Royal Standard of HM The King of Canada
Canadian Flag
(Play the anthem) (Play the anthem)

O Canada! Our home and native land!

True patriot love in all thy sons 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.

“O Canada” was written in 1880 and was sung for the first time later that year at a banquet in the Pavillion des Patineurs in Québec City. The French words have remained the same to this day. The English version, however, has a more interesting history. When Routhier’s lyrics were first published in Toronto, a doctor named Thomas Bedford Richardson translated the words into English and to fit the melody. Two years later, the first edition of the Canadian version of Collier’s Weekly held a competition to write English lyrics to the song. Mercy E. Powell McCulloch won the competition with her entry. The words were rewritten again and again, but one version gained the most popularity. It was written by Montréal lawyer Robert Stanley Weir, and only slightly differs from the English version used since “O Canada” was officially declared the national anthem in 1980, one century after it was composed.

The Maple Leaf

Our Emblem Dear,

The Maple Leaf Forever.

God save our King and heaven bless,

The Maple Leaf Forever.

At Queenston Heights and Lundy’s Lane

Our brave fathers side by side

For freedom’s home and loved ones dear,

Firmly stood and nobly died.

And so their rights which they maintained,

We swear to yield them never.

Our watchword ever more shall be:

The Maple Leaf Forever!

Penned appropriately enough in 1867 Canada’s Confederation year, The Maple Leaf Forever enthusiastically celebrates our history and European roots. Unlike “O Canada”, which is changed to make it politically correct from time to time, The Maple Leaf Forever proudly proclaims the real origins of this country. It was written by school teacher Alexander Muir (1830-1906) who was then principal of Leslieville Public School in Toronto’s East End . Maple Cottage, the house at Memory Lane and Laing Street in which Muir lived and a huge maple tree, which legend tells us inspired his composition, still stand.

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Map of Canada

(Play the anthem)

God save our gracious King,

Long live our noble King,

God save The King.

Send Him victorious,

Happy and glorious,

Long to reign over us:

God save The King.

Words by: unknown. In use: 1745- –

“God Save the King” (or “God Save the King”, depending on the gender of the ruling monarch) was a patriotic song first publicly performed in London in 1745 after the king, George II defeated the Jacobite claimant to the throne, “Bonnie Prince Charlie. The song came to be referred to as the National Anthem from the beginning of the nineteenth century. The words and tune are anonymous, and may date back to the seventeenth century. There is no authorized version of the National Anthem as the words are a matter of tradition. The words used are those sung in 1745, substituting ‘Queen’ for ‘King’ where appropriate. On official occasions, only the first verse is usually sung.

The British tune has since become one of the world’s most recognizable anthems, and has been used in other countries – as European visitors to Britain in the eighteenth century noticed the advantage of a country possessing such a recognised musical symbol – including Germany, Russia, Switzerland, the United States (where use of the tune continued after independence), and even today by Liechtenstein, as a revolutionary song in New Caledonia, and as the royal anthem of Norway. (One might say that because of this fact, that the United Kingdom was the creator of the concept of a “national anthem”.) Some 140 composers, including Beethoven, Haydn and Brahms, have used the tune in their compositions. “God Save the King” also serves as the royal anthem for most Commonwealth countries, such as Australia and Canada. (Governor-generals of Commonwealth countries usually have bits and pieces of the national anthem strung together played as their anthem.)

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