Debate of national anthem lyrics is ‘moot’

Making the lyrics more inclusive does not reject tradition, but respects it

One of the more curious debates to flare up on our social media pages recently has been the discussion over changes to the lyrics in Canada’s national anthem.

That some are so passionate about preserving the existing lyrics is, perhaps, inspiring.

But it’s also a little misguided.

At issue is whether or not the words, “in all thy sons command” should be changed to, “in all of us command.”

The debate is a little moot. The House of Commons has already approved the change, and sent the legislation to the Senate for approval.

However, Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl is hoping the fight’s not over yet. He says there’s a chance the Senate might refer the issue back to the Commons for reconsideration. And when that happens, he and the results from his recent constituency association poll will be ready.

The questionnaire was mailed out to homes months ago. It asked residents, “Do you think the lyrics of our Canadian national anthem should be changed?”

Strahl says he was bothered by the lack of consultation. Something as important and emblematic as the national anthem should not be altered without national consent.

Others see it as yet another surrender to political correctness – a further emasculation of our national heritage.

Not quite.

In fact, the change better reflects the original version (at least the English translation from the original French). That version was changed in 1914 during a moment of patriotic fervour as Canada was sending its sons across the Atlantic to fight in The Great War.

The fact that the nation’s daughters were also serving overseas did not seem to bother anyone at a time when women were still denied the vote.

But times have changed. It’s simply not acceptable to exclude half the population in a song that is meant to embrace us all.

The fix is simple. And despite what some argue, it’s one that respects tradition, rather than rejects it.

~ Greg Knill, Chilliwack Progress

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Group desperate to find solution to wrecks lining shores of Cadboro Bay

Caddy Bay ‘a wild west’ without authority, say locals

People-less protest in Victoria holds space for victims of police brutality, systematic racism

People are asked to come learn the names of the lives lost to the hands of racism

VIDEO: View Royal resident spots cougar in nearby backyard

B.C. Conservation notified about early Thursday morning sighting

Victoria police arrest two people during ‘tweet-a-long’ Strike Force operation

VicPD offering ‘behind the scenes’ look at the operation

Greater Victoria tourism industry ‘can’t wait any longer’ for financial aid

Saanich mayor, business owners call on provincial, federal governments for tourism-specific aid

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

Most Read