Wednesday, 1 July 2009

O Canada - do you know ALL the words?

There is quite the history of Canada's national anthem.

It was originally commissioned by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec for the 1880 St. Jean-Baptiste ceremony - Calixa Lavallée wrote the music to a poem by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. The text was originally only in French.

Robert Stanley Weir wrote the English version in 1908, and it is not a translation of the French version. The words were revised slightly, and only officially became Canada's national anthem in 1980!

Weird wrote 4 verses in total! Only verse 1 is the official lyrics - but I will post the others as well. I love how they reflect our Christian heritage.

Here are a few interesting facts from Canada's Christian Heritage website....

Canada’s coat of arms, adopted in 1921, stands upon the Latin phrase “A Mari Usque Ad Mare,” which when translated means “from sea to sea” a reference to Psalms 72:8.

Canada’s official motto comes from Psalms 72:8, “He shall have dominion from sea to sea.” The full verse reads: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.”

Before the fall of 1983, July 1 was called “Dominion Day” which was a recognition of the sovereignty of God. On October 27, 1982 the Canadian Parliament changed the name to “Canada Day.”

In 1533, Jacques Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence River to Montréal. To commemorate the founding of Montréal, Cartier wrote in his diary “…we all kneeled down in the company of the Indians and with our hands raised toward heaven yielded our thanks to God.”



Here are the official lyrics to O Canada...

English
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.

French
Ô Canada!
Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

See here for 3 more verses of French lyrics and their translations.

Translation of French Lyrics
O Canada!
Land of our forefathers
Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.
As is thy arm ready to wield the sword,
So also is it ready to carry the cross.
Thy history is an epic of the most brilliant exploits.
Thy valour steeped in faith
Will protect our homes and our rights
Will protect our homes and our rights.


Here are the additional 3 stanzas...

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow.
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow.
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western sea.
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou True North, strong and free!
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies
May stalwart sons, and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years
From East to Western sea.
Our own beloved native land!
Our True North, strong and free!
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion in thy loving care;
Help us to find, O God, in thee
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the better Day,
We ever stand on guard.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.



There is also a hymnal version!

Lord of the lands, beneath Thy bending skies,
On field and flood, where’er our banner flies,
Thy people lift their hearts to Thee,
Their grateful voices raise:
May our dominion ever be
A temple to Thy praise.
Thy will alone let all enthrone;
Lord of the lands, make Canada Thine own:
Lord of the lands, make Canada Thine own!

Almighty Love, by Thy mysterious power,
In wisdom guide, with faith and freedom dower;
Be ours a nation evermore
That no oppression blights,
Where justice rules from shore to shore,
From lakes to northern lights.
May love alone for wrong atone;
Lord of the lands, make Canada Thine own:
Lord of the lands, make Canada Thine own!

Lord of the worlds, with strong eternal hand,
Hold us in honor, truth and self-command;
The loyal heart, the constant mind,
The courage to be true,
Our wide extending empire bind,
And all the earth renew.
Thy Name be known through every zone;
Lord of the lands, make Canada Thine own:
Lord of the lands, make Canada Thine own!

Hope you learned something new today and....

Happy Canada Day!!!

3 comments:

Nicole said...

Our National Anthem has other verses that refer to God throughout too, I wish we sang the whole thing and not the first verse.
Thanks for the interesting facts on Canada Day.
Happy Canada Day to you!!

Jessica Morris said...

I don't know if you knew?! I think most people do... I was born and raised around Toronto. I just moved down here when we got married. :)
I have dual citizenship b/c my mom is American - she's a landed immigrant.

ValleyGirl said...

I knew it had several verses in both French and English, but I'm not sure if I knew there were different versions! Our hymnal just has the regular song, not the "hymnal version" you have listed here. Those stanzas I've never seen before. Cool.

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