Canada Could Change National Anthem to Include Women

'I want to at long last honor their sacrifices and contribution'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2016 6:56 PM CST
Canada Could Change National Anthem to Include Women

A Canadian politician is on a crusade to change the lyrics of O Canada—the Canadian national anthem—to give equal shrift to both genders, the Guardian reports. The third line of O Canada currently reads "True patriot love in all thy sons command." A bill introduced by liberal member of parliament Mauril Bélanger this week would change that to "in all of us command." "I want to pay tribute to all the women who have worked and fought to build and shape the Canada that we know today,” Bélanger says in a statement. “I want to at long last honor their sacrifices and contribution.” Who could oppose that? "I think it just opens up a can of worms that we can look at each and every line of that national anthem," conservative member of parliament Karen Vecchio tells CBC.

"This is our national anthem, this is something that we've had for decades," Vecchio tells CBC. O Canada was composed in 1880 with French lyrics that didn't mention "thy sons," the Toronto Sun reports. When English speakers finally started singing it around 1900, the most common lyrics were "thou dost in us," highly similar to the proposed change. According to the Guardian, the lyrics weren't changed to "thy sons" until 1914. And other lyrics were changed to make them less repetitive when O Canada became the national anthem in 1980, the Sun reports. There have been 10 failed attempts to change "thy sons" since 1980. Bélanger himself introduced the same bill only to have it fail last April. But CBC reports it could fare better in Canada's new liberal government. (More O Canada stories.)

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