Most countries have an “anthem.”
In 1867 when Canada was created, a towering Silver Maple tree standing in front of Alexander Muir’s house in Toronto gave him an idea.
He would write a poem and a song about the majestic tree, so common in Canada and so symbolic, to celebrate Canada’s confederation.
His song was called The Maple Leaf Forever and it has been the unofficial Canadian anthem to this day.
When you sing your country’s national anthem, you may think the words never change.
But for O Canada!, Canada’s national anthem, they have been translated and changed and changed again.
Now, some people are saying O Canada! should be changed yet again, to be more inclusive.
Canadian writer Margaret Atwood and other prominent Canadians, including former Prime Minister Kim Campbell, want the line “True patriot love in all thy sons command” to be gender-neutral.
They say the word “sons” excludes women and the line should be changed to “in all of us command.”
O Canada! was first written in 1880, in French. The words were from a French Canadian poem.
O Canada! was translated into English in the early 1900s. The English words were changed in 1908, to a less exact translation of the French words.