Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Most of BC against changing the lyrics of ‘O Canada’ to ‘our home on native land’


O Canada was written in 1880 but didn’t become the country’s official national anthem until 1980. Since that time, the song has had many versions but remained largely unchanged until 2018.

In 2018, the verse “true patriot love in all thy sons command” was changed to “true patriot love in all of us command.” Some Canadians were unhappy about the change and now, a similar situation is occurring around the lyrics “our home and native land.”

This past February, Canadian artist Jully Black sang O Canada, but sang it with the line changed to “our home on native land” during the NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Some people loved it and some did not want the rendition to alter the history of the song.

A BC-based survey company, Research Co., recently polled British Columbia and all of Canada regarding the past lyric changes and what some people are proposing for another lyric change. 

As the numbers suggest, younger respondents to the survey are welcoming to the change while their older counterparts are not so open to the idea. 

55% of Canadians aged 18 to 34-years-old are in favour, 42% of those aged 35 to 54-years-old are in favour and only 28% of Canadians older than 55-years-old are in favour of a lyric change. 

When it comes to BC’s take on the situation, only 14% of respondents said they strongly agree with the change and 37% of BC respondents said they strongly disagree with the change. This is the second highest metric of those who disagree across all of Canada, second only to the Atlantic provinces. 

Research Co. also tallied up the respondents answers according to their racial identification and it comes as no surprise that non-White Canadians are the most in favour of the lyric change.

“Majorities of English-speaking Canadians of South Asian (68%), Indigenous (64%) and East Asian heritage (51%) endorse the proposed change to the national anthem,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. 

“Only 36% of English-speaking Canadians of European descent concur.”

Many Canadians continue to push for the anthem lyric change while many continue to push back against it. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said before that he would be open to the change.

“I look forward to talking with Indigenous Canadians about how they feel the anthem could or might change. I want to talk with a lot of Canadians,” Trudeau said in a Canada Day interview with CBC.

“It’s not any government’s anthem, it’s Canadians’ anthem.”

Since then, some Members of Parliament have made the push for change and the mayor of Mississauga has been an influential advocate for the change as well. 

No official legislation or proposal has been put forth as of this publication to make the change official. 

What do you think about the change? Are you for or against changing “our home and native land” to  “our home on native land”? Let us know in the comment section below. 

Curtis Blandy

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