh! I'm from KC home of the KC Chiefs. Oooh let's not talk about being offensive??? I wrote a "letter to the editor" many moons ago about how I find that name offensive...and I must mention wouldn't it be nice to have a tune that everyone could at least hum to!!!

Cheryl said...

Clearly, I have no business weighing in on your national anthem as I am U.S. citizen. I would hate to jinx your government and have them close down because they can't agree on something. (although..if I were to express an opinion...I think taking out the "thy sons" and making it gender neutral would be nice.

sophie...^5 said...

Big checkmark!!!

Riot Kitty said...

And then watch a hockey game after?

Have you ever watched Eddie Izzard's skit on the Star Spangled Banner btw? Priceless.

LL Cool Joe said...

I think every country should do away the their National Anthem completely. And their flags, but then I'm not into National Pride at all.

klahanie said...

Hi Debra,

Totally agree about Margaret Atwood's campaign. It makes sense. It's also good to see the Canadian anthem on here. Folks where I live wouldn't know of it.

You bring up a lot of notable points.

Of course, rather weirdly, the British national anthem is a song about a person. Very strange, eh.

Gary, who now dreams of maple syrup...

Elsie said...

So, I thought you were kidding about putting maple syrup in your tea until I read the comments....

Vanessa Morgan said...

Not sure what to think of this. It is indeed normal to update the text of the anthem, but somehow I like things to stay 'traditional' and unchanged too. I'll have to think about it a bit more.

Erika Lee @ A Tiny Rocket said...

I totally agree with you and think it's great to see how passionate you are about the subject. We are all hu-man right?

Magaly Guerrero said...

Wow. Just wow. I guess I need to start feeling more proud of the Dominican Republic's anthem. It's all about breaking chains, death before slavery, running into war... And after reading this post, I noticed that it is actually gender neutral...

Well, I guess that there is that bit about only mentioning two of the three guys who played the most important role on Independence Day... and I'm sure that the fact that the guy who was left out of the anthem was the only Black of the three had nothing to do with it... Oh, and the lady who almost got killed while crating the flag, well... Damn! Revolution!!!

And I won't say a word about The Star Spangled Banner... nope, I won't... I might burst at the “In God is our trust” Damn! I said it *sigh*

Fundy Blue said...

I'm for this too, SWS!

Magic Love Crow said...

I would love some maple syrup too! I agree with everything you have said Deb, but sometimes, I think maybe why are we getting so worked up about things?

Guillaume said...

I wouldn't change the anthem. All national anthems are old fashioned and somewhat reactionary. The only one that may be truly international is La Marseillaise, and even then more because of the context and universal appeal of the ideals of the Revolution than anything else.

And yes, the original O Canada, i.e. the French version, was basically Cathoilic propaganda. It was about French and Catholic Canada, limited to Quebec (the mention of the giant river, of one proud race, one faith). It was, it is still, a borderline grotesque hymn to silent obedience.

Anne Johnson said...

I am so jealous of a country where the biggest controversy is the national anthem. We're all shut down here in America, and we haven't even gotten to that pesky "under god" in our pledge of allegiance.

Laurent said...

Of course O Canada in the original French Version was a Nationalistic Poem about French Canadians, strange how it became our National Anthem. The English version has nothing to do with the French wording.
Maybe we should sing it only in French, end of debate.

laughingwolf said...

yessssssssssssssssss!