Moose Mountie

Tomorrow, we celebrate the 146th birthday of the country we call Canada.

Last year, I gathered up several quotes on what it means to be Canadian. Adrienne Clarkson reminded us of our complexity, Bob Rae applauded our diversity and Bill Clinton said that “Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity and mutual respect.”

Interestingly, it wasn’t until 1980 that “O Canada” was named our official national anthem and it wasn’t until 1982 that July 1 was called “Canada Day.” Up until then, we celebrated the birth of our nation as “Dominion Day.” And even now, we really only sing the first verse of O Canada, but did you know that there are actually three more verses to the song? They carry the same melody as the first, so feel free to sing out loud and proud.

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.

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 within 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 you have it. The full version of O Canada. Well, that’s the full English version. Going through school, we were also taught the French and bilingual versions, but they’re an entirely different discussion.

Whatever language you speak, from Vancouver to St. John’s, Winnipeg to Yellowknife and all lands in between, here’s to a very happy Canada Day, eh!