Full Lyrics Of Canada National Anthem - 'O Canada'
"O Canada" - Full lyrics of Canada National Anthem

"O Canada" (French: Ô Canada) is the national anthem of Canada. The song was originally commissioned by Lieutenant Governor of Quebec Théodore Robitaille for the 1880 Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day ceremony; Calixa Lavallée composed the music, after which, words were written by the poet and judge Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier.

The original lyrics were in French; an English translation was published in 1906. Multiple English versions ensued, with Robert Stanley Weir's version in 1908 gaining the most popularity, eventually serving as the basis for the official lyrics enacted by Parliament. Weir's lyrics have been revised three times, most recently when An Act to amend the National Anthem Act (gender) was enacted in 2018.

The French lyrics remain unaltered.

"O Canada" had served as a de facto national anthem since 1939, officially becoming the country's national anthem in 1980 when Canada's National Anthem Act received royal assent and became effective on July 1 as part of that year's Dominion Day (today's Canada Day) celebrations.

Full lyrics of "O Canada" - Canada National Anthem in different versions

English lyrics by Robert Stanley Weir

O Canada! Our home and native land!

True patriot love thou dost in us command.

We see thee rising fair, dear land,

The True North, strong and free;

And stand on guard, O Canada,

We stand on guard for thee.

(Refrain)

O Canada! O Canada!

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!

(Refrain)

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!

(Refrain)

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.

(Refrain)

French lyrics by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier

O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux,

Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!

Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,

Il sait porter la croix!

Ton histoire est une épopée

Des plus brillants exploits.

Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,

Protégera nos foyers et nos droits,

Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

Sous l’oeil de Dieu, près du fleuve géant,

Le Canadien grandit en espérant.

Il est né d’une race fière,

Béni fut son berceau:

Le ciel a marqué sa carrière

Dans ce monde nouveau.

Toujours guidé par sa lumière,

Il gardera l’honneur de son drapeau,

Il gardera l’honneur de son drapeau.

De son patron, précurseur du vrai Dieu,

Il porte au front l’auréole de feu.

Ennemi de la tyrannie

Mais plein de loyauté.

Il veut garder dans l’harmonie,

Sa fière liberté;

Et par l’effort de son génie,

Sur notre sol asseoir la vérité,

Sur notre sol asseoir la vérité.

Amour sacré du trône et de l’autel,

Remplis nos coeurs de ton souffle immortel!

Parmi les races étrangères,

Notre guide est la loi;

Sachons être un peuple de frères,

Sous le joug de la foi.

Et répétons, comme nos pères,

Le cri vainqueur: “Pour le Christ et le roi,”

Le cri vainqueur: “Pour le Christ et le roi.”

Official lyrics of “O Canada”

O Canada! Our home and native land!

True patriot love in all of us 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.

*The change from the original English words “thou dost in us command” to “in all thy sons command” first occurred in 1913, and it became something of a controversy beginning in the late 20th century. After decades of debate, the lyrics were officially changed in 2018 to gender-neutral language: “in all of us command.”

Full lyrics video of "O Canada" - Canada National Anthem (All four verses)

Canada National Anthem:History

The French lyrics of "O Canada" were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier, to music composed by Calixa Lavallée, as a French Canadian patriotic song for the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society and first performed on June 24, 1880, at a Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day banquet in Quebec City. At that time, the "Chant National", also by Routhier, was popular amongst Francophones as an anthem, while "God Save the Queen" and "The Maple Leaf Forever" had, since 1867, been competing as unofficial national anthems in English Canada. "O Canada" joined that fray when a group of school children sang it for the 1901 tour of Canada by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall (later King George V and Queen Mary). This was the first known performance of the song outside Quebec.

Five years later, the Whaley and Royce company in Toronto published the music with the French text and a first translation into English by Thomas Bedford Richardson and, in 1908, Collier's Weekly magazine held a competition to write new English lyrics for "O Canada". The competition was won by Mercy E. Powell McCulloch, but her version never gained wide acceptance. In fact, many made English translations of Routhier's words; however, the most popular version was created in 1908 by Robert Stanley Weir, a lawyer and Recorder of the City of Montreal. Weir's lyrics from 1908 contained no religious references and used the phrase "thou dost in us command" before they were changed by Weir in 1913 to read "in all thy sons command". In 1926, a fourth verse of a religious nature was added. A slightly modified version was officially published for the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation in 1927, and gradually it became the most widely accepted and performed version of this song.

The tune was thought to have become the de facto national anthem after King George VI remained at attention during its playing at the dedication of the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, on May 21, 1939; though George was actually following a precedent set by his brother, Edward, the previous king of Canada, when he dedicated the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France in 1936. By-laws and practices governing the use of song during public events in municipalities varied; in Toronto, "God Save the King" or "God Save the Queen" was employed, while in Montreal it was "O Canada".

Musicologist Ross Duffin has made an extended argument that Lavallée constructed the melody for O Canada by adapting material by Mozart ("March of the Priests", measures 1–8), Liszt ("Festklänge", measures 17–20), Wagner ("Wach auf, es nahet gen den Tag", measures 9–16), and Matthias Keller ("The American Hymn", measures 21–28).

Canada Day

Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada) is the national day of Canada. A federal statutory holiday, it celebrates the anniversary of Canadian Confederation which occurred on July 1, 1867, with the passing of the British North America Act, 1867 where the four separate colonies of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada.

Originally called Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), the holiday was renamed in 1982 when the Canadian Constitution was patriated by the Canada Act 1982. Canada Day celebrations take place throughout the country, as well as in various locations around the world attended by Canadians living abroad.

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