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Oh, Canada: Your Anthem Needs To Get With The Times

Is changing a line in our anthem an easy, overdue amendment or petty semantics?

canada anthem

Oh, Canada. Your anthem needs to get with the times. That's the message some of our country's most iconic figures are sending to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government in what is the latest political controversy.

According to an article in the CBC, novelist Margaret Atwood and former PM Kim Campbell are just some of the big names pushing for a single line change to make the anthem more gender-inclusive.

Apparently the idea isn't so much rooted in feminism as it is in honouring the original wording of Judge Robert Stanley Weir's English version, on the eve of its 100-year anniversary.

The campaign is opting for the contentious lyric to change to "in all of us command," which is closer to "thou dost in us command" than the "in all thy sons command" phrasing adopted in 1913.

"The words 'All thy sons command' in the English national anthem suggests that only male loyalty is being invoked," said Atwood.

But though the change seems relatively minor, not everyone agrees that the anthem is broken and in need of fixing. 

"I think that when you start tinkering with an institution like a national anthem, that you're looking for problems," said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. Just as well he's not related to Nichola Goddard, the first female Canadian soldier ever to be killed in combat.

An easy, overdue amendment or petty semantics?