"o canada" (Bill c-36, adopted 1980) Before Reading



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"O Canada" (Bill C-36, adopted 1980)
Before Reading

What purposes do national anthems serve? Read the first stanza of "O Canada" and, consider what it says to Canadians and about Canadians.


During Reading

As you read the words, think about what feelings the poet had for this country.


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.



After Reading
1) In what ways does this song represent you and/or other Canadians?

2) In what ways does this song fail to represent you and/or other Canadians?

3) Read Michael Frieson’s « Politically Correct O Canada » on the next page. What is your immediate reaction to his version of the national anthem? Do you think certain people would identifiy with it or be offended by it?

“Politically Correct O Canada”


Yo! Canada,
Our domicile and current place of residence,
True feelings of nationalist contentment in everybody kindly request.
With glowing organs, we observe thy ascendance,
The true relatively north empowered and unshackled,
From considerable expanses--eh, Canada?--we're looking out for thee
May the non-gender-specific deity maintain our geographical mass, strong yet sensitive and liberated!
Yo Canada, we're looking out for thee
Yo Canada, we're looking out for the majorities, minorities, downtrodden, depressed, repressed, undressed, differently looking, otherly abled, preferentially varied individuals and group entities AND thee.

- Michael Frieson (Maclean's, March 23, 1992)


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