On Jan. 1, Australia a country whose history and governance have great similarities to our own revised its national anthem, Advance Australia Fair. The phrase “young and free” was updated to “one and free” to acknowledge the presence of First Nations and the land’s history prior to the arrival of the first European settlers.
Like Australia’s anthem, the English lyrics of O Canada have evolved to reflect contemporary attitudes. When O Canada was adopted by Parliament as the national anthem in 1967, one of the “we stand on guard” phrases in the original 1908 version was replaced with “from far and wide,” to reflect our vast geography and the increasing diversity of our population. How important it is to revisit the national anthem lyrics of a country ?