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Letters  

Anthem changes

Before launching into an anti-political correctness diatribe that makes one wonder if he owns a red "Make Canada Great Again" hat, ask a fair question. How many countries have changed or considered changing their anthem?

Fortunately, there is a way to Google that, roughly a dozen countries, ranging from Germany to Russia to Nepal, have revised their anthems over the years. Some are small changes, others quite wide-ranging. Iraq overhauled theirs after the fall of Saddam Hussein, as did South Africa after the fall of the apartheid regime. Not every country that changes its anthem needs to undergo a transformative event, of course, and as a mature liberal democracy, Canada may make adjustments to its anthem to promote the national values of equality and inclusivity for all. It's sad and unfortunate there are some who view that as a negative.

The new "gender neutral" lyrics to O Canada are actually the second change to the anthem since its inception. The first change was actually involving the same lyrics as this change, oddly enough. The original edition of our anthem had the lyric "Thou dost in us command," which was changed in 1914 to "In all thy sons command." No matter which version has been in force, it's been a bit of a grammar struggle that would really only sound normal if spoken by Yoda, the Jedi Master from Star Wars. 

It is always a general source of amusement for me when people try to portray a unique and isolated, though consequential, event as though it's part of some continuum to undo the moral or cultural fabric of an entire nation. If people are so concerned that an alteration to the anthem will see "our backbones will deteriorate into mush" perhaps they may want to invest in some national grade calcium.

Personally, I will continue to stand true north, strong and free when I proudly sing the new words to O Canada.

Richard McAdam



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