Rex Murphy, in the Globe and Mail, indites these interrogatories:
…Why do the sensibilities of a few who find something objectionable seem so frequently to overrule the sensibilities of the great many who find the same thing joyful or meaningful? Why is being offended by O Canada more worthy, as a sentiment, than taking joy or pride in O Canada?..
Raphael Alexander also thinks people should give voice to “O Canada”:
The problem with “accommodation” of religion, beliefs, and values that go above and beyond the purpose for which they were intended, is that it diminishes our own religion, beliefs, and values in turn. This isn’t about foisting our own religion upon anyone, but having those who live in Canada appreciate who and what we are…
There is, moreover, this problem:
In a poll released last year, the Dominion Institute found that just 53 per cent of Canadians could recite the first line of O Canada.
The start of the report on that poll–truly depressing:
It appears that Canadians know more about the history and politics of their neighbours to the south than they do about their own country. According to a new poll conducted in the format of a twenty-question quiz by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the Dominion Institute, Canadians have a higher average percentage of correct scores on questions about America (47%) than they do on questions about Canada (42%).
Norman Spector, for his part, does have a point about the words of songs:
THE COLUMN I’M GLAD I DIDN’T WRITE
My Canada includes O Canada (MURPHY)
Children in a school in New Brunswick, which is still, I believe, a Canadian province, have an endearing practice of singing our national anthem before the school day starts. …O Canada, the anthem, is not a virulent, overtly martial national song. The first stanza, which is virtually the only one ever sung, has very little that’s abrasive even to the most fragile sensibility. It states, as I hope we’ll all agree, that Canada is our home and native land; talks of patriot love – an excellent sentiment; notes – how true – we’re far and wide; and says, twice, we’ll “stand on guard” for her – thee. A most commendable iteration.
Why it helps to know about the other solitude (and New Brunswick)
Here’s a translation of the other first stanza
O Canada! Land of our forefathers
Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.
As in thy arm ready to wield the sword,
So also is it ready to carry the cross.
Thy history is an epic of the most brilliant exploits.
Multiculturalism does not go well with biculturalism.