OPINION: Let’s continue to sing “thy sons command”
I believe that most Canadians are opposed to the change to the lyrics of O Canada. Of the many people with whom I’ve spoken, not a single one agreed with the change. As a matter of fact, every person adamantly opposed it.
Although many articles have been written to attest that “in all thy son’s command” doesn’t violate gender neutrality, there’s a much more important reason rendering the change very wrong.
The new song replaces the words “thy sons” with “of us”. In the old song, the “s” at the end of “sons” is crisp, whereas, the “s” at the end of “us” is stretched, and when it connects with the syllable “com” in the word “command”, the sound “scum” is vocalized.
When the words “of us” are respectively aligned with the music notation to replace “thy sons”, the following is what will be heard"
...true patriot love, in all of us scum, and. With glowing hearts...
Many interpret the word “sons” to mean our glorious war dead, who gave their all to preserve the values implicitly praised in the national anthem.
Now the word “sons” has been removed and the sound “scum” has been injected into that exact spot: insulting and irreverent, because for 103 years, the anthem honoured Canada’s “sons” -- the youth who are lying under some 110,000 little white crosses and grey headstones in the many Canadian War Cemeteries throughout Europe.
Now in the year of our 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge, where 3,600 sons were killed showing true patriot love, and in the year celebrating our 150th since Confederation, we remove reference to our glorious fallen by changing words to our national anthem.
The English version of O Canada was written by Robert Weir in 1908, containing the following words.
“True patriot love in us thou dost command”
The meaning of the above is that God commands us to show true patriot love to Canada. However, in 1914, after Weir changed “in us thou dost command” to “in all thy sons command”, the meaning was not as obvious.
But, the next year, Feb 28, 1915, a baptism of fire rendered meaning to the new lyric when # 4 Company of The Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the first Canadian Unit to see action in WW1, raided a German trench and five Canadians were killed: the first five “sons” of Canada to give their all in WW1, showing true patriot love of their country.
Before our 3,600 Canadian sons were killed at Vimy Ridge, for three years they had sung Robert Weir’s new 1914 version of O Canada, with the words “in all thy sons command”.
On the eve of the Vimy attack, the Vimy sons knew that in each of those three years, nearly 20,000 of their fellow sons were killed, and they reflected that they had honoured their fallen comrades by having sung the word “thy sons” whenever they sang O Canada.
Most assuredly, on the eve of the Vimy attack, the Vimy sons reflected upon the probability of being killed the next day, yet were willing to go over the top because they believed the cause was worthwhile, and knowing that if they fell, their sacrifice would be appreciated by the benefactors.
I ask Canadians to contact their MP, requesting that O Canada be changed back to have “thy sons” in it. For those in the Bay of Quinte Riding, MP Neil Ellis’s email address is...
Please petition the Conservative leadership candidates to announce that reinstating thy sons into the National Anthem becomes a plank in their platform.
Attached is a video karaoke of O Canada with “thy sons”. Please view it, sing it, and petition your Municipal Councils and Service Clubs across the country to continue singing “thy sons” when they open their meetings with O Canada.
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