Mudcat Café message #672821 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #45506   Message #672821
Posted By: SharonA
20-Mar-02 - 04:00 PM
Thread Name: Politically incorrect national anthems
Subject: Politically incorrect national anthems
While searching for something entirely unrelated, I came across this (admittedly dated) article on

Senator wants to change anthem's sexist lyrics
Thursday, June 28, 2001

OTTAWA (CP) -- A Liberal senator would have Canadians command their sons and daughters to consider new, non-sexist lyrics for O Canada. Senator Vivienne Poy says the Canada Day weekend is a good time to reflect on the English words of the national anthem, particularly the third line: True patriot love in all they sons command.

The wording, Poy said Thursday in a release, "does not allow women to participate fully in the celebrations, nor does it acknowledge their important role in building Canada. "We want all Canadians to have the opportunity to command 'true patriot love' when they sing the national anthem on Canada Day and throughout the year."

Poy doesn't propose specific new lyrics, saying only that many Canadian would welcome a "simple but significant" change. She is working with the Famous Five Foundation to consult with music experts and linguists "to determine the best possible wording for an inclusive version," said the release. The senator has posted a petition on her Web site,, and on the Famous Five site,, calling for an amendment to the national anthem.

The French-language anthem was first sung in June 1880, and the current English version is based on lyrics written in 1908. A special joint committee of the Senate and Commons recommended changes that became the official English version in 1968, and Parliament proclaimed O Canada the national anthem on July 1, 1980.

I'm relieved to find, after decades of hearing complaints about the US national anthem ("it's impossible to sing", "it's set to the tune of a drinking song", "it's about a battle in a war we lost", etc., etc.), that it ain't just us! Other people in other countries don't always like their anthems, either!

I wonder if this senator's petition ever resulted in any change or even any debate on the subject. Was the English version of "O Canada" revised... and what about the French version?

And what about you? Is your national anthem politically correct? Has it ever been politically corrected?