Summerside — A Prince Edward Island resident says she’s on the bandwagon of changing the lyrics of the national anthem to a more gender-neutral and secular version; however, she wishes it were just a little more polite.
“I feel that we need a ‘please’ in the anthem,” said Annette Harper, “and to ‘command’ or ‘demand’ seems kind of…un-Canadian, too.”
The federal government is making changes to “O Canada” to reflect a nation that’s becoming more inclusive all the time, which means changing “in all thy son’s command” to “in all of us command,” which is actually closer to the original verse penned by Robert Stanley Weir in 1908.
Many Canadians are posting their displeasure with the changes on social media.
“I saw a CBC commenter saying, ‘You can’t be upset about the lyrics changing in the national anthem unless you know all the extra verses and the French parts!'” recalled Harper. “And then people argued about that comment for days on end. Well, I don’t know about all that, but I would like to kindly ask that the lyrics start to reflect how Canadians think and act — tentative, hesitant to express strong opinions, and polite to the point of being annoying.”
Harper believes the lyrics should say “we politely ask” instead of “demand.”
“Canadians are not a pushy people, so I’m also politely asking the government to have the anthem reflect that we regret being so direct with a ‘sorry’ worked in there somewhere.
“You know…only if everyone feels the same way. I’m not one to judge.”